Federal Real Property: Agencies Need New Benchmarks to Measure and Shed Underutilized Space

Even before the pandemic shifted the balance between in-office and remote work, federal agencies struggled to identify and let go of unneeded space. Operating unused space has unnecessary financial and environmental costs—one reason federal property management has been on our High Risk List since 2003.

We found that 17 agencies' headquarters buildings were at 25% capacity or less in the first 3 months of 2023. But Office of Management and Budget officials said they haven't developed benchmarks for measuring building use that account for increases in telework.

We recommended that OMB lead the development of these benchmarks.

Example of an Agency Headquarters Building: Department of Labor

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