GSA Lease Prospectuses Provide a Reasonable Basis for the Congress To Approve Proposed Space Acquisitions

LCD-80-44: Published: Apr 17, 1980. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1980.

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GAO examined a selected number of General Services Administration (GSA) leases to determine if the leases comply with the prospectuses as approved by Congress. To obtain congressional approval for acquiring space, the Administrator of GSA submits a prospectus to the Public Works Committees (Committees). The prospectus is required to contain such information as a brief description of the building to be constructed, altered, purchased, acquired, or the space to be leased; the location and estimated maximum cost of the building; how and by whom the building space in the area is to be used; rents and other costs currently being paid by the agencies to be housed in the building; and a statement by the Administrator of the economic and other justifications for not acquiring or purchasing the building.

The review of the leases by GAO indicated that some uncertainty exists as to whether the estimated maximum annual rent shown in the approved lease prospectuses constitutes a ceiling, and whether a revised lease prospectus should be resubmitted to the Committees for further consideration when the gross annual rent differs from the approved amount in the prospectus. GAO stated in a previous decision that the lease should conform to the prospectus and significant deviations would require the Committees' approval. However, there is nothing in the law which aids in determining when a deviation is to be considered significant. Thus, GAO believes that the Committees should provide GSA with guidance on when a proposed deviation should be submitted for approval. Further, GAO believes that the provisions of Senate bill 2080, if enacted into law, should provide a limitation of the amount GSA can expend for leased space, services, and utilities.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: If Senate bill 2080 is not enacted into law, the Congress should: (1) clarify whether the approved lease prospectus amount can be exceeded and, if so, by how much; and (2) change the law to specify the circumstances when GSA should obtain the Committees' approval when lease conditions differ from the approved prospectus.


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