General Services Administration:

Opportunities for Cost Savings in the Public Buildings Area

T-GGD-95-149: Published: Jul 13, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed opportunities for cost savings in the General Services Administration's (GSA) public buildings area, focusing on: (1) factors impeding GSA ability to acquire and manage federal office space in a cost-effective manner; (2) how GSA could reduce costs and improve performance in its leasing process; and (3) GSA efforts to realize cost savings and improve support services by reforming its operations. GAO noted that GSA: (1) ability to acquire and manage federal office space has been impeded by budget constraints and scorekeeping rules favoring leases over ownership, its lack of strategic focus in decisionmaking, ineffective asset management and disposal policies, its lack of purchase authority, and its long-standing monopoly; (2) has become dependent on leasing to satisfy federal office space needs and now spends over $2 million annually for leased space; (3) needs to use the results-oriented leasing approach that private sector firms use to respond more quickly in the real estate marketplace and get the best available leasing values; (4) has efforts underway to reform the way it does business and is reexamining its role and functions in response to the President's initiative to downsize the federal government; and (5) has estimated potential cost savings in the public buildings area of $6.4 billion over the next 5 years.

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