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Suggested Citation:"CONDITION ASSESSMENT SURVEYS." National Research Council. 2001. Deferred Maintenance Reporting for Federal Facilities: Meeting the Requirements of Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board Standard Number 6, as Amended. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10095.
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DEFINITIONAL ISSUES AND POTENTIAL REVISIONS 24 assessment surveys and the total life-cycle cost method that could be used to meet federal financial accounting objectives for operating performance and stewardship. CONDITION ASSESSMENT SURVEYS FASAB Standard Number 6, as amended, defines condition assessments as “periodic inspections of PP&E to determine their current condition and estimated cost to correct any deficiencies.” Elsewhere, condition assessments have been defined as the “process of systematically evaluating an organization's capital assets in order to project repair, renewal, or replacement needs that will support the mission or activities they were designed to serve” (Rugless, 1993). Condition assessment surveys, as the name implies, are effective for determining the current condition of a facility and its components and in identifying deficiencies. Condition assessment surveys generally utilize trained personnel who inspect each facility and make a determination regarding the facilities' physical condition, how the facility is performing, and if any maintenance and/or repair deficiencies are present (NRC, 1998). The trained personnel may be government employees, private-sector personnel under contract to the agency, or a combination of both. The use of condition assessment survey (CAS) programs by federal agencies is reviewed in Stewardship of Federal Facilities: A Proactive Strategy for Managing the Nation's Public Assets (NRC, 1998). In the early 1990s the Department of Energy (DOE) and later the Department of Defense (DoD) undertook programs to develop and implement CAS programs across their infrastructures. Both departments focused on developing comprehensive processes that included detailed inspection standards, inspector training programs, automated data collection devices, and the ability to aggregate information at multiple levels based on location and organization. The DOE CAS was designed as an industry-based system of standards to develop deficiency-based capital maintenance and repair costs for use in managing DOE assets. The DoD program was originally intended to be implemented department wide. However, after pilot testing of a system, the implementation costs were determined to be too high to deploy it across all services. Within DoD individual services developed their own systems. The Air Force Commanders' Facility Assessment Program was designed to link facility condition to mission requirements to ensure that resources for maintenance, repair, and minor construction are allocated to the most critical mission needs of field commanders. The U.S. Army's Installation Status Report system was designed to assist installations in articulating their infrastructure needs to the Department of the Army and to allow the department to develop funding requests to Congress (NRC, 1998). For these agencies and for others that may have implemented comprehensive condition assessment survey programs, the necessary data may be available to meet the requirements of FASAB Standard Number 6, as amended. In reviewing condition assessment practices, the committee that authored the Stewardship study noted that the use of condition assessments by federal agencies is increasing. Federal agencies with such programs have generally developed them independently to meet their specific needs within financial and staff constraints; consequently, the level of sophistication varies widely. However, one of the committee's findings was that, based on available information, “condition assessment programs, as currently practiced in federal agencies, are labor intensive, expensive to maintain, and time consuming. In theory, condition assessment surveys provide

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In 1996 the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) 1 enacted Standard Number 6, Accounting for Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E), the first government-wide initiative requiring federal agencies to report dollar amounts of deferred maintenance annually. The FASAB has identified four overall objectives in federal financial reporting: budgetary integrity, operating performance, stewardship, and systems and control. FASAB Standard Number 6, as amended, focuses on operating performance and stewardship. The FFC Standing Committee on Operations and Maintenance has prepared this report to identify potential issues that should be considered in any future amendments to the standard and to suggest approaches for resolving them. The committee's intent is to assist the CFO Council, federal agencies, the FASAB, and others as they consider how best to meet the objectives of federal financial reporting for facilities.

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