Weaknesses in National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Facilities Utilization Program

PSAD-79-53: Published: Mar 15, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1979.

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In order to identify the management of underused, deactivated, or inoperable facilities as an area for future study, GAO reviewed the Facilities Utilization Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA established its Facilities Utilization Program to monitor the use of its real property, which has a capitalized value of over $2.8 billion. The program's purpose is to strengthen the system for conducting annual facilities utilization reviews and to develop a building space management system to best utilize these facilities.

NASA developed three management reports, which focus primarily on office space and major technical facilities. Errors in classifying some building space distorted the office density ratios and made it appear that office space was better utilized than it actually was. Since tenants label their space according to their own interpretation of NASA Management Instructions, some space classifications vary from building to building, affecting the overall assessment of office space utilization. Tenants also interpreted Management Instructions differently for the other reports, lowering the accuracy and reliability of the reports.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Administrator of NASA should: change the utilization program, if feasible from a cost/benefit standpoint, to measure the utilization of all types of space, not just office space and major facilities; instruct cognizant officials to more closely monitor space classification activities; use the physical capabilities, the size of the dedicated work force, the operating time of equipment, and other criteria that more accurately reflect the level of actual use of the facilities to measure the utilization of those major facilities that may not be suited to the rigid use of Equivalent Utilization Days as a level-of-use measurement; compute utilization rates on a consistent basis and maintain logs; and enforce the requirement for annual real property reviews including land and update Master Site Plans to reflect current program and institutional needs.

    Agency Affected:


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