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Rule

Pricing Policy for Occupancy in GSA Space

Action

Interim Rule.

Summary

The General Services Administration (GSA) is revising the Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR) by moving coverage of GSA's Rent program into the Federal Management Regulation (FMR). A cross-reference is added to the FPMR to direct readers to the coverage in the FMR. The FMR is written in plain language to provide agencies with updated regulatory material that is easy to read and understand. This interim rule establishes the pricing policy guidance for Occupancy Agreements between GSA and customer agencies. It also governs intra-governmental pricing of space and services.

Unified Agenda

Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR) Case 2003-101-3; Federal Management Regulation (FMR) Case 2004-102-5; Pricing Policy for Occupancy in GSA Space

4 actions from May 8th, 2001

  • May 8th, 2001
  • May 8th, 2001
  • July 9th, 2001
    • Final Rule
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

Tables Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Effective Date: May 8, 2001.

Comment Date: Comments should be submitted on or before July 9, 2001 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Written comments should be submitted to: Mr. Michael Hopkins, Regulatory Secretariat (MVRS), Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services Administration, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405.

E-mail comments submitted over the Internet should be addressed to RIN.3090-AG33@gsa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Mr. Ronald Kendall, Office of Portfolio Management, General Services Administration, at 202-501-0638, or Internet e-mail at ron.kendall@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

A. Background Back to Top

This interim rule changes the methods by which GSA-controlled space is identified and measured, eliminates the specific physical description of the components of standard level alterations, and substitutes budget guidance for alterations, providing customer agencies flexibility in designing space to meet their mission needs.

The recommendations are being implemented to improve GSA's overall management of real property assets and the level of service and choices provided to its customer agencies.

As a result of the principles outlined in this rule:

(1) Federal agencies will have greater choice in using GSA to meet space needs;

(2) GSA will remain available to provide the benefits of centralized services desired by its customers; and

(3) GSA's relationship with its customers will more closely approximate landlord/customer relationships typical in the private sector, providing incentives to economize and speed program delivery.

The FMR, which replaces the FPMR, contains a refined and streamlined set of policies and regulatory requirements related to managing property and administrative services. Non-regulatory materials, such as guidance, procedures, and standards currently found in the FPMR, and new non-regulatory materials may become available in separate documents, such as customer guides.

B. Executive Order 12866 Back to Top

GSA has determined that this interim rule is a significant regulatory action for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act Back to Top

The interim rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act Back to Top

The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because this interim rule does not impose recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, contractors, or members of the public which require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act Back to Top

This interim rule is also exempt from congressional review prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency management and personnel.

F. Administrative Procedures Act Back to Top

GSA finds good cause to make this rule effective upon publication of this document in the Federal Register under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(d). This interim final rule does not impose any additional responsibilities on entities in the private sector. Instead, its purpose is to improve asset management practices that affect only Federal agencies that occupy real property owned or controlled by GSA.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 101-20, 101-21, and 102-85 Back to Top

begin regulatory text

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 41 CFR parts 101-20, 101-21, and 102-85 are amended to read as follows:

CHAPTER 101—[AMENDED] Back to Top

PART 101-20—MANAGEMENT OF BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS Back to Top

1.The authority citation for part 101-20 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390; 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

§ 101-20.102 [Amended]

2.Amend § 101-20.102 by removing and reserving paragraph (e).

3.Part 101-21 is revised to read as follows:

PART 101-21—FEDERAL BUILDINGS FUND Back to Top

Authority:

40 U.S.C. 486(c); 40 U.S.C. 490(j) (The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, Sec. 205(c) and 210(j), 63 Stat. 390 and 86 Stat. 219; (40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 40 U.S.C. 490(j), respectively).

§ 101-21.000 Cross-reference to the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) (41 CFR chapter 102, parts 102-1 through 102-220.)

For information previously contained in this part, see FMR part 85 (41 CFR part 102-85).

CHAPTER 102—[AMENDED] Back to Top

4.Part 102-85 is added to subchapter C to read as follows:

PART 102-85—PRICING POLICY FOR OCCUPANCY IN GSA SPACE Back to Top

Subpart A—Pricing Policy—General Back to Top

Authority:

40 U.S.C. 486(c).

Subpart A—Pricing Policy—General Back to Top

§ 102-85.5 By what authority is the pricing policy in this part prescribed?

(a) General authority is granted in the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, Sec. 205(c) and 210(j), 63 Stat. 390 and 86 Stat.219; (40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 40 U.S.C. 490(j), respectively).

(b) This part implements the applicable provisions of Federal law, including, but not limited to, the:

(1) Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, 63 Stat. 377, as amended;

(2) Act of July 1, 1898 (40 U.S.C. 285);

(3) Act of April 28, 1902 (40 U.S.C. 19);

(4) Act of August 27, 1935 (40 U.S.C. 304c);

(5) Public Buildings Act of 1959, as amended (40 U.S.C. 601-619);

(6) Public Buildings Amendments of 1972, 92, (86 Stat. 219);

(7) Rural Development Act of 1972, 92, (86 Stat. 674);

(8) Reorganization Plan No. 18 of 1950 (40 U.S.C. 490 note);

(9) Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.);

(10) National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);

(11) Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 and the Federal Urban Land Use Act (42 U.S.C. 4201-4244; 40 U.S.C. 531-535);

(12) Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act of 1976, as amended (40 U.S.C. 490(a)(16)-(19), 601a and 612a);

(13) Public Buildings Amendments of 1988, 100, (102 Stat. 4049);

(14) National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended (16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.);

(15) Executive Order 12072 of August 16, 1978 (43 FR 36869);

(16) Executive Order 12411 of March 29, 1983 (48 FR 13391);

(17) Executive Order 12512 of April 29, 1985 (50 FR 18453);

(18) Executive Order 13005 of May 21, 1996 (61 FR 26069); and

(19) Executive Order 13006 of May 21, 1996 (61 FR 26071).

