The GSA does not “have assurance that it provided quality leased space to its tenants or received the services it paid for,” an IG report has said based on reviews of a sample of 28 leases it manages for space for other agencies in buildings not owned by the government.
The report said that the GSA administers some 8,200 leases on behalf of 100 federal customer agencies involving 187 million rentable square feet at a total annual rent of over $5.7 billion. Those leases require that the lessor provide ongoing services such as basic cleaning and maintenance as well as periodic services such as window washing, carpet shampooing, and repainting.
However, the IG said that in the sampling, it found instances in which the GSA’s Public Buildings Service “did not properly document and resolve deficiencies identified in annual lease inspections, determine price reasonableness for alterations projects, or create responsive tenant satisfaction survey action plans.”
It said for example that records were insufficient to determine whether deficiencies had been resolved in eight leases including problems such as “stained ceiling tiles, dust accumulation, worn carpet, and hot water temperature in a child care center, which exceeded the standard by 2.5 degrees.” Auditors further “did not consistently find evidence of price reasonableness determinations for post-occupancy alteration projects” and that action plans to address issues “do not necessarily correspond” to the comments of tenant agencies on satisfaction surveys.
That was consistent with findings of prior reports of recent years that resulted in the IG designating lease management as one of the GSA’s major management challenges, it said.
GSA management responded by describing steps under way to improve oversight of leases but the IG characterized them as not fully responsive to its concerns.