Federal Lands:

Concession Reform is Needed

T-RCED/GGD-96-223: Published: Jul 18, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 1996.

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GAO discussed its work on concessions issues, concession reform, and the National Park Service's (NPS) use of concessioner special accounts. GAO noted that: (1) in 1994, there were 11,000 concession agreements throughout the federal government; (2) the agreements generated over $2.2 billion in revenue for concessioners; (3) while concessioners in land management agencies paid the government an average of 3 percent of their gross revenues, concessioners in other agencies paid an average of 9 percent of their gross revenues; (4) key factors affecting the government's rate of return include whether the concession is established competitively, whether the agency can retain concessions fees, and whether incumbent concessioners had a preferential right of renewal; and (5) Congress may wish to consider encouraging competition, eliminating preferential rights of renewal for incumbents, promoting consistency among land management agencies, and providing greater opportunities for land management agencies to retain concession fees.

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