National Parks: Significant Progress Made in Preserving the Presidio and Attaining Financial Self-Sufficiency

GAO-02-87 Published: Oct 04, 2001. Publicly Released: Oct 04, 2001.
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The Presidio Trust--a wholly owned government corporation--was created in 1996 to manage a large part of the Presidio grounds using sound principles of land use planning and management while maintaining the area's scenic beauty and historic and natural character. The Trust is responsible for leasing, maintaining, rehabilitating, repairing, and improving the property it controls. The Trust must become financially self-sufficient by 2013. GAO found that the Trust has made significant progress in preserving, protecting, and improving the Presidio. It has launched major efforts to repair and upgrade the Presidio's infrastructure and to repair and rehabilitate residential housing and commercial space. So far, the Trust has converted about half of the former military buildings into useable residential and commercial space. The rehabilitation, repair, and leasing of the remaining 300 residential units and about 2.2 million square feet of undeveloped commercial space is critical to the Trust's efforts to achieve financial self-sufficiency. The Trust has also begun several environmental initiatives, including the cleanup of military contamination and the restoration of Mountain Lake--one of the few remaining natural lakes within the San Francisco city limits. The Trust is also working with the Park Service to revitalize vegetation throughout the Presidio and to replace aging trees in the 300-acre forest. The Trust should meet its goal of financial self-sufficiency by 2013, according to financial projections prepared by the Trust.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Presidio Trust Given the complexity of the financial model and its importance in the decision-making process and the fact that a refined model could serve as the standard measure of the Trust's progress toward self-sufficiency, the Chairman of the Presidio Trust Board of Directors should obtain an independent examination of the financial model as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements. A certified public accountant's report would express an opinion on whether the underlying assumptions provide a reasonable basis for management's projection of financial self-sufficiency.
Closed – Implemented
Presidio Trust is in the process of issuing a contract for work that will encompass, among other things, GAO's recommendation.

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