The Disinvestment in Federal Office Space

T-GGD-90-24: Published: Mar 20, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 20, 1990.

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GAO discussed the General Services Administration's (GSA) Public Buildings Program, focusing on the federal government's ability to provide high-quality office space for its employees at a reasonable cost. GAO noted that the federal government's nearly 20-year neglect of the need for capital investment in modern, high-quality working space for its employees: (1) adversely affected agencies' ability to accomplish their missions and employees' morale and productivity; (2) created a significant backlog of major repair and modernization projects in existing public buildings and numerous deferrals of new construction projects; (3) increased the need for costly leased space; and (4) motivated agencies that perceived GSA facility management as inadequate to attempt to manage their own space needs. GAO also noted that: (1) GSA typically planned on a short-term, reactive, and transactional basis and lacked a comprehensive long-term facility management plan; (2) GSA management information systems did not produce accurate, timely, and complete data needed for informed decisionmaking; (3) the congressional prospectus authorization process forced both GSA and Congress to review proposed construction projects individually and precluded strategic thinking about overall space needs; (4) the Federal Buildings Fund did not generate adequate revenues for capital investment; and (5) the federal budget focus on short-term, rather than long-term costs, created an inherent bias against capital investment.

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