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Federal Real Property: The Government Faces Challenges to Disposing of Unneeded Buildings

GAO-11-370T Published: Feb 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2011.
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The federal real property portfolio, comprising over 900,000 buildings and structures and worth hundreds of billions of dollars, presents management challenges. In January 2003, GAO designated the management of federal real property as a high-risk area in part due to the presence of unneeded property. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for reviewing agencies' progress on federal real property management. The General Services Administration (GSA), often referred to as the federal government's landlord, controls more square feet of buildings than any other civilian federal agency. GSA funds real property acquisition, operation, maintenance, and disposal through the rent it collects from tenant agencies that is deposited into the Federal Buildings Fund (FBF). This testimony discusses (1) the scope and costs of the excess real property held by GSA and other federal agencies; and (2) the challenges GSA and other federal agencies face in disposing of excess and underutilized real property. GAO analyzed GSA data from a centralized real property database, reviewed GSA real property plans and previous GAO reports, and interviewed GSA and OMB officials.

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Cost analysisFederal agenciesFederal office buildingsFederal property managementProperty disposalReal estate leasesReal propertyStrategic planningSurplus federal propertyReal property