Federal Real Property: Overreliance on Leasing Contributed to High-Risk Designation

GAO-11-879T Published: Aug 04, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 04, 2011.
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The federal government's real property portfolio includes more than 900,000 buildings and structures worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Many of these properties are leased from private-sector owners, often at total costs that would exceed what the government would pay for ownership. Overreliance on costly leased space was one of several factors that contributed to GAO's designation of federal real property management as a governmentwide high-risk issue. The administration's proposed Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA) would reform federal real property management and disposal. For this subcommittee, GAO is currently examining opportunities for consolidating federal operations and moving them from leased space to federally owned sites. This statement identifies (1) the factors that contribute to the government's reliance on costly leasing, (2) how CPRA may provide an opportunity to reduce reliance on leasing, and (3) federal agencies' independent leasing authorities and General Services Administration's (GSA) delegations of leasing authorities. To do this work, GAO relied on its prior work and reviewed CPRA and other relevant reports.

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