Leasing of Social Security Administration District and Branch Offices by the General Services Administration

LCD-78-313: Published: Feb 7, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 1978.

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Social Security provides services to the public through 1,321 district and branch offices, most of which are leased by the General Services Administration (GSA). In September 1977, Social Security identified 36 offices that it considered inadequate and 16 offices whose space problems have been resolved after lengthy delays. In January 1978, 89 offices considered to be unacceptable were identified. Many of the space problems experienced by Social Security were attributable to delays in leasing space for office expansion or relocation, overcrowding and overuse of offices, and inadequate services.

GSA generally leases district and branch offices in areas designated by Social Security. Disagreements sometimes arise over the location of offices and implementation of Government policy. Some offices were not properly maintained, caused by overcrowding and overuse of space and by inadequate services provided by lessors. Only 76 of the 1,321 district and branch offices were constructed by GSA with trust fund moneys. The average time from design start to construction completion was about 38 months, much longer than the time needed to lease. Agencies have complained because space is not leased in a timely manner. Both GSA and other agencies cite the lack of adequate staffing as a factor causing untimely performance. Other factors contributing to delays include: lack of suitable rental space in designated areas, leasing freezes due to budget constraints, lengthy negotiations, disputes over adequacy of offered space, and changes in space requirements.

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