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Capital Asset Management Tools And Strategies For Decision Making Conference Proceedings by Federal Facilities Council Technical Report No 143

Introduction

BACKGROUND

Federally owned capital assets include some 500,000 buildings and similar facilities worldwide acquired during 200 years of government operations. Government facilities are used to defend the national interest; conduct foreign policy; house historic, cultural and educational artifacts; pursue research; and provide services to the American public. These buildings and structures project an image of American government at home and abroad, contribute to the architectural and socioeconomic fabric of their communities, and support the organizational and individual performance of federal employees conducting the business of government (NRC, 1998).

Federal facilities embody significant investments and resources and therefore constitute a portfolio of public assets. At least 30 separate agencies manage these facilities. As stewards of this public investment, federal facilities program managers face a number of challenges (NRC, 1998):

  • extending the useful life of aging facilities

  • altering or retrofitting facilities to consolidate space or accommodate new functions and technologies

  • meeting evolving facility-related standards for safety, environmental quality, and accessibility

  • maintaining or disposing of excess facilities created through military base closures and realignments, downsizing, or changing demographics

  • finding innovative ways and technologies to maximize limited resources

In the 1990s Congress and the Executive Branch took a number of initiatives to improve capital asset decision making in the federal government. These include enacting the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 and a series of federal financial accounting standards; developing the Capital Programming Guide (1997); and appointing the President's Commission to Study Capital Budgeting (1997). Senior and mid-level agency officials are now seeking ways to implement these initiatives efficiently and effectively.

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 No. 130
 Posted on 7 June, 2006
 
 
 
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