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Monday, May 08, 2006

Property of the U.S. government

"Agencies face significant changes in the way they manage property, and some have concerns that the limitations of available information technology and the prevalence of old-school thinking could cripple needed advances.

Agencies have until June 30 to submit their initial management assurance statements about internal controls for financial reporting to the Office of Management and Budget. Internal controls are only one facet of property management described in Executive Order No. 13327, issued in February 2004, in OMB Circular A-123 and other federal policies.

The changing needs of government create a challenge for federal property managers, said Joe Kull, director of financial management services in the federal practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Kull said changing work patterns, the rise of telework and the potential for an outbreak of a communicable disease have changed the government's real property needs.

Government also has done a poor job of managing property and maintaining records on it over time, he said. 'Many agencies never had written records.'"

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