[Federal Register: January 21, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 13)]
[Notices]               
[Page 2776-2777]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21ja03-61]                         


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION


[FMR Bulletin 2003-B1]


 
Federal Management Regulation; Locating Federal Facilities in 
Rural Areas


AGENCY: Office of Governmentwide Policy (MPR), GSA.


ACTION: Notice of a bulletin.


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SUMMARY: The attached bulletin is intended to assist Federal agencies, 
having their own statutory authority to acquire real property, in 
complying with the Rural Development Act of 1972.


EFFECTIVE DATE: This bulletin is effective January 21, 2003.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley C. Langfeld, General Services 
Administration, Office of Governmentwide Policy (MPR), Washington, DC 
20405; e-mail, stanley.langfeld@gsa.gov, telephone (202) 501-1737.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In July 2001, GAO issued GAO Final Report 
GAO-01-805, entitled ``Facilities Location: Agencies Should Pay More 
Attention to Costs and Rural Development Act,'' which examined the 
Federal laws and policies governing


[[Page 2777]]


facility location and the extent that agencies were implementing these 
laws and policies. In addition, the GAO report identified 
recommendations to be implemented by GSA. In October 2001, in response 
to a recommendation contained in the GAO Report, GSA agreed to issue a 
Federal Register bulletin that defines the term ``rural area'' and 
recommends that Federal agencies, having their own statutory authority 
to acquire real property, include a written statement in their files 
affirming that they have given first priority to locating in a rural 
area.


    Dated: January 13, 2003.
G. Martin Wagner,
Associate Administrator, Office of Governmentwide Policy.


GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION


[FMR Bulletin 2003-B1]


Real Property


TO: Heads of Federal Agencies
SUBJECT: Locating Federal Facilities in Rural Areas


    1. What is the purpose of this bulletin? This bulletin is intended 
to assist Federal agencies, having their own statutory authority to 
acquire real property, in complying with the Rural Development Act of 
1972.
    2. What is the effective date of this bulletin? This bulletin is 
effective January 21, 2003.
    3. When does this bulletin expire? This bulletin will remain in 
effect indefinitely until specifically cancelled.
    4. What is the background?
    a. In 1972, the Rural Development Act was enacted which directed 
Federal agencies to develop policies and procedures to give first 
priority to the location of new offices and other Federal facilities in 
rural areas. The intent of the Act is to revitalize and develop rural 
areas and help foster a balance between rural and urban America.
    b. In 1996, Pub. L. 104-127 eliminated the ``private business 
enterprise'' language in 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(7) which had served to define 
the term ``rural area'' for the purpose of locating Federal facilities.
    c. In July 2001, GAO issued GAO Final Report GAO-01-805, entitled 
``Facilities Location: Agencies Should Pay More Attention to Costs and 
Rural Development Act,'' which examined the federal laws and policies 
governing facility location and the extent that agencies were 
implementing these laws and policies. In addition, the GAO report 
identified recommendations to be implemented by GSA.
    d. In October 2001, in response to a recommendation contained in 
the GAO Report, GSA agreed to issue a Federal Register bulletin that 
defines the term ``rural area'' and recommends that Federal agencies, 
having their own statutory authority to acquire real property, include 
a written statement in their files affirming that they have given first 
priority to locating in a rural area.
    5. What ``rural area'' definition does GSA recommend for Federal 
agencies having their own statutory authority to acquire real property?
    GSA recommends that Federal agencies, having their own statutory 
authority to acquire real property, use the following ``rural area'' 
definition:
    ``Rural area means a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a 
population of 50,000 inhabitants or less, other than an urbanized area 
immediately adjacent to a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a 
population in excess of 50,000 inhabitants, as specified in 7 U.S.C. 
2009.''
    6. How does GSA recommend that Federal agencies, having their own 
real property authority, demonstrate compliance with the Rural 
Development Act?
    GSA recommends that Federal agencies, having their own statutory 
authority to acquire real property, demonstrate compliance with the 
Rural Development Act by including a written statement in their files 
affirming that they have given first priority to the location of new 
offices and other Federal facilities in rural areas.
    7. Who should we contact for further information regarding locating 
Federal facilities in rural areas?
    General Services Administration, Office of Governmentwide Policy, 
Real Property Policy Division, Attn: Stanley C. Langfeld, 1800 F 
Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405, Telephone Number: (202) 501-1737, E-
mail Address: stanley.langfeld@gsa.gov.


[FR Doc. 03-1183 Filed 1-17-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-23-P