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5 Findings and Recommendations The federal government owns and maintains more than 500,000 buildings and other constructed facilities to conduct the business of government and pro- vide services to the public. More than 300 billion taxpayer dollars have been invested in acquiring these facilities, but relatively few resources are invested on an annual basis to ensure the functionality and quality of these facilities through effective management, maintenance, and repair. As a consequence, the GAO and other federal agencies report that the physical condition of the federal facilities portfolio is deteriorating and major repairs are required to bring many buildings up to acceptable safety, health, and performance levels. The GAO also reports that many necessary repairs were not made when they would have been most cost effective and are now part of a backlog of deferred maintenance. The costs of ownership of a facility are equal to the total expenditures an owner makes over the course of a facility's service life, i.e., the costs of plan- ning, design, construction, maintenance, repairs, normal operations, revitaliza- tion, and disposal. With proper management and maintenance, buildings may perform adequately for 40 to 100 years or more and may serve several different functions over that lifetime. Although a building's performance inevitably de- clines because of aging, wear and tear, and functional changes, its service life can be optimized through adequate and timely maintenance and repairs. Failure to provide adequate maintenance and failure to recognize the total costs of own- ership results in a shorter service life, accelerated deterioration, and higher oper- ating costs. The federal government's failure to recognize the total costs of own- ership represents a lack of stewardship of the facilities themselves and of the public's investment in them. 83
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84 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES Properly maintained federal facilities are not a luxury. They are critical to the effective performance of government agencies' missions and the provision of government services. Inadequate maintenance in public buildings can have seri- ous and costly consequences. Damage caused by leaking roofs, burst pipes, and malfunctioning ventilation systems can disrupt work, cause computer and other technological breakdowns, create risks to occupants' health and safety, reduce productivity, and cost millions of dollars in emergency repairs. The deferral of maintenance and repairs because of underfunding is a wide- spread, persistent, and long-standing problem, and pressures to defer maintenance are increasing. In today' s dynamic policy and budget environment, federal facili- ties program managers are being challenged to extend the useful life of aging facilities; to alter or retrofit facilities to consolidate space or accommodate new functions and technologies; to meet evolving standards for safety, environmental quality, and accessibility; to maintain or dispose of underutilized, overutilized, and excess facilities; and to find innovative ways and technologies to maximize limited resources. The specific findings of the committee regarding the state of the federal facilities portfolio and the practice of developing and implementing maintenance and repair budgets have been presented throughout the report and are summa- rized below. FINDINGS Finding 1. Based on the information available to the committee, the physical condition of the federal facilities portfolio continues to deteriorate, and many federal buildings require major repairs to bring them up to acceptable quality, health, and safety standards. The deteriorating condition of federal facilities is due, in part, to the federal government's failure to recognize the total costs of facility ownership. Govern- ment budgeting practices are structured to focus on design and construction costs, which constitute only 5 to 10 percent of the total costs of ownership, rather than on the operations and maintenance of facilities, which account for 60 to 85 per- cent of total life-cycle costs. Thus, the emphasis has been on constructing and acquiring new buildings, rather than on maintaining, reusing, or leasing existing buildings. Finding 2. The underfunding of facilities maintenance and repair programs is a persistent, long-standing problem. Federal operating and oversight agencies re- port that agencies have excess, aging facilities and insufficient funds to maintain, repair, or update them. Information provided to the committee indicated that agencies are receiving less than 2 percent of the aggregate current replacement value of their facilities inventories for maintenance and repair.