§ 102-85.10 What is the scope of this part?

(a) This part describes GSA policy and principles for the assignment and occupancy of space under its control and the rights and obligations of GSA and the customer agencies that request or occupy such space pursuant to GSA Occupancy Agreements (OA).

(b) Space managed by agencies under delegation of authority from GSA is subject to the provisions of this part.

(c) This part is not applicable to:

(1) Licenses, permits or leases with non-Federal entities under the Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act (40 U.S.C. 490(a)(16-19)); or

(2) The disposal of surplus lease space under section 210(h)(2) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (40 U.S.C. 490(h)(2)).

§ 102-85.15 What are the basic policies for charging Rent for space and services?

(a) GSA will charge for space and services furnished by GSA (unless otherwise exempted by the Administrator of General Services) a Rent charge which will approximate commercial charges for comparable space and services. Rent for all assignments for GSA-controlled space will be priced according to the principles of the pricing policy in this part. These principles are reflected in the following elements of GSA Rent charges:

(1) “Shell” Rent based on approximate commercial charges for comparable space and services for Federally owned space (accomplished using appraisal procedures);

(2) Rent based on actual cost of the lease, including the costs (if any) of services not provided by the lessor, plus a GSA fee;

(3) Amortization of any tenant improvement allowance used;

(4) Any applicable real estate taxes, operating costs, parking, security and joint use fees; and

(5) For certain projects involving new construction or major renovation of Federally-owned buildings, a return on investment pricing approach if an appraisal-determined rental value does not provide a minimum return (OMB discount rate for calculating the present value of yearly costs plus 2%) on the cost of the prospective capital investment. Each specific use of Return on Investment (ROI) pricing must be approved by OMB and duly recorded in an Occupancy Agreement (OA) with the customer agency. Once the ROI methodology is employed to establish Rent for a capital investment, the ROI method must be retained for the duration of the OA term.

(b) Special services not included in the standard levels of service may be provided by GSA on a reimbursable basis. GSA may also furnish alterations on a reimbursable basis in buildings where GSA is responsible for alterations only.

(c) The financial terms and conditions under which GSA assigns, and a customer agency occupies, each block of GSA-controlled space, shall be documented in a written OA.

§ 102-85.20 What does an Occupancy Agreement (OA) do?

An OA defines GSA's relationship with each customer agency and:

(a) Establishes specific financial terms, provisions, rights, and obligations of GSA and its customer for each space assignment;

(b) Minimizes exposure to future unknown costs for both GSA and customer agencies;

(c) Stabilizes Rent payments to the extent reasonable and desired by customers; and

(d) Allows tailoring of space and related services to meet customer agency needs.

§ 102-85.25 What is the basic principle governing OAs?

The basic principle governing OAs is to adopt the private sector practice of capturing in a written document the business terms to which GSA and a customer agency agree concerning individual space assignments.

§ 102-85.30 Are there special rules for certain Federal customers?

Yes, in lieu of OAs, GSA is able to enter into agreements with customer agencies that reflect the parties particular needs. For example, the space and services provided to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are governed by existing memoranda of agreement (MOA). When there are conflicts between the provisions of this part and MOAs, the MOAs prevail.

§ 102-85.35 What definitions apply to this part?

The following definitions apply to this part:

Accept space or acceptance of space means a commitment from an agency to occupy specified GSA-controlled space.

Agency-controlled and/or operated space means:

(1) Space that is owned, leased, or otherwise controlled or operated by Federal agencies under any authority other than the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended; and

(2) it also includes agency-acquired space for which acquisition authority has been delegated or otherwise granted to the agency by GSA. It does not include space covered by an OA.

Assign or assignment is defined in the definition for space assignment.

Building shell means the complete enveloping structure, the base-building systems, and the finished common areas(building common and floor common) of a building that bound the tenant areas.

Customer agency means any department, agency, or independent establishment in the Federal Government, including any wholly-owned corporation; any executive agency or any establishment in the legislative or judicial branch of the Government (except the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Architect of the Capitol, and any activities under his direction).

Emergency relocation is a customer move that results from an extraordinary event such as a fire, natural disaster, or immediate threat to the health and safety of occupants that renders a current space assignment unusable and requires that it be vacated, permanently or temporarily.

Federal Buildings Fund means the fund into which Rent charges and other revenues are deposited, and collections cited in section 210(j) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (U.S.C. 490(j)), and from which monies are available for expenditures for real property management and related activities in such amounts as are specified in annual appropriations acts without regard to fiscal year limitations.

Federally controlled space means workspace for which the United States Government has a right of occupancy by ownership, by lease, or by any other means, such as by contract, barter, license, easement, permit, requisition, or condemnation. Such workspace excludes space owned or leased by private sector entities performing work on Government contracts.

Federally owned space means space, the title to which is vested in the United States Government or which will vest automatically according to an existing agreement.

Forced move means the involuntary physical relocation, from one space assignment to another, of a customer agency housed in GSA-controlled space initiated by another customer agency or by GSA, before the expiration of a lease or an OA term. (See also the definition of GSA-initiated move.)

