NASA is the ninth largest Federal Government property holder, controlling approximately 4,900 buildings and structures with an estimated replacement value of more than $30 billion. More than 80 percent of the Agency's facilities are 40 or more years old and beyond their design life. However, NASA has not been able to fully fund required maintenance for its facilities and in 2012 estimated its deferred maintenance costs at $2.3 billion. Moreover, a 2012 Agency study estimated that NASA may have as many as 865 unneeded facilities with associated annual maintenance costs of more than $24 million.
One way NASA could reduce its facilities maintenance costs would be to reduce the amount of unneeded infrastructure in its inventory. However, to be successful in this effort NASA must move beyond its historic "keep it in case you need it" approach of managing its facilities.
In our February 2013 audit, we identified 33 facilities that NASA was not fully utilizing or for which Agency managers could not identify a future mission use, facilities that cost more than $43 million to maintain in fiscal year (FY) 2011 alone. The need for these facilities has declined in recent years as a result of changes in NASA's mission, their poor condition and obsolescence, and the advent of alternative testing methods.