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 85 Because of inadequate funding agencies routinely defer maintenance, which can result in an irreversible loss of service life, the loss of functionality, and higher costs over time. Although there is no single, agreed upon guideline to determine the amount of money necessary to maintain public buildings effec- tively, an NRC report, Committing to the Cost of Ownership: Maintenance and Repair of Public Buildings, did recommend that, "An appropriate budget alloca- tion for routine M&R [maintenance and repair] for a substantial inventory of facilities will typically be in the range of 2 to 4 percent of the aggregate current replacement value of those facilities" (NRC, 1990~. This guideline has been widely quoted in the literature on facilities management. Variables that can have a major influence on the appropriate level of maintenance and repair expenditures include building size and complexity, age and condition, mechanical and electri- cal system technologies, telecommunications and security technologies, climate, and criticality of role or function, among others. Based on the information avail- able to the committee, federal agencies receive less than 2 percent of the aggre- gate current replacement value of their facility inventories for routine mainte- nance and repair on an annual basis. Finding 3. Federal government processes and practices are generally not struc- tured to provide for effective accountability for the stewardship (i.e., responsible care) of federal facilities. Because the decision-making responsibility related to federal facilities is del- egated at all levels of government, no single entity can be held accountable for the results. Senior managers and public officials may think that they will not incur serious consequences if they defer the maintenance and repair of facilities for one more year in favor of more urgent operations or programs with greater visibility. Only if a roof falls in or there is a similar catastrophic failure, are agency managers likely to be held accountable for the condition of facilities in any given year. They are, however, held accountable for current operating pro- grams. Consequently, they have few incentives to practice stewardship of the federal facilities portfolio, and they suffer few penalties if they do not. Finding 4. Buildings and facilities are durable assets that contribute to the effec- tive provision of government services and the fulfillment of agency missions. However, the relationship of facilities to agency missions has not been recog- nized adequately in federal strategic planning and budgeting processes. Federal facilities embody significant assets and resources. Federal buildings and structures are acquired to support agencies in achieving their missions, to provide services to the public, and to provide workplaces for the people who conduct the government's business. The condition of federal facilities can affect an agency's ability to fulfill its mission, as well as the health and safety of occupants
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86 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES and building users. Evidence suggests that the physical condition and level of maintenance of buildings can also affect employees' productivity and morale and an agency' s ability to recruit new staff. The only time agency officials and Con- gress discuss how facilities foster the implementation of an agency's mission is when reviewing budget requests for constructing or acquiring new facilities. Once a facility has been built, the relationship is taken for granted. Finding 5. Maintenance and repair expenditures generally have less visible or less measurable benefits than other operating programs. Facilities program man- agers have found it difficult to make compelling arguments to justify these ex- penditures to public officials, senior managers, and budgeting staff. In the federal budget and operations environment, facilities maintenance and repair is often considered a low priority issue because facilities program manag- ers do not have the information they need to present an effective case for funding. In attempting to justify maintenance and repair budget requests, some federal agencies have kept inventories of building deficiencies and calculated the amount of funding it would take to eliminate the backlog of deficiencies, but public officials have not often found these justifications compelling. Studies indicate that public officials do find arguments for the avoidance of future costs by early, preventive, or corrective maintenance more convincing and compelling. However, research to develop cost avoidance information and esti- mates of the costs of deferred maintenance in terms of money and quality of service have only been begun recently, and the results are not generally available. Finding 6. Budgetary pressures on federal agency managers encourage them to divert potential maintenance and repair funds to support current operations, to meet new legislative requirements, or to pay for operating new facilities coming on line. Federal agencies have some flexibility in allocating funding from their op- erations and maintenance accounts to either current operations or the mainte- nance and repair of facilities. There is considerable pressure on agency managers to allocate funding to current operations, for which they can be held accountable, instead of facilities, where accountability is difficult to assign. Other pressures on already limited maintenance and repair budgets arise through new legislative re- quirements to improve health, safety, or welfare that have facilities-related im- pacts. These requirements are usually enacted without the funding necessary to implement them (so-called unfunded mandates). Thus, removing hazardous ma- terials or improving the accessibility of facilities must be funded from already limited agency operations and maintenance accounts. Although exact numbers on the costs of complying with these requirements are not available, anecdotal evidence clearly indicates that they have had an impact on operations and
