Inaccurate Data Hampers DODs Ability to Track Its Leased Facilities

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The inventory system DOD uses to report on its leased assets contains inaccurate and incomplete data, encumbering its ability to fully determine the number, size and costs of its leases for real property, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a recent report.“The total amount is not entirely known, but it’s likely to be substantial,” Brian Lepore, the agency’s director of defense capabilities and management issues, told Federal News Radio.The agency found that about 15 percent of the lease records in the Real Property Assets Database for fiscal 2011 and 10 percent of the records for FY 2013 were inaccurate. In some cases, DOD recorded the rent for a facility as being higher than the total combined cost of rent, utilities and parking.Most of these errors were in the lease records for the Army, which manages about 80 percent of the leased assets records in the database; however, the Army is aware of these issues and is taking steps to correct future data. GAO also found that the database did not include about 5 percent of the Army’s lease records for FY 2011 and FY 2013.“There is some concern about the reliability of the data,” Lepore said.Furthermore, GAO found that the database does not contain a data element for the square footage for leases in which there are multiple tenants occupying space in the same building, as is the case for some Washington Headquarters Service leases.At one facility, two DOD activities shared about 30,000 square feet of leased space, but the database listed each organization as occupying the entire space, doubling the amount of space listed in the records.Lepore said some people may see this as “nitpicky, but it’s really important for effective financial management to have a good handle on what you are paying to run your operation, and in the absence of that, it’s hard to make really good, effective decisions.”To improve the accuracy and completeness of the data in DOD’s Real Property Assets Database (RPAD), GAO recommended that the Army enforce DOD guidance which states that for multiple assets associated with a single lease, the military departments and the Washington Headquarters Service must provide a breakout of the annual rent plus other costs for each asset on the lease, to avoid overstating costs associated with such leases.The congressional watchdog agency also recommended DOD modify its Real Property Information Model to include a data element to capture the square footage for each lease of space in a single building and also make a corresponding change to its guidance to require that the square footage for each individual lease be reported when multiple leases exist for a single building, to avoid overstating the total square footage assigned to each lease in RPAD.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *