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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

420.1 – Real Property Asset and Investment Management

Date: March 29, 2017

Office of Primary Responsibility: Office of Administration/Office of Management Services

Instruction: Chapter 420.1 update and revision; also replaces SM 421.1 - Facility Plans and Investments, dated June 24, 2004.

1. Purpose.   This chapter establishes policies and principles governing the management of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) real property and other constructed assets.   This chapter also describes the asset management responsibilities of USGS officials, and the tools and processes currently used for effective planning, managing, and investing in the real property portfolio.

2. Scope.   For purposes of this chapter, assets include land, buildings, and other structures owned or acquired by the USGS; leased space; and space provided by the General Services Administration (GSA), cooperators, and other government agencies.

3. Authority.   The chief authorities governing space and real property management and capital planning and investment are the GSA Federal Management Regulations, Office of Management and Budget (0MB) Circular No. A-11 and Departmental Manual Parts 424, 425, and 426.   The Department of the Interior (DOI) Capital Programming Guide (Version 2.0, dated June 2006) provides detailed guidance governing information technology and construction investments.

4. Policy.  It is USGS policy to manage its real property and other constructed assets in an economic and effective manner and to exercise responsible stewardship of these assets.   Appropriated Facilities Budget Activity funding allocated for the operations and maintenance of owned Science Centers shall only be expended for the stewardship of USGS owned assets,1 as long as there is a USGS deferred maintenance backlog.   It also is USGS policy to use and follow the processes and tools contained in this chapter.   Facilities are crucial to the support of USGS mission operations and it is USGS policy to integrate facility needs and planning into core USGS and science program strategic planning and budgeting.   As operators and/or occupants of GSA­owned and -provided properties, the USGS adheres to a policy of following all GSA Federal Management Regulations concerning real property.

5. Asset Management Principles.    The Federal Real Property Council, which by Executive Order 13327, is charged to lead and facilitate federal asset management planning, has adopted the following principles, which will guide USGS asset management:

A.   Support agency missions and strategic goals.

B.   Use public and commercial benchmarks and best practices.

C.   Employ life-cycle cost-benefit analysis.

D.   Promote full and appropriate utilization.

E.   Dispose of unneeded assets.

F.   Provide appropriate levels of investment.

G.   Accurately inventory and describe all assets.

H.   Employ balanced performance measures.

I.   Advance customer satisfaction.

J.   Provide for safe, secure, and healthy workplaces.

6.  Responsibilities.

A.   The Associate Director for Administration serves as the USGS Senior Asset Management Officer and exercises executive oversight for USGS asset management, including planning, budgeting, and administration for all sources of USGS-occupied space.   For the list of real property responsibilities delegated by the USGS Director concerning quarters, disposals, transfers, conveyances, acquisition, and easements, refer to SM 205.1.

B.   The Chief, Office of Management Services, provides oversight and coordination of the USGS asset management program and has the following asset management responsibilities:

(1)   Represents the USGS on asset management matters before the DOI and other parties.

(2)   Serves as an ex officio member of the USGS Investment Review Board (IRB) and ensures that the IRB receives timely information on USGS asset management plans and priority facility programs and projects.

C.   The Associate Chief, Facilities Management Programs, manages facility budgeting, planning, and oversight related functions and has the following asset management responsibilities:

(1)   Prepares and updates the USGS Asset Management Plan and represents the USGS on asset management matters before the DOI and other parties.

(2)   Promotes efficiencies in USGS space and facility management processes through standardization of operations and maintenance functions and systems, and other appropriate measures.

(3)   Establishes USGS facility performance metrics, collects performance data, and measures progress against established benchmarks.

(4)   Maintains information and a database on USGS real property assets and prepares required reports.

(5)   Issues procedures and instructions on the format, content, and schedules for Site-Specific Asset Business Plans (ABPs).

(6)   Provides Facility Program support and technical assistance on all aspects of asset management, including proposed investments, space acquisition through GSA, direct leasing, construction, quarters, renovation, building operations, maintenance, facility budgeting, utilization, and real property disposal.

D.   Associate Directors and Regional Directors have the following responsibilities:

(1)   Manage real property assets in accordance with the principles listed in section 5 above.

(2)   Acquire and occupy only the minimum number of facilities needed and the least amount of space required to conduct assigned programs, through the use of established tools and processes.