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 87 maintenance budgets and have resulted in the deferral of other maintenance and repair projects. As new facilities come on line, funds to pay for their operation and mainte- nance must be allocated out of current operations and maintenance accounts. Thus, new facilities also create pressure on managers to divert funds that might otherwise be used to maintain existing buildings. Finding 7. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine how much money the federal government as a whole appropriates and spends for the maintenance and repair of federal facilities because definitions and calculations of facilities-related budget items, methodologies for developing budgets, and accounting and report- ing systems for tracking maintenance and repair expenditures vary. The methodologies used to formulate maintenance and repair budget requests vary from one agency to another. Accounting structures and the definitions of elements in those accounting structures also vary from agency to agency. As a result, direct comparisons of maintenance and repair allocations and expenditures across federal agencies are difficult to make. Because maintenance and repair funds in most agencies are included in the operations account, they are not "earmarked" for specific maintenance and repair activities. Structuring the account this way blurs the line between maintenance and repair work, operations, and alterations and provides federal agencies with considerable flexibility in determining how much funding to allocate to mainte- nance and repair activities and which projects to fund. A detailed cost accounting showing the amount of funding actually appropriated to maintenance and repair activities is not required, and therefore few, if any, agencies complete one. Finding 8. There is evidence that some agencies own and are responsible for more facilities than they need to support their missions or than they can maintain with current or projected budgets. The federal facilities portfolio has grown over time in response to new pro- grams and requirements, defense and foreign policy initiatives, changing demo- graphics, and other factors. Little emphasis has been placed on demolishing obso- lete facilities or divesting the government of no longer needed, but still viable, properties. Consequently, some agencies own buildings and properties that are no longer used or are otherwise underutilized but which they are still responsible for maintaining. The creation of excess federal facilities has accelerated as agencies have realigned their missions in response to changing circumstances. The most dramatic, but not the only, example is the Base Realignment and Closure process, through which one of every five military installations is slated to be closed. Finding 9. Federal facilities program managers are being encouraged to be more businesslike and innovative, but current management, budgeting, and financial
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88 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES processes have disincentives and institutional barriers to cost-effective facilities management and maintenance practices. The federal budget is a unified, cash-based budget that treats outlays for capital and operating activities the same way. This process is inherently biased against capital projects because the budget makes no distinction between outlays for capital assets that produce future benefits and outlays for current operations. Because capital projects tend to require relatively large outlays of money in the short run, they are often foregone to meet short-term budget restraints despite their long-term benefits. The budget process also discourages cost-effective maintenance by dis- allowing, in most circumstances, the carryover of unobligated funds from one fiscal year to the next even if a facilities program manager can demonstrate that carryover funding is the most cost-effective way to fund a capital improvement. Funds that are not expended in the current fiscal year are routinely taken back from the agencies, and the next fiscal year's funding may be reduced on the premise that money not spent is money not needed. Thus, "admitting to savings" is not in a manager' s interest. Because of the absence of rewards for cost-effective, fiscally responsible management, facilities program managers have few incen- tives to act in innovative ways or to take risks that might lead to more cost- effective maintenance and repair programs and strategies. Finding 10. Performance measures to determine the effectiveness of maintenance and repair expenditures have not been developed within the federal government. Thus, it is difficult to identify best practices for facilities maintenance and repair programs across or within federal agencies. Simply knowing how much money and staff time were allocated to mainte- nance and repair programs does not indicate how effectively those resources were used. Because government agencies do not consistently track maintenance and repair expenditures, it is difficult to develop measures to determine how effec- tively funds are being spent either within or across agencies. Thus, facilities pro- gram managers find it difficult to determine how effectively maintenance and repair funds are used and have been unable to develop benchmarks by which to identify "best practices" for facilities management and maintenance and repair across federal agencies. Finding 11. Based on the information available to the committee, federal condi- tion assessment programs are labor intensive, time consuming, and expensive. Agencies have had limited success in making effective use of the data they gather for budget development or for the ongoing management of facilities. Information gathered from condition assessments can be used to (1) estimate maintenance and repair needs; (2) develop cost estimates and funding priorities
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 89 for various projects; and (3) generate and prioritize work orders. Condition as- sessment programs in federal agencies are evolving from simple catalogues of maintenance and repair deficiencies to computerized programs with automated checklists that link condition assessment data to agency mission and improve facility management. Federal condition assessment programs have generally been developed independently to meet the needs of individual agencies within their funding constraints. As a consequence, the level of sophistication varies widely. Agencies with condition assessment programs gather a wide range of data, in- cluding cosmetic problems, structural problems, and mechanical deficiencies. Because of the amount of data being collected and the time and resources re- quired to analyze it, federal agencies have had limited success in using condition- related data to support ongoing facilities management or to develop maintenance and repair budget requests. Finding 12. Organizational downsizing has forced facilities program managers to look increasingly to technology solutions to provide facilities-related data for decision making and for performing condition assessments. Technology related to facilities management and inspections is evolving rap- idly. In recent years, progress has been made in the development of CAFMs (computer aided facility management systems) and CMMS (computerized main- tenance management systems) although few standards have been established. Technologies, such as pen-based data collection devices, bar code scanners, and digital and video cameras for condition assessments which have been deployed also have some drawbacks. Nondestructive evaluation technologies for detecting building deficiencies are being used by a few agencies in limited situations. Finding 13. Existing sensor and microprocessor technologies have the potential to monitor and manage a range of building conditions and environmental param- eters, but, for economic and other reasons, they have not been widely deployed. Today's intelligent buildings integrate sensor and monitoring devices, data transmission via telephone lines, fiber optic cable or satellite uplinks, computers for data management and decision making, and microprocessor control devices for various types of mechanical equipment. Although currently available intelli- gent building technologies have many possible applications for the monitoring and assessment of buildings and building systems, proactive diagnostic systems have not been widely deployed. The primary reason appears to be the lack of well documented economic paybacks to justify the initial costs. Also hampering their deployment is the lack of a standard protocol for communications among the . . various c .evlces. Finding 14. Training for staff is a key component of effective decision making, condition assessments, and the development of maintenance and repair budgets.
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9o STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES Because of reductions in total staffing levels, record numbers of experienced personnel have left the government. The loss of their technical expertise has sig- nificant implications for the maintenance and repair of federal facilities. Auto- mating the condition assessment process will require different skills, particularly computer skills, than are typically found in facilities management organizations. A lack of sensitivity within the budget process to the total costs of facilities own- ership is a key factor in the long-term underfunding of maintenance and repair programs and lack of technical expertise will exacerbate this problem. Finding 15. Only a limited amount of research has been done on the deteriora- tion/failure rates of building components or the nonquantitative implications of building maintenance (or lack thereof). This research is necessary to identify ef- fective facilities management strategies for achieving cost savings, identifying cost avoidances, and providing safe, healthy, productive work environments. Research on facility management related issues has only begun recently. No standard methods have been developed for estimating the future costs of deferred maintenance for a particular facility. Relatively little research has been done on the deterioration rates of building components, which are essential to estimating cost-avoidance strategies. Predictions of deterioration/failure rates would also be useful for estimating future budget needs, determining the optimal repair/replace- ment cycles for particular types of infrastructure, and for analyzing life-cycle building costs. Current assessments of the nonquantitative effects of poorly main- tained buildings, such as reduced mission delivery or the effects on employees' health, safety, and welfare, are based primarily on qualitative, subjective judg- ments rather than on empirical data. Finding 16. Greater accountability for the stewardship of facilities is necessary at all levels of the federal government. Accountability includes being held respon- sible for the condition of facilities and for the allocation, tracking, and effective use of maintenance and repair funds. Those responsible for making decisions on the funding, acquisition, mainte- nance and repair, and disposition of federal facilities and other facilities-related activities, include Congress, oversight agencies, senior executives, program man- agers, field engineers, and others. Because the responsibility for facilities-related decisions is spread throughout the government, no single entity can be held ac- countable for the results. Based on these findings, the committee developed the following recommen- dations aimed at fostering facility stewardship, including effective strategic plan- ning, improved budgetary techniques and processes, wider deployment of tech- nology, and the development of necessary staff skills. The committee recommends that the following actions, which are not in any particular order of priority, be taken.
