Federal Assets:

Information on Completed and Proposed Sales

RCED-88-214FS: Published: Sep 21, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information regarding the sales of federal assets included in the President's budget proposals to Congress since 1984.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of Transportation (DOT) received $1.575 billion from the sale of Conrail stock; (2) the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority will make a $3 million annual payment to the Treasury for 50 years under the Federal Aviation Administration's lease of Dulles and National Airports and made a one-time payment of $23.6 million to cover the unfunded pension liabilities for airport employees remaining in the federal retirement system; (3) various federal agencies' loan assets sales with unpaid principal of $7.279 billion produced proceeds of $4.649 billion through July 1988; (4) the General Services Administration (GSA) disposed of national stockpile materials during fiscal years (FY) 1985 through 1988 totalling $335 million, including the transfer of $152 million in silver to the Treasury; (5) during FY 1985 through 1987, GSA sold 933 surplus real properties for $241 million, 77 of which it sold for more than $1 million each, an average of 157 percent of their appraised value; and (6) the sales of Conrail, Dulles and National Airports, and the loan assets required special legislation, while GSA disposed of surplus stockpile material and real property under existing authorities. GAO also found that: (1) although DOT invested more than $3 billion in Amtrak assets, Congress prevented establishing a commission to study its disposal; (2) although the President's last four budgets proposed Amtrak's disposal, DOT did not actively pursue the sale of Amtrak's assets; (3) the Department of Energy (DOE) selected a buyer for the Great Plains Coal Gasification Project and expected to complete the sale by September 30, 1988 at an estimated value of $1.8 billion over the next 21 years; (4) a Department of the Interior contractor developed three alternatives for the disposal of the Helium Program and estimated the program's value between $193 million and $327 million; (5) DOE was negotiating the sale of the Alaska Power Administration, with anticipated proceeds of between $89 million and $100 million; (6) Congress had not acted on bills to authorize the study of selling the Southeastern Power Administration or transferring the Transportation Systems Center to the private sector; (7) Congress was considering legislation to establish a government corporation to take over DOE uranium enrichment facilities; and (8) the Department of Interior proposed two land exchanges in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Big Cypress National Preserve.