All indications are that funding for many federal agencies’ programs will decrease in the near term because of current fiscal conditions and the rising national debt. This operating environment provides an impetus to reexamine the practices that have resulted in deteriorating, excess, and under utilized federal facilities and an opportunity to go forward in a more sustainable direction.

Because this report is intended for multiple audiences that have different backgrounds and interests, several key terms used in the report are explained here. If the committee has used a definition from another source, the source is cited (Box 1.1).

BOX 1.1
Terms Used in This Report

Customers as defined in this report are the users of federal facilities, including tenants and visitors.

Excess facilities are those which are no longer needed to support a federal agency’s current or future missions.

Facilities refers to buildings (such as hospitals, barracks, embassies, and offices), other types of structures (such as parking, storage, and industrial), and infrastructure (such as power plants, water and sewer systems, railroads, roads, and bridges).

Federal facilities program managers are federal employees who are directly responsible for federal facilities programs; their responsibilities may include oversight of activities related to facilities design, construction, programming, budgeting, operations, maintenance, and evaluation.

Knowledge-based condition assessments use knowledge (quantifiable information) about a facility’s systems and components to select the appropriate inspection type and schedule throughout its life cycle. Inspections are planned and executed on the basis of knowledge, not merely the calendar (Uzarski et al., 2007).

An outcome is something that follows as a result or consequence (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1976).

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