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 9 RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation 1. The federal government should plan strategically for the maintenance and repair of its facilities in order to optimize available resources, maintain the functionality and quality of federal facilities, and to protect the public's investment. A recommended strategic framework of methods, practices, and strategies for the proactive management and maintenance of the nation's pub- lic assets is summarized in Figure 5-1 (Findings 1 and 2~. Maintenance and repair of federal facilities is a complex issue, and no single action or strategy will resolve all of the associated problems. All levels of the federal government will have to make a commitment to solve these problems over the long term to optimize resources and sustain the public's investment in the facilities portfolio. Recommendation 2. The government should foster accountability for the stew- ardship of federal facilities at all levels. Facilities program managers at the agency level should identify and justify the resources necessary to maintain facilities effectively and should be held accountable for the use of these resources (Find- ings 1, 2, 3 and 16~. Buildings, other constructed facilities, and associated infrastructures repre- sent hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and resources and support the effec- tive provision of government services. Adequately maintained facilities are criti- cal to the achievement of agency missions and to organizational and individual performance. Senior agency managers should strive to create a climate of stew- ardship as their basic business strategy. Recommendation 3. At the executive level, an advisory group of senior level federal managers, other public sector managers, and representatives of the non- profit and private sectors should be established to develop policies and strategies to foster accountability for the stewardship of facilities and to allocate resources strategically for their maintenance and repair (Findings 1, 2, 3 and 16~. Stewardship of the federal facilities portfolio involves exercising responsible care over the facilities investment, including maximizing the use of facilities, optimizing service life and building performance, and sustaining the quality and functionality of facilities through reinvestment. Fostering accountability for the stewardship of federal facilities at the highest levels of government is at least as important as fostering accountability at the agency and field-office level. Senior leadership should provide guidance for responsible, cost effective ways to man- age the federal facilities portfolio and to protect the public' s investment. An ex- ecutive level federal facilities advisory group should be appointed to increase the visibility of the issue of federal facilities maintenance, repair, and stewardship.
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92 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES GOAL Protect and Enhance the Functionality and Quality of the Federal Facilities Portfolio FIGURE 5-1 Strategic framework for the maintenance and repair of federal facilities.
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 93 The advisory group should provide policy direction and set priorities for the man- agement and maintenance of the facilities portfolio. Recommendation 4. Facility investment and management should be directly linked to agency mission. Every agency's strategic plan should include a facili- ties component that links facilities to agency mission and establishes a basis and rationale for maintenance and repair budget requests (Finding 4~. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 requires that federal agencies develop strategic plans. As agencies reevaluate and, in some cases, re- define their missions, the relationship between agency mission and the facilities that support the mission should be made explicit. Beyond simply including facili- ties in the strategic planning process, strategic plans should contain a facilities component that recognizes facilities that are critical to achieving the agency's mission and point up the need for allocating resources to maintain them at an appropriate level of performance. Linking facilities to mission explicitly will enable agencies to link maintenance and repair budget requests and allocations to their long-term strategic planning and to the strategic plans of the government as a whole. Recommendation 5. The government should adopt more standardized budgeting and cost accounting techniques and processes to facilitate tracking of mainte- nance and repair funding requests, allocations, and expenditures and reflect the total costs of facilities ownership. The committee developed an illustrative tem- plate as shown in Figure 5-2 (Findings 3, 5, 6, 7 and 16~. Greater standardization is needed in budgeting, cost accounting, definitions of activities, and calculations of facilities-related terms to foster accountability for the allocation, tracking, and effective use of maintenance and repair funds. The illustrative template developed by the committee is intended to clearly iden- tify the total costs of facilities ownership. This template could serve as the basis for a more detailed standardized chart of accounts. If most or all government agencies adopted this template for formulating budget requests and tracking allo- cations and expenditures, in conjunction with their existing systems, budget ex- penditures could be compared and standardized measures developed. These mea- sures could then be used to develop benchmarks and identify best practices for facilities management and maintenance. Recommendation 6. Government-wide performance measures should be estab- lished to evaluate the effectiveness of facilities maintenance and repair programs and expenditures (Finding 10~. Unlike budgeting procedures and practices, performance measurements are not yet well developed or ingrained in federal agency practices and procedures.
