State Department Efforts to Improve Management of Overseas Real Property

T-NSIAD-91-40: Published: Jun 20, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Department of State's management of: (1) overseas real property; and (2) the Diplomatic Security Construction Program. GAO noted that: (1) continuing problems with State's Office of Foreign Buildings Operations (FBO) included inadequate maintenance of overseas property and a lack of oversight and information systems to ensure efficient and effective use of resources at posts; (2) FBO oversight mechanisms did not fully address long-standing problems of noncompliance with established policies and standards in housing and other real estate programs; (3) FBO records indicated that only 15 percent of all overseas posts had been visited in the last 3 years, and 37 percent had been visited only once; (4) FBO is implementing two information systems to monitor post real estate programs more effectively, but until they are fully implemented, it remains unclear whether they will provide accurate data; (5) State has not developed any master plans that adequately link current programs with its long-range foreign policy plans; and (6) problems with the diplomatic security construction program included long-range planning, poor cost estimates, project cost increases and schedule delays, and insufficient technical personnel. GAO believes that the FBO program will need continued monitoring and oversight to improve management and strengthen controls over real property and construction programs.

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