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Highlights

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the Miscellaneous Receipts Statute when it sold and purchased land relying on the land exchange authority contained in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) and the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA). We concluded that transactions in which BLM sold and purchased land were not authorized under the land exchange provisions of the applicable statutes. The General Services Administration (GSA) also violated the Miscellaneous Receipts Statute when it acted on BLM's behalf in certain transactions in the state of California under CDPA. The proceeds of the land sales, under applicable statutes, are to be deposited into the appropriate funds in the Treasury, "without deduction for any charge or claim." 33 U.S.C. 3302(b). This BLM and GSA did not do. Instead, after selling public lands and surplus federal real property, BLM and GSA, on BLM's behalf, used some of the proceeds to purchase land. These actions violated the Miscellaneous Receipts Statute. To rectify this situation, BLM should transfer funds from the augmented appropriations to the appropriate accounts in the Treasury. If BLM finds that it lacks sufficient budget authority to cover the adjustments, it should report a violation of the Antideficiency Act in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 1351. GSA improperly deposited the proceeds from surplus federal real property sales into a deposit fund account in the Treasury. These accounts are intended to hold amounts that do not belong to the government. The proceeds of the California sales are funds of the United States and, therefore, must be deposited into the appropriate fund in the Treasury. GSA should deposit the balance remaining in the deposit fund account into the appropriate fund in the Treasury.

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