(3)   Continually assess mission program needs against current real property assets to identify and eliminate unneeded assets through established excess processes, and to identify underutilized assets and convert them to beneficial use.

(4)   Operate facilities in an economically and environmentally sound manner, and in accordance with standards of accessibility, safety, security, quality, and environmental and historic preservation.

(5)   Compile and maintain accurate real property asset inventory and performance data in the appropriate database tools listed in this chapter.

(6)   Complete required Site-Specific Asset Business Plans (ABPs).

(7)   Consult with their counterparts (other Associate Directors or Regional Directors) to ensure that effective asset management is accomplished for all facilities investments.

(8)   Ensure that strategic science planning incorporates facilities requirements, including the life cycle (disposal and replacement) of facilities, and includes planning for future investments.

(9)   Associate Directors also provide executive oversight of mission-area facilities capabilities under their purview and work with the Regional Directors to ensure that national science program plans and budgets embrace effective asset management.

Asset Management Tools.

Effective asset management requires oversight that captures the many dimensions of space and facilities, including, but not limited to, source, location, age, quantity, quality, use, cost, funding availability, and life cycle.  Mission responsiveness is a key determinant of these dimensions, just as business practices, duration of need, and prevailing real estate and construction market forces govern the arena in which assets are acquired, operated, and disposed.   The following tools offer USGS officials, and other managers throughout the USGS, the means to be responsible stewards of real property assets, to adhere to asset management principles, and to otherwise ensure that the USGS achieves effective asset management.   Further information on these tools can be found at the Buildings and Facilities Web site.

A.  The USGS Asset Management Plan (AMP) details actions to improve the management of USGS real property assets, and identifies deficiencies, accomplishments, and priorities.   The AMP also provides a roadmap of tasks and milestones required to continue the integration of asset management into management plans, policies, procedures, and everyday practices, thereby institutionalizing necessary improvement processes across all USGS programs.   The AMP serves as a summary ofUSGS efforts to implement the DOI AMP and governing directives and is an important reference point for everyone working on asset management.   It shows where the USGS is and where it is going.

B.   Site-Specific ABPs are important building blocks of the AMP.   Having flexibility for completion at field sites, at centers or campuses, or for entire regions, these plans describe the life-cycle issues and portfolio characteristics for the site.   They present a 5- to 10-year snapshot of associated assets using standard performance metrics and integrate one-time investment plans and recurring-cost estimates for operations, maintenance, and other facility work.

C.   The Business Case Analysis (BCA) process is the standardized approach that the Investment Review Board (IRB) has adopted as the primary mechanism for reviewing investment proposals at the USGS.   All facility actions having an investment cost greater than $2 million require a BCA.   Using the standard electronic BCA template and the Budget Initiative submission form, project originators describe alternatives in narrative form and enter data on up-front and recurring costs for each alternative.   Listed also are associated administrative, financial, legal, contractual, organizational, and scheduling costs; technical risks; and potential impacts from climate change and flood risk per Executive Order 13690.   The template also identifies related mission benefits and other benefits.   The template produces life-cycle cost summaries and other summaries that put alternatives and competing projects on an equal and objective footing for IRB review.   The BCA process dovetails with the DOI Capital Planning and Investment Control Guide process, which governs major information technology and construction projects and serves as the means for vetting projects destined for 0MB review and budgetary approval.

D.   Facilities Budget Activity and Rates Workbook System (FBARWS) process is automated through the Web-based FBARWS tool.   The FBARWS tool captures facilities cost estimates for the current and budget fiscal years for recurring rent, and operations and maintenance costs for all acquisition types and space sources.   The data is used in formulating the USGS fixed costs
(inflation) increase request for recurring rent costs; calculating facilities rates; determining direct and reimbursable funding shares; preparing allocations; estimating program-area facility shortfalls; and calculating other reporting requirements.

E.   Space Management Plan details how the USGS manages its space, the current space inventory and upcoming space actions over the next five years.   The USGS updates its 5-Year Space Management Plan annually as required by DOI.   This plan aligns with 0MB Circular A-11 and the Exhibit 54 submission.

F.  The Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) is a Department-wide enterprise solution designed to integrate budget, core financial activities, acquisition, financial assistance, travel, and property management into one system.   It is the data source for all other systems that reference real-property inventory data, and is the USGS primary system of record for (1) tracking all USGS space and real property assets and (2) reporting the real property inventory for the Federal Real Property Profile, mandated by Executive Order 13327.   FBMS is also used to process and distribute GSA rent and to pay Department of Homeland Security bills.

