Observations of GAO on the Proposed Revision to Executive Order 12072 on the Policy of Meeting Federal Space Needs in Urban Areas

Gao ID: PLRD-81-62 August 21, 1981

The General Services Administration (GSA) recently submitted a proposed revised Executive order to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its consideration. The revised order includes new policies on siting Federal facilities. The proposed replacement order would: (1) delete the policy of using the siting of Federal facilities to strengthen local economies in urban areas; (2) drop the policy that specifically requires Federal consideration of local conditions and needs in siting Federal facilities; and (3) require GSA to consult with appropriate Federal, State, regional, and local government officials and to consider their recommendations for, and objections to, a proposed site or space acquisition.

GAO believes that a policy of encouraging Federal agencies to take advantage of opportunities to assist local economies and support local development in meeting Federal space needs can be applied without necessarily increasing costs or adversely affecting agencies' missions. Rental rates are generally lower in development or redevelopment areas of cities than they are in the primary business and commercial areas of cities. However, the proposed order does not make it clear what consideration or emphasis GSA is to give to aiding urban economies in its siting of Federal facilities. Such clarification is desirable to assist GSA in making siting decisions.

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