General use space means all types of space other than “warehouse,” “parking,” or “unique” space, as defined elsewhere in this part. Examples of general use space are:

(1) Office and office-related space such as file areas, libraries, meeting rooms, computer rooms, mail rooms, training and conference, automated data processing operations, courtrooms, and judicial chambers; and

(2) Storage space that contains different quality and finishes from general use space, but that is within a building where predominantly general use space is located.

GSA-controlled space means Federally controlled space under the custody or control of GSA. It includes space for which GSA has delegated operational, maintenance, or protection authority to the customer agency.

GSA-delegated space (or GSA delegated building) means GSA-controlled space for which GSA has delegated operational, maintenance or protection authority to the customer agency.

GSA-initiated move means any relocation action in GSA-controlled space that:

(1) Is involuntary to the customer agency and required to be effective prior to the expiration of an effective OA, or in the case of leased space, prior to the expiration of the lease; or

(2) Is an emergency relocation initiated by GSA.

Initial space alteration (ISA). See definition of “tenant improvement.”

Initial space layout means the specific placement of workstations, furniture and equipment within new space assignments.

Inventory means a summary or itemized list of the real property, and associated descriptive information, that is under the control of a Federal agency.

Joint-use space means common space within a Federally controlled facility, not specifically assigned to any one agency, and available for use by multiple agencies, such as cafeterias, auditoriums, conference rooms, credit unions, visitor parking spaces, snack bars, certain wellness/physical fitness facilities, and child care centers.

Leased space means space for which the United States Government has a right of use and occupancy by virtue of having acquired a leasehold interest.

Non-cancelable space means space that, due to its layout, design, location, or other characteristics, is unlikely to be needed by another GSA customer agency. Typical conditions that might cause space to be defined as non-cancelable are:

(1) Special space construction features;

(2) Lack of any realistic Federal need for the space other than by the requesting agency; and

(3) Remote location or unusual term (short or long) desired by the agency.

Occupancy Agreement (OA) means a written agreement descriptive of the financial terms and conditions under which GSA assigns, and a customer agency occupies, the GSA-controlled space identified therein.

Parking or parking space means surface land, structures, or areas within structures designed and designated for the purpose of parking vehicles.

Personnel means the peak number of persons to be housed during a single shift, regardless of how many workstations are provided for them. In addition to permanent employees of the agency, personnel includes temporaries, part-time, seasonal, and contractual employees, budgeted vacancies, and employees of other agencies and organizations who are housed in a space assignment.

Portfolio leases mean long term or “master” leases, usually negotiated to house several agencies whose individual term requirements differ from the terms of the underlying GSA lease with the lessor, and from each other. These may also be leases housing single agencies, but which entail for GSA responsibilities (burdens and benefits) which mimic an ownership position, or equity rights, even though no equity interest or ownership liability exists. An example of the latter would be long term renewal options on a lease which, in order to enjoy, involve substantial capital outlays by GSA to improve the building infrastructure. In both these cases, GSA is assuming risks or capital expenditures outside of the conventions of single transactions or occupancies. Accordingly, for a portfolio lease, it is not appropriate merely to pass through to the customer agency(ies) the rental rate of the underlying GSA lease. Portfolio leases are treated for pricing purposes as owned space, with Rent set by appraisal.

Predominant use means the use to which the greatest portion of a location is put. Predominant use is determined by the Public Buildings Service (PBS), GSA, and will typically result in the designation of a location as one of four types of space—General Use, Warehouse, Unique, or Parking—even though some smaller portions of the space may be used for one or more of the other types of uses.

Rent means the amounts charged by GSA for space and related services to the customer agencies with tenancy in GSA-controlled space. The word “Rent” is capitalized to differentiate it from the contract “rent” that GSA pays lessors.

Rentable square footage means the amount of space as defined in “Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z65.1-1996.” The BOMA/ANSI standard also defines “gross,” “office area,” “floor common,” and “building common” areas. Any references to these terms in this part refer to the BOMA/ANSI standard definitions. This standard has been adopted in accordance with GSA's interest in conforming its practices to nationally recognized industry standards to the extent possible.

Note to the Definition of Rentable Square Footage:

Rentable square footage generally includes square footage of areas occupied by customers plus a prorated share of floor common areas such as elevator lobbies, building corridors, public restrooms, utility closets, and machine rooms. Rentable square footage also includes a prorated share of building common areas located throughout the building. Examples of building common space include ground floor entrance lobby, enclosed atrium, loading dock, and mail room.

Request for space or space request means a written or electronically submitted document or an oral request, within which an agency's space needs are summarized. A request for space is requisite for development of an OA. Thus, it must be submitted to GSA by a duly authorized official of the customer agency, and it must be accompanied by documentation of the customer agency's ability to fund payment of required Rent charges.

Return on Investment (ROI) pricing is one possible methodology used to establish a Rent rate for certain owned space. Typically, ROI pricing is a Rent rate that ensures GSA a reasonable return on its cost to acquire and improve the asset. ROI pricing may be used where no other comparable commercial space is available or no other appraisal method would be appropriate. It may also be used in cases in which an appraisal-based rental rate will not meet GSA's minimum return requirements for the planned level of investment.

Security fees mean Rent charges for building services provided by GSA's Federal Protective Service. Security fees are comprised of basic and building specific charges.

