The Department of State's Management of Real Estate OverseasGao ID: 095398 July 13, 1978
The Department of State is responsible for acquiring, constructing, selling, maintaining, and operating about $3 billion worth of U.S. Government-owned and leased property in 215 cities in 135 countries. The Office of Foreign Buildings, departmental bureaus, and the overseas missions share responsibility for the task. Problems with the program include fragmentation of program management and ineffective use of construction funds, increasingly higher housing costs, inadequate maintenance, and unreliable real property information. Since the authority and responsibility for evaluating and developing real estate space requirements and preparing country-by-country plans is not centralized, the Department does not know the total number of properties that should be owned or rented or the most economic and efficient way of acquiring needed properties. Long-range planning for each post is erratic or nonexistent. The present housing management system does not provide adequate criteria for the size and cost of housing or a centralized review and uniform housing policy. State Department-owned and long-term leased properties are not maintained and managed properly due to a lack of technically qualified personnel to make inspections, weak maintenance criteria and priorities, and serious deficiencies in information used for management decisions. A reliable real property management information system to provide inventory and cost data has not yet been implemented.