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94 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES A. Routine Maintenance, Repairs, Yes and Replacements · recurring, annual maintenance and repairs including maintenance of structures and utility systems, (including repairs under a given $ limit, e.g., $150,000 to $500,000 exclusive of furniture and office equipment) roofing, chiller/boiler replacement, electrical/lighting, etc. preventive maintenance preservation/cyclical maintenance deferred maintenance backlog service calls B. Facilities-Related Operations · custodial work (i.e., services and cleaning) · utilities (electric, gas, etc./plant operations) · snow removal waste collection and removal pest control security services grounds care parking fire protection services C. Alterations and Capital Improvements No · major alterations to subsystems, (e.g., enclosure, interior, mechanical, electrical expansion) that change the capacity or extend the service life of a facility · minor alterations (individual project limit to be determined by agency $50,000 to $1 million) D. Legislatively Mandated Activities No · improvements for accessibility, hazardous materials removal, etc. E. New Construction and Total Renovation Activities F. Demolition Activities Annual operating budget No Annual operating budget Various funding sources, including no year, project- based allocations such as revolving funds, carryover of unobligated funds, fund- ing resulting from cost savings or cost avoidance strategies Various sources of funding No Project-based allocations separate from operations and maintenance budget. Should include a life-cycle cost analysis prior to funding Various sources of funding FIGURE 5-2 Illustrative template to reflect the total costs of facilities ownership.
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 95 Agencies have an opportunity to develop performance measures that can be used consistently across the government to compare the effectiveness of facilities man- agement and maintenance programs. Uniform measures are particularly impor- tant in organizational structures with decentralized functions, in which individual centers and installations have discretion over how funds are spent. Recommendation 7. Facilities program managers should be empowered to oper- ate in a more businesslike manner by removing institutional barriers and provid- ing incentives for improving cost-effective use of maintenance and repair funds. The carryover of unobligated funds and the establishment of revolving funds for nonrecurring maintenance needs should be allowed if they are justified (Findings 3 Andy. Employees need incentives to work toward improvement or to take risks that could (or could not) result in cost savings. If facilities program managers are to be held accountable for the consequences of their actions, they should be given the appropriate tools, funding, and authority to carry out their responsibilities. Poten- tial rewards for facilities program managers include allowing them to take sav- ings from one area of operations and maintenance and apply it to another; allow- ing them to carry over unobligated funds from one fiscal year to the next for capital improvements, if this can be shown to be cost effective; or establishing awards for facilities maintenance and repair programs with high levels of perfor- mance. Revolving funds offer potential advantages for addressing maintenance and repair needs. To provide for accountability, the actual savings achieved through the implementation of any of these or other strategies should be well documented and should appear in the budget, which should also specify how the savings will be used. Recommendation 8. Long-term requirements for maintenance and repair expen- ditures should be managed by reducing the size of the federal facilities portfolio. New construction should be limited, existing buildings should be adapted to new uses, and the ownership of unneeded buildings should be transferred to other public and private organizations. Facilities that are functionally obsolete, are not needed to support an agency's mission, are not historically significant, and are not suitable for transfer or adaptive reuse should be demolished when it is cost effective to do so (Findings 2, 8 and 16~. As a result of decisions made over many decades, some agencies in the fed- eral government now own more facilities than they need to conduct their busi- ness. Responsible stewardship requires that the size of the facilities portfolio be managed effectively and reduced to a level that supports the long-term mission of the government and its agencies (1) by limiting the construction and acquisition of new facilities; and (2) by reducing the total number of facilities owned and
