Executive Agencies Can Do Much More in Using Government-Owned Space as an Alternative to Leasing or New Construction

LCD-77-314: Published: Sep 27, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 1977.

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The amount of space leased by the General Services Administration (GSA) and the annual cost of leasing increased from 68 million square feet costing $282 million in fiscal year 1973 to 88 million square feet costing $473 million in 1977. This rise is expected to continue if action is not taken.

Opportunities for substantial savings in meeting the space needs of the Federal Government are possible by using government-owned facilities which are either vacant or only partly used instead of private leasing or new construction. Opportunities for cancelling 33 leases valued at $6.2 million and eliminating proposed construction of $40.8 million were possible by using more fully vacant or partially used government-owned property in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and New Orleans. Officials of GSA indicated that insufficient funds to renovate federal buildings and the reluctance of agencies to relocate has prevented more use of government-owned property. GSA performed only a limited number of property surveys. Federal property-holding agencies were not reporting all available space to GSA, and GSA excess property screening activities were not effective. In July 1977, the Office of Management and Budget notified Congress that it was rescinding $75 million of a $125 million supplemental appropriation specifically for major repair and alteration by GSA.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of General Services should estimate repair and alteration costs for renovating available property, identify agencies leasing or planning to build space, and perform a cost-benefit analysis of using the property. The Administrator should: (1) earmark funds required for a realistic number of property surveys on an annual basis, and plan implementation of those which seem economically justifiable; and (2) amend Federal Property Management Regulations to both provide a more comprehensive property-screening system and to specify criteria for agencies to determine when available property must be reported to GSA. Regional offices should be required to include in their budget submittals documented cost-benefit analyses regarding opportunities for reducing lease costs through using available government-owned property.

    Agency Affected:


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