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GSA's real property database still problematic

from NSPS

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the federal government has made progress addressing real property challenges within its owned portfolio, but agencies still face long-standing challenges that existed when GAO first designated real property management as a high-risk area in 2003. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Services Administration (GSA), and selected agencies have taken steps to improve the quality of data in the Federal Real Property Profile (FRPP) — the government-wide real property database. Those steps include issuing guidance and implementing various data validation procedures. Starting with fiscal year 2015 data, OMB and GSA are transitioning FRPP from a real property inventory to an analytical tool to guide real property management and to evaluate the performance of the government-wide portfolio. However, GSA has not analyzed agencies' collection or reporting practices or the limitations for using the data. GAO's review of FRPP shows that certain key FRPP data elements, such as utilization status, continue to be inconsistently collected and reported by agencies. An analysis could help OMB and GSA determine the extent to which efforts have improved data quality and identify the next steps. Outlining the limitations of the FRPP data, as suggested by GAO's data reliability standards, could improve transparency for decision-makers on how to properly use the data to, for example, identify underutilized properties for consolidation and co-location. GAO recommended that GSA, with OMB and federal agencies, access, analyze, and identify any limitations in how agencies collect and report FRPP data to address long-standing management challenges. A U.S. Senate committee is continuing oversight on the FRPP and has approved legislation to improve the inventory. more

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