Postal Service Real Estate Acquisition

T-GGD-90-2: Published: Oct 19, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1989.

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GAO discussed its review of 246 U.S. Postal Service (USPS) land acquisition projects for new post office construction. GAO noted that USPS: (1) applied a standard 50-percent growth factor to its projected 10-year community service needs in determining its 20-year land requirements; (2) did not consider whether the standard 50-percent growth factor was appropriate for individual projects; (3) advertised for sites larger than its 20-year land requirements; (4) frequently purchased sites that exceeded both its projected operational needs and advertised size requirements; (5) generally selected larger, more costly sites over smaller, less costly sites without requiring documentation as to why the less costly sites were less desirable; (6) cited valid operational reasons for choosing larger, more expensive sites where documentation was available; (7) had only 1 contending site in 26 of the reviewed projects, although average cost per square foot doubled when there was no competition; (8) generally complied with land appraisal requirements, but did not attempt to negotiate for lower prices in 28 percent of the reviewed projects; and (9) projected the 246 projects' total land requirements at 33.8 million square feet, advertised for 39.9 million square feet, and purchased 51.1 million square feet.

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