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Priority to Location of New Offices in Rural Areas

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AUDIT MEMORANDUM No. 22

March 28, 2002

To: Jayne Seidman

From: Walter Stachnik

Re: Priority to Location of New Offices in Rural Areas

In Section 601 of the Rural Development Act (RDA) of 1972 (7 U.S.C. sec. 2204b-1), Congress required agencies to establish and maintain policies and procedures giving first priority to the location of new offices and other facilities in rural areas. Section 647 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-67, enacted November 12, 2001) required the Office of Inspector General in each agency to prepare a report to the Congress describing the agency's compliance with this requirement.

Based on our discussions with Commission staff, it appears that the Commission has not implemented the RDA requirement. 1 Accordingly, we are recommending that the Office of Administrative and Personnel Management develop policies and procedures giving priority to the location of new offices and other facilities in rural areas. A possible location for the policies and procedures is in Commission Regulation SECR 5-8, Space Management Program.

Recommendation A

In consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Administrative and Personnel Management (OAPM) should establish and maintain policies and procedures giving first priority to the location of new offices and other facilities in rural areas, as required by the RDA.

Management response: OAPM concurred with the recommendation (see attached).

cc:

David Becker
George Brown
Keith Kanyan
Jim McConnell
Tom McCool
Darlene Pryor
Mark Radke

1 In a July 2001 report (GAO-01-805), the General Accounting Office found that only 5 of the 13 cabinet departments it contacted had a policy to implement RDA.