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96 STEWARDSHIP OF FEDERAL FACILITIES maintained by the federal government. Reducing the total number of facilities will result in substantial savings in operations and maintenance costs over the long term and allow agencies to redirect funds to facilities that directly support their missions. The transfer of title, closing, or demolition of facilities can generate consid- erable controversy at the local level and in Congress. An independent, objective, outside panel may be necessary to weigh the costs and benefits of transferring or closing federal facilities and to build a political consensus for doing so. Recommendation 9. Condition assessment programs should be restructured to focus first on facilities that are critical to an agency's mission; on life, health, and safety issues; and on building systems that are critical to a facility's performance. This will optimize available resources, provide timely and accurate data for for- mulating maintenance and repair budgets, and provide critical information for the ongoing management of facilities (Findings 4 and 11~. To optimize the value of condition assessments, agencies should consider restructuring them. Data gathering should focus on information that is critical to building performance, building users' safety and health, and informed decision making. Condition assessments should concentrate on critical elements that af- fect the ability of an agency to operate effectively rather than simply cataloguing problems that may give relatively equal weight to structural and cosmetic defi- ciencies. Linking condition assessments to mission-critical facilities first and focusing on life, safety, and health standards and critical building system com- ponents should help integrate them into the strategic planning and budgeting processes of federal agencies. Recommendation 10. The government should provide appropriate and continu- ous training for staff that perform condition assessments and develop and review maintenance and repair budgets to foster informed decision making on issues related to the stewardship of federal facilities and the total costs of facilities own- ership (Findings 14 and 16~. A firm grounding in the principles of facilities management and an under- standing of the relationship between adequate and timely maintenance and repair to total costs of facilities ownership are critical for anyone charged with the prepa- ration or review of facilities management budgets. Staff having these responsi- bilities should be trained in the principles of facilities management and related topics and this training should be updated on a continuous basis. The increasing number of intelligent buildings with building automation sys- tems requires facility personnel who are familiar with a broad range of computer applications (e.g., graphics, databases, and spreadsheets) as well as hardware (e.g., personal computers and microprocessors). Personnel involved in automated
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 97 condition assessments should have a similar level of computer skills. As build- ings become more sophisticated, staff will have to maintain and update software systems which will require essentially continuous training for operations and maintenance personnel. Recommendation 11. The government and private industry should work to- gether to develop and integrate technologies for performing automated facility condition assessments and to eliminate barriers to their deployment (Findings 11,12andl3). Automating the condition assessment process has the potential for cost sav- ings, improved building performance, and a means of coping with reduced staff- ing levels. The data necessary to test these assumptions could be obtained either by designing and installing automated condition assessment systems in new fed- eral buildings or by studying and evaluating buildings that already have them in the private sector. The federal government' s responsibility for the long-term stew- ardship of buildings and facilities supports this kind of leadership position in the deployment of new building technologies and the acceptance of higher first costs to reduce life-cycle costs. Recommendation 12. The government should support research on the deteriora- tion/failure rates of building components and the nonquantitative effects of build- ing maintenance (or lack thereof) in order to develop quantitative data that can be used for planning and implementing cost-effective maintenance and repair pro- grams and strategies and for better understanding the programmatic effects of maintenance on mission delivery and building users' health, safety, and produc- tivity (Findings 12 and 151. To improve the management of facilities, to determine how maintenance and repair funds can be optimized, and to present budget requests effectively to senior agency managers and public officials, facilities program managers need access to more information about maintenance and repair cost-avoidance strategies and the deterioration of building components. This information would help them deter- mine when individual components or systems should be repaired or replaced and how maintenance should be timed to optimize service life and minimize business disruptions. Information about cost avoidance is critical for conveying the impor- tance and cost effectiveness of preventive maintenance to elected officials and the public. REFERENCE NRC (National Research Council). 1990. Committing to the Cost of Ownership: Maintenance and Repair of Public Buildings. Building Research Board, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: