Better Recordkeeping Needed to Improve DOD’s Real Estate Database, GAO Finds

The database used by DOD to manage its vast portfolio of real property has multiple shortcomings, including inaccurate data and incomplete information, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). One problem the agency identified is the set of processes the department uses for recording and reporting data. In addition to not consistently recording real property transactions, the military services have not corrected discrepancies in their data systems, such as missing entries for utilization and facility condition and overdue asset reviews.

The review found that some of the data in the DOD’s real property assets database (RPAD) had improved accuracy, possibly a result of the department’s efforts to prepare for an upcoming financial audit. “However, if DOD does not require the military services to fully monitor recording processes and implement corrective actions to resolve data discrepancies, the department will continue to have incomplete and inaccurate real property data and unreliable RPAD information,” GAO concluded.

The congressional watchdog agency identified three risks DOD has not addressed that could jeopardize its ability to use the information it collects to manage its real property:

  • unfilled real property positions limiting its capacity to manage its data;
  • the lack of a department-wide approach to improving data quality; and
  • its failure to establish how it will complete implementation of an effort to improve access to data.

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