G. Cost Modeling is used to forecast the financial needs for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the owned facilities and assets in the USGS portfolio. This improves the allocation process for rent and O&M across the USGS, ensuring equitable distribution of available funding. Cost modeling provides better consistency site to site, clearly articulates the O&M funding need, and provides an improved method to generate O&M cost estimates for individual assets. Assets are reviewed and modeled annually to ensure the correct models are being applied.

H. The Facilities Maintenance Management System (FMMS) is used for tracking the operations and maintenance of facilities and their components, scheduling and assigning preventive maintenance work, documenting maintenance deficiencies, tracking maintenance projects, and calculating deferred maintenance backlogs. FMMS includes an automated interface to the FBMS. This interface provides for the synchronization of real property data between the two systems and facilitates management of key asset data, such as the Facility Condition Index used to indicate the state of an asset.

I. The Asset Priority Index (API) is used to identify the criticality of an asset to the USGS mission. When combined with other metrics such as asset condition and asset utilization, the API can support strategic decision making for further investment, consolidation, or disposal.

Asset Management Processes.

The following processes promote efficiency, economy, and effectiveness in space and facility operations.   They have been implemented to standardize procedures, terminology, and metrics.   Together these processes govern virtually all aspects of asset management in a manner that promotes not only local but also regional and USGS-wide improvement.

A.   Investment Review Board.   As prescribed in chapter SM 308.62, the USGS Investment Review Board (IRB) reviews strategic facility plans and evaluates and approves major capital investments.   With membership consisting of executives representing real property, finance, human resources, budget, the mission areas, the regions, and the field, the IRB offers objective analysis anchored in an extensive knowledge of USGS science, administration, budgeting, and planning programs and priorities.   The threshold for review by the IRB is construction projects having an investment cost of $2 million or more; or GSA occupancy agreements, cooperative agreements (that provide space to the USGS), interagency agreements, and commercial leases with an annual investment cost greater than $1 million.  The Department's Capital Planning and Investment Control Guide also tasks the USGS IRBs to review, select, and manage the business cases for construction projects costing between $2 million and $10 million.   That process is governed by Attachment G to the DOI Budget Guidance and supplemental USGS guidance.

B.  Facilities Investment Review Subcommittee.   With diversity and knowledge comparable to that of the IRB, the Facilities Investment Review Subcommittee (FIRS), as prescribed in subchapter SM 308.62.l, reviews and approves investment proposals that fall below the IRB threshold, providing the same objective analysis assuring the integration of science and facility planning.   The FIRS also approves facilities projects to be presented to the IRB on new and ongoing construction and capital investments in order to create and maintain an investment portfolio that best supports the USGS and DOI missions and strategic goals.   The FIRS ensures that facilities investments below the IRB threshold are managed as strategic business resources, supporting efficient and effective program delivery.   Further information and project thresholds subject to FIRS review can be found at the FIRS Web site.

C.   The Facility Condition Assessment Process includes both annual surveys, which local staffs complete, and comprehensive assessments, which architectural and engineering contractors complete on a 5-year cycle.   Focusing primarily on owned real property assets, the process helps managers identify maintenance and capital improvement needs, quantify the amount of deferred maintenance, determine aggregate and project-specific costs, improve real property data stored in FBMS, and establish priorities.   The comprehensive assessments reveal a key performance indicator, the Facility Condition Index, which is the ratio of deferred maintenance costs to current replacement value.   This indicator is a gauge of deferred maintenance backlogs and, for a specific asset, helps determine whether renovation or outright replacement is warranted.   More information can be found at the Conditions Assessment Web site.

D.   Deferred Maintenance Process.   As prescribed in chapter SM 422.1, the USGS uses the Facilities Maintenance Management System (FMMS) to record deferred maintenance on USGS­owned or -maintained assets.   Deferred maintenance is identified through the condition assessment process or by local facilities staff and entered into FMMS as deficiency work orders.   These work orders can be addressed as ongoing operations and maintenance or as deferred maintenance projects that are funded through the USGS 5-year Deferred Maintenance and Capital Improvement (DMCI) Plan.   The DMCI Plan is a prioritized list of USGS projects that is developed and reviewed with input from Regional and USGS executive leadership.   The planning process is governed by Attachment G to the DOI Budget Guidance and supplemental USGS guidance.   The FMMS is used to track the status of DMCI projects, produce the USGS deferred maintenance backlog (a summary of deferred maintenance work orders), and report on deferred maintenance accomplishments.   Additional information can be found at the DMCI Web site.

