bases and other changes.1 Physical security concerns are prompting the transfer of thousands of federal employees in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area from leased facilities in commercial centers to federally owned land on which several million square feet of new space will be constructed.

The bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 was the catalyst for a $16 billion, 12-year effort to provide greater security for embassy personnel. This effort will be implemented by upgrading existing buildings and constructing approximately 160 new embassies and consulates.2

On the domestic front, socioeconomic trends are affecting how government organizations provide services. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is realigning its health-care system to provide for more outpatient services and fewer long-term hospital stays. The number of hospital beds and amount of hospital space owned by the VA is being reduced, while the number of patients served through outpatient services and centers is being increased.

To respond to global and socioeconomic trends, federal facilities asset management divisions must continually evaluate whether the types, numbers, and locations of their facilities are aligned with their missions, and they must clearly have the capacity to carry out such evaluations. Strategic planning, decision making, and operations, in turn, require the capacity to identify which facilities enable or hinder the achievement of an organization’s missions to formulate and evaluate alternatives for acquiring, renovating, or disposing of facilities and quantify the impacts of the various alternatives; to determine which strategies and mechanisms will be most effective in particular situations; and to effectively communicate that information to others throughout the organization, from senior executives to field office managers. Facilities asset management divisions will require staff with skills related to logistics/supply chain management, physical security, risk identification and management, and selection of the most appropriate project delivery strategies (e.g., design-build, design-bid-build).

CHANGING GOVERNMENT PARADIGMS

Contracting with private sector firms to provide goods and services that were traditionally provided by federal organizations continues to be a significant trend worldwide. A survey of a dozen national governments in the late 1990s indicated that a large majority of the respondents expected that the most successful government structure in 2010 would be one in which the national government focuses

1

Four previous rounds of base closures (1988, 1991, 1993, 1995) resulted in 97 major closures, 55 major realignments, and 235 minor actions (GAO, 2005).

2

There are more than 60,000 U.S. government employees from 35 agencies plus additional thousands of support staff at 260 diplomatic posts worldwide; most of these facilities do not meet new security standards.



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