(a) A basic security fee is assessed in all PBS-controlled properties where the Federal Protective Service (FPS) provides security services. The rate is set annually on a per-square-foot basis. The charge includes the following services:

(1) General law enforcement on PBS-controlled property;

(2) Physical security assessments;

(3) Crime prevention and awareness training;

(4) Advice and assistance to building security committees;

(5) Intelligence sharing program;

(6) Criminal investigation;

(7) Assistance and coordination in Occupancy Emergency Plan development;

(8) Coordination of mobilization and response to terrorist threat or civil disturbance;

(9) Program administration for security guard contracts; and

(10) Megacenter operations for monitoring building perimeter alarms and dispatching appropriate law enforcement response.

(b) The building specific security charge is comprised of two elements: Operating expenses and amortized capital costs. Building specific charges, whether operating expenses or capital costs, are distributed overall federal users by building or facility in direct proportion to each customer agency's percentage of federal occupancy. As with joint use charges, the distribution of building-specific charges among customer agencies is not re-adjusted for vacancy.

Space means a defined area within a building and/or parcel of land. (Personal property and furniture are not included.)

Space allocation standard (SAS) means a standard agreed upon by GSA and a customer agency, written in terms that permit nationwide or regional application, that is used as a basis for establishing that agency's space requirements. An SAS may describe special GSA and customer agency funding responsibilities, although such responsibilities will be covered in OAs for space assignments. An SAS may also be developed between GSA and customer agencies on a regional level to standardize or simplify transactions, provided that the terms of a regional SAS are consistent with the terms of that agency's national SAS and the terms of this part.

Space assignment or assignments means a transaction between GSA and a customer agency that results in a customer agency's right to occupy certain GSA-controlled space, usually in return for customer agency payment(s) to GSA for use of the space. Space assignment rights, obligations, and responsibilities not covered in this part, or in the customer guides, are formalized in an OA.

Space planning means the process of using recognized professional techniques of planning, layout and interior design to determine the best internal location and the most efficient configuration for satisfying agency space needs.

Space program of requirements means a summary statement of an agency's space needs. These requirements will generally include information about location, square footage, construction requirements, and duration of the agency's space need. They may be identified in any format mutually agreeable to GSA and the agency.

Special space means space which has unusual architectural/construction features, requires the installation of special equipment, or requires disproportionately high or low costs to construct, maintain and/or operate as compared to office or storage space. Special space generally refers to space which has construction features, finishes, services, utilities, or other additional costs beyond those specified in the customer general allowance (e.g., courtrooms, laboratories).

Standard level of service. See § 102-85.165 for the definition of standard level of service.

Telecommunications means electronic processing of information, either voice or data or both, over a wide variety of media, (e.g., copper wire, microwave, fiber optics, radio frequencies), between individuals or offices within a building (e.g., local area networks), between buildings, and between cities.

Tenant improvement (TI) means a finished component of an interior block of space. Tenant improvements represent additions to or alterations of the building shell that adapt the workspace to the specific uses of the customer. If made at initial occupancy, the TIs are known as initial space alterations or ISAs.

Tenant improvement (TI) allowance means the dollar amount, including design, labor, materials, contractor costs (if contractors are used), management, and inspection, that GSA will spend to construct, alter, and finish space for customer occupancy (excluding personal property and furniture, which are customer agency responsibilities) at initial occupancy. The dollar amounts for the allowances are different for each agency and bureau to accommodate agencies’ different mission needs. The dollar amounts also may vary by locations reflecting different costs in different markets. The PBS bill will only reflect the actual amount the customers spend, not the allowance. The amount of the TI allowance is determined by GSA. Agencies can request that GSA revise the TI allowance amount by project or categorically for an entire bureau. The cost of replacement of tenant improvements is borne by the customer agency.

Unique space means space for which there is no commercial market comparable (e.g., border stations).

Warehouse or warehouse space means space contained in a structure primarily intended for the housing of files, records, equipment, or other personal property, and is not primarily intended for housing personnel and office operations. Warehouse space generally is designed and constructed to lower specifications than office buildings, with features such as exposed ceilings, unfinished perimeter and few dividing partitions. Warehouse space also is usually heated to a lesser degree but not air-conditioned, and is cleaned to lesser standards than office space.

Workspace means Federally controlled space in buildings and structures (permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary) that provides an acceptable environment for the performance of agency mission requirements by employees or by other persons occupying it.

§ 102-85.40 What are the major components of the pricing policy?

The major components of the pricing policy are:

(a) An OA between a customer agency and GSA;

(b) Tenant improvement allowance; and

(c) The establishment of Rent the agency pays to GSA based on the OA for:

(1) Leased space, a pass-through to the customer agency of the underlying GSA lease contract costs, and a PBS fee; or

(2) GSA-owned space, Rent determined by appraisal.

Subpart B—Occupancy Agreement Back to Top

§ 102-85.45 When is an Occupancy Agreement required?

An Occupancy Agreement (OA) is required for each customer agency's space assignment. The OA must be agreed to by GSA and the customer agency prior to GSA's commitment of funds for occupancy and formal assignment of space.

§ 102-85.50 When does availability of funding have to be certified?

The customer agency must sign an OA prior to GSA's making any major contractual commitments associated with the space request. Typically, this should occur at the earliest possible opportunity-i.e., when funds become available. However, in no event shall certification occur later than just prior to the award of the contract to a design architect in the case of Federal construction or renovation in Federally owned space or prior to the award of a lease. This serves as a customer agency's funding commitment unless certification is provided on another document.

§ 102-85.55 What are the terms and conditions included in an OA?

The terms and conditions are modeled after commercial practice. They are intended to reflect a full mutual understanding of the financial terms and agreement of the parties. The OA describes the actual space and services to be provided and all associated actual costs to the customer during the term of occupancy. The OA does not include any general provisions or terms contained in this part. OAs typically describe the following, depending on whether the space is leased or Federally owned:

(a) Assigned square footage;

(b) Shell Rent and term of occupancy;

(c) Amortized amount of customer allowance used;

(d) Operating costs and escalations;

(e) One time charges; e.g., lump sum payments by the customer;

(f) Real estate tax and escalations;

(g) Parking and escalations;

(h) Additional/reduced services;

(i) Security services and associated Rent;

(j) Joint use space and associated Rent;

(k) PBS fee;

(l) Customer rights and provisions for occupancy after OA expiration;

(m) Cancellation provisions if different from this part or the customer service guides;

(n) Any special circumstances associated with the occupancy, such as environmental responsibilities, unusual use restrictions, or agreements with local authorities;

(o) Emergency relocations;

(p) Clauses specific to the agreement;

(q) Other Rent, e.g., charges for antenna sites, land;

(r) Agency standard clauses; and

(s) General clauses defining the obligations of both parties.

§ 102-85.60 Who can execute an OA?

Authorized GSA and customer agency officials who can commit or obligate the funds of their respective agencies can execute an OA. Higher level signatories may be appropriate from both agencies for space assignments in owned or leased space, that are unusual in size, location, duration, public interest, or other factors. Each agency decides its appropriate signatory level.

§ 102-85.65 How does an OA obligate the customer agency?

An OA obligates the executing customer agency to fund the current-year Rent obligation owed GSA, as well as to reimburse GSA for any other bona fide obligations that GSA may have incurred on behalf of the customer agency. Although the OA is an interagency agreement, memorializing the understanding of GSA and its customer agency, the OA may not be construed as obligating future year customer agency funds until they are legally available. A multi-year OA commitment assumes the customer agency will seek the necessary funding through budget and appropriations processes.

§ 102-85.70 Are the standard OA terms appropriate for non-cancelable space?

Yes, most of the standard terms apply; however, the right to cancel upon a 4-month (120 day) notice is not available. See § 102-85.35 for the definition of non-cancelable space.

§ 102-85.75 When can space assignments be terminated?

(a) Customer agencies can terminate any space assignments, except those designated as non-cancelable, with the following stipulations:

(1) The agency must give GSA written notice at least four months prior to termination.

(2) The agency is responsible for reimbursing GSA for the unpaid balance of the cost of tenant improvements, generally prior to GSA releasing the agency from the space assignment. In the event the customer agency received a rent concession (e.g., free rent) at the inception of the assignment as part of the consideration for the entire lease term, then the amount of the concession applicable to the remaining term must be repaid to GSA.

(3) If the space to be vacated is ready for occupancy by another customer and marketable, GSA accepts the termination of assignment.

(4) If the agency has vacated all of the space and removed all personal property and equipment from the space by the cancellation date in the written notice, the agency will be released effective that date from further Rent payments.

(5) An agency may terminate a GSA space assignment with less than a four-month advance written notice to GSA, if:

(i) Either GSA or the terminating agency has identified another agency customer for the assigned space and that substitute agency wants and is able to fully assume the Rent payments due from the terminating agency; and

(ii) The terminating agency continues to pay Rent until the new agency starts paying Rent.

(b) GSA can terminate space assignments according to GSA regulations for emergency or forced moves.

(c) OAs terminate automatically at expiration.

§ 102-85.80 Who is financially responsible for expenses resulting from tenant non-performance?

The customer agencies are financially responsible for expenses incurred by the Government as a result of any failure on their part to fulfill a commitment outlined in an OA or other written agreements in advance of, or in addition to, the OA. Customer agencies are also financially responsible for revised design costs and any additional costs resulting from changes to space requirements or space layouts made by the agency after a lease, alteration, design, or construction contract has been awarded by GSA.

§ 102-85.85 What if a customer agency participates in a consolidation?

If an agency agrees to participate in a consolidation upon expiration of an OA, the relocation expenses will be addressed in the new OA negotiated by GSA and the customer agency. The customer agency generally pays such costs.

Subpart C—Tenant Improvement Allowance Back to Top

§ 102-85.90 What is a tenant improvement allowance?

A tenant improvement (TI) allowance enables the customer agency to design, configure and build out space to support its program operations. It is based on local market construction costs and the specific bureau's historical use of space. (See also the definition at § 102-85.35.)

§ 102-85.95 Who pays for the TI allowance?

The customer agency pays for the amount of the tenant improvement allowance actually used.

§ 102-85.100 How does a customer agency pay for tenant improvements?

To pay for the installation of tenant improvements, the customer agency may spend an amount not to exceed the tenant allowance. The amount spent by the customer agency for TIs is amortized over a period of time specified in the OA, not to exceed the useful life of the improvements. This amortization payment is in addition to the shell rent and services.

§ 102-85.105 How does an agency pay for customer alterations that exceed the TI allowance?

Amounts exceeding the TI allowance are paid in a one-time lump sum and are not amortized over the term of the occupancy. The agency certifies lump sum funds are available prior to GSA proceeding with the work.

§ 102-85.110 Can the allowance amount be changed?

The GSA schedule of allowances for new assignments is adjusted annually for design and construction cost changes. As the need arises, GSA may adjust an agency or bureau's TI allowance. GSA may also adjust a TI allowance for a specific project, if conditions warrant. This decision is solely GSA's. In addition, the customer agency may waive any part or all of its customization allowance in the case of a new space assignment. In the case of backfill space (also known as relet space), the customer agency can also waive any part or all of the tenant general allowance, if the customer agency will use the existing tenant improvements, with or without modifications.