E.   The USGS Value Analysis/Value Engineering (VA/VE) Program follows Department guidance and is directed at analyzing construction projects, equipment, facilities, services, and supplies to achieve the essential requirements at the lowest life-cycle cost.   All USGS construction-related projects over $1 million are required to have a VA/VE study.   Projects between $500,000 and $1 million are also candidates for a VA/VE study, unless excluded by the USGS Value Engineering Review Board.   The process ensures that the product and/or services that the USGS receives are fully functional for the full life cycle and provide an overall value without any compromise of performance, reliability, quality, or safety.   Additional information on the VA/VE Program can be found at the VA/VE Web site.

F.   National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).   All real property actions shall follow the NEPA process.  NEPA promotes environmental protection and informed decision making based on an understanding of environmental consequences, and encourages the taking of appropriate actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment.   Analysis and disclosure of the effects of a proposed action and its alternatives are the underlying NEPA principles.   The USGS NEPA policy specifies that the responsible official (Senior Advisor for Science Applications) provides policy guidance, direction, and oversight for environmental activities; is responsible for approving USGS reviews of NEPA documents; and has official signatory authority for all USGS comments on NEPA documents prepared by other Federal agencies.   More information is available at the NEPA SharePoint site.

G.   Historic Preservation Process.   All facility projects including renovations and repairs, shall comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).   NHPA requires all Federal agencies to consider whether their projects will potentially affect historic properties that are listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.   USGS project types that are prime candidates for Section 106 review can take many forms, such as scientific research or facility activity causing ground disturbance (including driving through wild and remote terrain), facility envelope renovations such as window replacements, and earth excavations of any type.   For more information, go to the Facilities - Historic Preservation Web site.

H.   Energy and Sustainability.   The USGS Facility Energy Management Program focus is to reduce the USGS environmental footprint by improving the energy performance of the USGS building portfolio through energy- and water-saving projects, operational improvements, increasing the production of renewable energy, and using management tools such as education, training, and awards.   The program goes beyond meeting the goals of Energy Acts and Executive Orders and intends to bring the USGS to the forefront of environmental stewardship.   More information can be found at the Facility Energy Management Program Web site.

I.   USGS Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan.   The USGS follows Executive Order 13693 requirements for incorporating the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings into USGS buildings and in new construction.   The Guiding Principles were established in the 2006 Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding, which was codified by Executive Order 13423.   This memorandum is supported by the USGS Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan, which was approved in March 2009.   Further information on the plan can be found at the Sustainable Buildings Web site.

J.   Facilities Budget Initiative Process.   Each year, the Office of Budget and Performance (OBP) issues guidance for the upcoming budget year.   As part of this launch of the budget formulation process, it solicits the submission of initiatives that request and justify additional appropriated funds for existing and new priority programs and projects.   The Office of Management Services in the USGS Office of Administration requests facility budget initiatives proposals in advance of the release of OBP guidance.   The IRB processes facility budget initiatives along the same lines it employs for proposed facility investments that it reviews for capital planning, investment control, and strategic planning; and recommends those to the Director that it views to be the USGS's highest facility priorities.   Based on Departmental guidance and following the OBP review of proposals, the Director decides which initiatives are to be included in the USGS budget request and establishes a funding level.

K.   Space Approval and Waiver Process (SAAW).   To ensure that all space actions meet DOI space policy on cost, utilization rate, footprint, and cancellation rights, the USGS requires all space actions to be centrally approved.   The USGS has implemented a Space Waiver Process that tracks waiver requests and documents the approval/signature chain.   Waivers that do not meet USGS SAAW guidelines must be approved by the Associate Director for Administration.

1USGS owned assets refers to both owned and “owned like” assets, where USGS has been given the responsibility for the Operations and Maintenance of the asset through a Memorandum of Understanding or other written document.

/s/ Jose R. Aragon                                                                               3/29/2017
__________________________________________                        _________________
Jose R. Aragon                                                                                    Date
Associate Director for Administration                     


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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Issuing Office: Office of Management Services
Last modification: 10-Apr-2017@11:02 (pc)
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