Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports Real Property Risk
About GAO's "High Risk Series, Federal Real Property" Reports
A February 2011 GAO High Risk Series, Federal Real Property update reported that the federal government has taken numerous steps since its 2003 report, "High Risk Series, Federal Real Property" (GAO-03-122) to improve the completeness and reliability of its real property data.
The initial 2003 report was issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in January 2003. The report identified federal real property as a high-risk area.
In response to GAO’s 2007 recommendation to improve the reliability of FRPP data, GSA OGP instituted a data validation process that precludes FRPP from accepting an agency’s data until the data pass all established business rules and data checks. GAO’s most recent analysis of the reliability of FRPP data found none of the basic problems that were previously found, such as missing data or inexplicably large changes between years. In addition, agencies continue to improve their real property data for their own purposes.
From a governmentwide perspective, GAO found that OGP has sufficient standards and processes in place for them to consider the 25 elements in FRPP as a database that is sufficiently reliable to describe the real property holdings of the federal government. As a result, GAO removed the data element of real property management from the high-risk list this year.
Real Property Issues
According to the GAO report, federal real property is a high-risk area for several reasons:
- Several agencies have long-standing excess and underutilized real property, deteriorating facilities, unreliable real property data, and costly space challenges
- Real property mismanagement has multi-billion dollar cost implications and can jeopardize mission accomplishment
- Federal agencies face challenges securing real property due to the threat of terrorism. asdf
GAO's report recommends the following:
Develop a comprehensive and integrated real property transformation strategy that:
- Identifies how best to realign and rationalize federal real property and dispose of unneeded assets
- Addresses significant real property repair and restoration needs
- Develops reliable, useful real property data
- Resolve the problem of heavy reliance on costly leasing
- Minimizes the impact of terrorism on real property
- Assemble an independent commission or task force to develop the real property transformation strategy and enact legislative action to address long-standing challenges
Real Property Initiatives to Address GAO Recommendations
Executive Order 13327 is one effort currently underway to successfully address some of GAO's recommendations. The Order establishes a Federal Real Property Council (FRPC) in the Office of Management and Budget. The Council of Senior Real Property Officers are developing guidance for and working with landholding agencies to prepare and implement asset management plans.