Subpart D—Rent Charges Back to Top

§ 102-85.115 How is the Rent determined?

Unless an exemption is granted under the authority of the Administrator of General Services, the Rent charged approximates commercial charges for comparable space and space-related services as follows:

(a) Generally, Rent for Federally owned space provided by GSA is based on market appraisals of fully serviced rental values for the predominant use to which space in a building is put; e.g., general use, warehouse use, and parking use. In cases where market appraisals are not practical; e.g., in cases involving unique space or when market comparables are not available, GSA may establish Rent on the basis of alternate commercial practices. See the discussion of alternate valuation methods in § 102-85.125. Amortization of tenant improvements, parking fees, and security charges are calculated separately and added to the appraised shell Rent to establish the Rent charge. Customer agencies also pay for a pro rata share of joint use space.

(b) Generally, Rent for space leased by GSA is based on the actual cost of the lease, including the costs (if any) of services not provided by the lessor, plus a GSA fee, and security charges and parking (if not in the lease).

(1) The Rent is based on the terms and conditions of the OA, starting with the shell Rent.

(2) In addition to the shell Rent, the Rent includes amortization of TI allowances used, real estate taxes, operating costs, extra services, parking, GSA fee for its services, and charges for security, joint-use, and other applicable rental charges (e.g., antenna site, land, wareyard).

§ 102-85.120 What is shell Rent?

Shell Rent is that portion of GSA Rent charged for the building envelope and land. (See § 102-85.35 for the definition of building shell.)

§ 102-85.125 What alternate methods may be used to establish Rent in Federally-owned space?

Alternate methods of establishing Rent are based on private sector models. They include, but are not limited to:

(a) Return on investment (ROI) approach or a similar cost recovery method used when market comparables are not available and/or GSA must “build to suit” to fulfill customer agency requirements; e.g., border stations; and

(b) Rent schedules for the right to use rooftops and other floor areas not suitable for workspace; e.g., antenna sites and signage.

§ 102-85.130 How are exemptions from Rent granted?

Exemptions from Rent are rare. However, the Administrator of General Services may exempt any GSA customer from Rent after a determination that application of Rent would not be feasible or practical. Customer agency requests for exemptions must be addressed to the Administrator of General Services and submitted in accordance with GSA Order PBS 4210.1, “Rent Exemption Procedures,” dated December 20, 1991, or in accordance with any superseding GSA order. A copy of the order may be obtained from the Office of Portfolio Management, General Services Administration, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405.

§ 102-85.135 What if space and services are provided by other executive agencies?

Any executive agency other than GSA providing space and services is authorized to charge the occupant for the space and services at rates approved by the Administrator of General Services and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. If space and services are of the type provided by the Administrator of General Services, the executive agency providing the space and services must credit the monies derived from any fees or charges to the appropriation or fund initially charged for providing the space or services, as prescribed by Subsection 210(k) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (40 U.S.C. 490(k)).

§ 102-85.140 How are changes in Rent reflected in OAs?

(a) If Rent changes in ways that are identified in the OA, then no change to the OA is required. Typically, OAs state that certain components of Rent are subject to annual escalation; e.g., operating expenses, real estate taxes, parking charges, the basic security charge, and building-specific security operating and amortized capital expenses which do not entail a change in service level. Also, in Federally-owned space, OAs state that the shell rent is re-marked to market every five years. In leased space, the OA will identify any programmed changes in the lease contract rent (such as pre-set increases or steps in the contract rent rate) that will translate into a change in the customer agency's Rent. Changes in Rent specified in OAs will serve as notice to agencies of future Rent changes for budgeting purposes. For a discussion of budgeting for Rent, see § 102-85.160.

(b) Changes to Rent other than those identified in paragraph (a) of this section typically require an amended OA. There are many events that might occasion a change in Rent, and an amended OA, such as:

(1) An agency expands or contracts at an existing location;

(2) PBS agrees to fund additional tenant improvements that are then amortized over the remaining OA term, or over an extended OA term;

(3) Upon physical re-measurement, the true square footage of the space assignment is found to be different from the square footage of record;

(4) The amount of joint use space in the building changes;

(5) The level of building-specific security services changes; or

(6) PBS undertakes new capital expenditures for new or enhanced security countermeasures.

§ 102-85.145 When are customer agencies responsible for Rent charges?

(a) When a customer agency occupies cancelable space, it is responsible for Rent charges until:

(1) The date of release specified in the OA, or until the date space is actually vacated, whichever occurs later; or

(2) Four months after having provided GSA written notice of release; or

(3) The date space is actually vacated, whenever occupancy extends beyond the date agreed upon under either paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section.

(b) When a customer agency releases non-cancelable space, it is responsible for all attributable Rent and other space charges until the OA expires. This responsibility is mitigated to the extent that GSA is able to assign the space to another user or dispose of it. (See § 102-85.65How does an OA obligate the customer agency?)

(c) When a customer agency commits to occupy space in an OA or other binding document, but never occupies that space, that agency is responsible for:

(1) Non-cancelable space: Rent payments due for the space until the OA expires, unless GSA can mitigate; or

(2) All other space: Either GSA's space charges for 4 months plus the cost of tenant improvements or GSA's actual costs, whichever is less.

§ 102-85.150 How will Rent charges be reflected on the customer agency's Rent bill?

Rent charges are billed monthly, in arrears, based on an annual rate which is divided by 12. Billing commences the first month in which the agency occupies the space for more than half of the month, and ends in the last month the agency occupies the space.

§ 102-85.155 What does a customer agency do if it does not agree with a Rent bill?

(a) If a customer agency does not agree with the way GSA has determined its Rent obligation (e.g., the agency does not agree with GSA's space classification, appraised Rent, or the allocation of space), the agency may appeal its Rent bill to GSA.

(b) GSA will not increase or otherwise change Rent for any assignment, except as agreed in an OA, in the case of errors, or when the OA is amended. However, customer agencies may at any time request a regional review of the measurement, classification, service levels provided, or charges assessed that pertain to the space assignment without resorting to formal procedures. Such requests do not constitute appeals and should be directed to the appropriate GSA Regional Administrator.

(c) If a customer agency still wants to pursue a formal appeal of Rent charges, they may do so, but with the following limitations:

(1) Terms, including rates, to which the parties agree in an OA are not appealable;

(2) In leased space, the contract rent passed through from the underlying lease cannot be appealed;

(3) In GSA-owned space, when the fully-serviced shell Rent is established through appraisal, the appraised rate must exceed comparable commercial square foot rates by 20 percent. When shell Rent in owned space is established on the basis of ROI at the inception of an OA, and the customer agency executes the OA, then the ROI rate cannot later be appealed. Other components of Rent that are established on the basis of actual cost—eg., amortization of TIs and building specific security charges—also cannot be appealed.

(4) Additionally, the customer agency is required to compare its assigned space with other space in the surrounding community that:

(i) Is available in similar size block of space in a comparable location;

(ii) Is comparable in quality to the space provided by GSA;

(iii) Provides similar service levels as part of the charges;

(iv) Contains similar contractual terms, conditions, and escalations clauses; and

(v) Represents a lease transaction completed at a similar point in time.

(5) Data from at least three comparable locations will be necessary to demonstrate a market trend sufficient to warrant revising an appraised Rent charge.

(d) A customer agency filing an appeal for a particular location or building must develop documentation supporting the appeal and file the appeal with the appropriate Regional Administrator. The GSA regional office will verify all pertinent information and documentation supporting the appeal. The GSA Regional Administrator will accept or deny the appeal and will notify the appealing agency of his or her ruling.

(e) A further appeal may be filed by the customer agency's headquarters level officials with the Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, if equitable resolution has not been obtained from the initial appeal. A head of a customer agency may further appeal to the Administrator of the General Services. Documentation of the procedures followed for prior resolution must accompany an appeal to the Administrator. Decisions made by the Administrator are final.

(f) Adjustments of Rent resulting from reviews and appeals will be effective in the month that the agency submitted a properly documented appeal. Adjustments in Rent made under this section remain in effect for the remainder of the 5-year period in which the charges cited in the OA were applicable.

§ 102-85.160 How does a customer agency know how much to budget for Rent?

GSA normally provides customer agencies an estimate of Rent increases approximately 2 months prior to the agencies' Office of Management and Budget (OMB) submission for the fiscal year in which GSA will charge Rent. This gives the affected customer agencies an opportunity to budget for an increase or decrease. However, GSA must obtain the concurrence of OMB for such changes prior to notifying customer agencies. In the event GSA is unable to provide timely notice of a future Rent increase, customer agencies are nonetheless obligated to pay the increased Rent amount. For existing assignments in owned buildings, GSA charges for fully serviced shell Rent, in aggregate, shall not exceed the bureau level budget estimates provided to the customer agencies annually. This provision does not apply to:

(a) New assignments;

(b) Changes in current assignments;

(c) Leased space;

(d) New tenant improvement amortization;

(e) Building specific security costs; and

(f) New amortization of capital expenditures under ROI pricing due to changes in scope of proposed projects or repair and/or replacement of building components

Subpart E—Standard Levels of Service Back to Top

§ 102-85.165 What are standard levels of service?

(a) The standard levels of service covered by GSA Rent are comparable to those furnished in commercial practice. They are based on the effort required to service the customer agency's space for a 5-day week (Monday to Friday), one-shift regular work schedule. GSA will provide adequate building startup services, before the beginning of the customer's regular one-shift work schedule, and shutdown services after the end of this schedule.

(b) Without additional charge, GSA customers may use their assigned space and supporting automatic elevator systems, lights and small office and business machines including personal computers on an incidental basis, unless specified otherwise in the OA.

§ 102-85.170 Can flexitime and other alternative work schedules cost the customer agency more?

Yes, GSA customers who extend their regular work schedule by a system of flexible hours shall reimburse GSA for its approximate cost of the additional services required.

§ 102-85.175 Are the standard level services for cleaning, mechanical operation, and maintenance identified in an OA?

Unless specified otherwise in the OA, standard level services for cleaning, mechanical operation, and maintenance shall be provided in accordance with the GSA standard level of services as defined in § 102-85.165, and in the PBS Customer Guide to Real Property. A copy of the guide may be obtained from the General Services Administration, Office of Business Performance (PX), 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405.

§ 102-85.180 Can there be other standard services?

GSA may provide additional services to its customers at the levels and times deemed by the Administrator of General Services to be necessary for efficient operations and proper servicing of space under the assignment responsibility of GSA.

§ 102-85.185 Can space be exempted from the standard levels of service

Yes, customer agencies may be excused from paying for standard service levels for space assignments when:

(a) In GSA-delegated space, the customer agency provides for these services itself and thus pays Rent minus charges for these services; or

(b) In rare instances, standard service levels may be waived by the Administrator of General Services in instances where charging for such standard services would not be feasible or practical, e.g., in assignments of limited square footage or functional use.

§ 102-85.190 Can GSA Rent be adjusted when standard levels of service are performed by other customer agencies?

Customer agencies that arrange and pay separately for the costs of standard level services normally covered by GSA Rent will receive a Rent credit or other type of reimbursement by GSA for the amount GSA would have charged for such services. The type of reimbursement is at GSA's discretion. The reimbursement is limited to the amount included for the services in GSA Rent. Approval to perform or contract for such services must be obtained in advance by the customer agency from the appropriate GSA regional office.

Subpart F—Special Services Back to Top

§ 102-85.195 Does GSA provide special services?

Yes, GSA provides special services on a cost-reimbursable basis:

(a) In GSA-controlled space, GSA may provide for special services that cannot be separated from the building or space costs (inseparable services, such as utilities, which are not individually metered). GSA's estimate of the special service cost is the basis for the bill amount. The bill amount for separable special services is either based on a previously agreed upon fixed price or the actual cost, including a fee for GSA's services.

(b) GSA can also provide special services to other Federal agencies in agency-controlled and operated space on a cost-reimbursable basis.

Subpart G—Continued Occupancy, Relocation and Forced Moves Back to Top

§ 102-85.200 Can customer agencies continue occupancy of space or must they relocate at the end of an OA?

The answer is contingent upon whether the customer agency is in Federally owned or leased space.

(a) Unless stated otherwise in the OA, a customer agency within a GSA controlled, Federally owned building has automatic occupancy rights at the end of the OA term for occupied space. However, a new OA must be negotiated.

(b) In leased space, the OA generally reflects the provisions of the underlying lease and will specify whether or not renewal options are available. If the OA does not include a renewal option, customer agencies should assume relocation would be necessary upon OA expiration, and budget for it. Further, renewal options are not, in themselves, a guarantee of continued occupancy at that location. In some cases, the renewal rate is substantially above market or the option was not part of the initial price evaluation for the occupancy. In such cases, GSA may be required to run a competition for the replacement lease, and a relocation may ensue. Nonetheless, it is also possible that GSA may execute a succeeding lease with the incumbent lessor, in which case there is no move.

(c) GSA and customer agencies should initiate discussions at least 18-20 months in advance of OA expiration to address an action for the replacement or continued occupancy of the existing space assignment. This allows both agencies time to budget for the work and the cost.

§ 102-85.205 What happens if a customer agency continues occupancy after the expiration of an OA?

A mutual goal of GSA and its customers is to have current OAs in place for all space assignments. However, provisions are necessary to cover the GSA and customer relationship if an OA expires prior to execution of a mutually desired succeeding agreement. Because the risks, liabilities, and consequences of a customer's continued occupancy depend on whether the assigned space is leased or Federally owned, different provisions in the following table apply:

Holdover Tenancy—Customer Agency Responsibilities in the Event of Tenant Delay in Vacating Space Back to Top
In leased space In federally owned space
To pay those costs associated with lease contract, GSA fee, and damages/claims, arising from changes in GSA contract costs which are caused by the tenant's delay To pay Rent as determined by GSA's pricing policy, as described in this part, and those added costs to GSA (claims, damages, changes, etc.) resulting from the tenant-caused delay.

§ 102-85.210 What if a customer agency has to relocate?

If the agency or GSA determines relocation is necessary at the expiration of an OA for either Federally owned or leased space, the customer agency is responsible for all costs associated with relocation at that time.

§ 102-85.215 What if another customer agency forces a GSA customer to move?

If a GSA customer agency, or GSA, forces the relocation of another GSA customer agency prior to the expiration of the customer's OA, the “forcing” agency is responsible:

(a) For all reasonable costs associated with the relocation of the agency being “forced” to move, including architectural-engineering design, move coordination and physical relocation, telecommunications and ADP equipment relocation and installation;

(b) To GSA for all of the relocated agency's unpaid tenant improvements, if any; and

(c) To the customer agency for the undepreciated amount of any lump sum payment that was already made by the agency for alterations.

§ 102-85.220 Can a customer agency forced to relocate waive the reimbursements?

Yes, a customer agency forced to relocate can waive some or all of the reimbursements from the forcing agency that are prescribed in § 102-85.215. However, a relocated customer agency cannot waive the requirement for the forcing customer agency to reimburse GSA for unpaid tenant improvements. If GSA is the “forcing” agency, it is responsible for the same costs as any other forcing customer agency.

§ 102-85.225 What are the funding responsibilities for relocations resulting from emergencies?

(a) In emergencies, swift remedies, including the possible relocation of a customer agency to alternate space, are required. The remedies may include requests for funding authorizations from OMB and Congress. GSA may serve as the central coordinator of such remedies.

(b) Funding responsibility will vary by situation. If a customer agency is only temporarily displaced from its space, GSA typically covers the cost of temporary set-up in a provisional location. If the agency is obliged to relocate permanently, an OA will be prepared which will address all terms of the occupancy. In such cases, new tenant improvements will be constructed which can be amortized over the life of a new occupancy term, and a new Rent rate will be developed.

end regulatory text

Dated: April 27, 2001.

Thurman M. Davis, Sr.,

Acting Administrator of General Services.

[FR Doc. 01-11390 Filed 5-7-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-24-P

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