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FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What does PBC mean?
  2. What is a disposal agency?
  3. What is BRAC?
  4. What is an LRA?
  5. What role does an LRA play in the PBC process?
  6. What is the pre-transfer stage?
  7. How long is the pre-transfer process for GSA properties?
  8. How does the Department of Education receive notices of available surplus properties?
  9. Is there any criteria to be met to determine if the property is suitable for educational use?
  10. Who may apply for surplus federal real property for educational reuse?
  11. Who has priority acquiring surplus property?
  12. Who reviews applications for federal real property requesting property for educational purposes? Who makes the final determination on how a particular surplus federal property is disposed of?
  13. Who reviews homeless applications?
  14. Is notarization required on applications?
  15. What is the Public Benefit Allowance (PBA)?
  16. Are there disposal methods that do not carry the same requirements and restrictions as the public benefits conveyance program?
  17. How is the educational Public Benefit Allowance (PBA) calculated?
  18. Do all education applicants qualify to receive a 100% discount?
  19. Does FRPB staff visit the site prior to conveyance?
  20. What is the transfer stage?
  21. Does the federal property come with any warranties?
  22. What types of restrictions may assignments have?
  23. How much time does FRPB have to convey the property after it has been assigned by the disposal agency?
  24. Who prepares the educational PBC deeds and other legal instruments?
  25. Are all deeds similar?
  26. Are there any conditions in the deed that must be maintained by the Grantee to assure that the educational programs and services are delivered as promised?
  27. What is the post-transfer stage?
  28. How does the Department ensure that the property is used for educational purposes during the 30 years required by conditions in the deed?
  29. What may happen if the Grantee breaches any of the terms and conditions?
  30. How long does a Grantee continue to receive PBC credit if non-use is reported?
  31. Does each Property Case File have an FRPB Transfer File chronology?
  32. What is a Utilization Report (UR)?
  33. What is an abrogation?
  34. What is voluntary reversion?
  35. What is involuntary reversion?
  36. What is a retransfer?
  37. With prior approval, can a Grantee lease portions of federally-conveyed property to a commercial entity, such as Border’s Bookstore, to assist with its educational programs and services?
  38. What is an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC)?
  39. Can an Applicant apply for property under both the PBC and the EDC programs?
  40. What is the EDA grant fund?
  41. What organization in the DOD military services handles BRAC property disposals?
  42. Disclaimer

1. What does PBC mean?

Public Benefit Conveyance. PBCs are used to convey property at a discount (up to 100 percent of fair market value) to eligible entities for certain purposes if a recognized public benefit would result from the property. In addition to education PBCs, there are several other federal PBC programs such as homeless, health, parks, airports, emergency management, historic monuments, etc.

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2. What is a disposal agency?

The disposal agency is the federal agency that has been designated responsible for the disposal of federal property by specific law. The military services of the Department of Defense (DOD) have been designated as disposal agency for BRAC properties. The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for disposal of all federally owned property including non-BRAC DOD disposals.

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3. What is BRAC?

Base Realignment and Closure Act. This legislation identifies which Department of Defense military properties will be closed or realigned. There have been several rounds of BRAC in the past 25 years; the most recent in 2005.

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4. What is an LRA?

It is the Local Redevelopment Authority and is only applicable to BRAC property disposals.

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5. What role does an LRA play in the PBC process?

The LRA serves as the primary link between the Department of Defense, the installation, the community, and federal and State agencies for all base closure matters. The LRA is “the single entity responsible for identifying local redevelopment needs and preparing a redevelopment plan for the military department to consider in the disposal of installation property. In this context, the term “redevelopment plan” means a plan that represents local consensus on the redevelopment with respect to the installation and provides for redevelopment of the property that becomes available because of the installation closure or realignment.”

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6. What is the pre-transfer stage?

Pre-transfer is the first stage of the FRPB PBC process. During this stage, property which is surplus to the federal government is screened for educational interest and a formal application process is conducted.

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7. How long is the pre-transfer process for GSA properties?

There is no set timeframe; however, there are established 30-day deadlines for the excess and surplus notice screenings.

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8. How does the Department of Education receive notices of available surplus properties?

The General Services Administration issues excess and surplus notices through its Resource Center via e-mail notification. For BRAC properties, the BRAC Commission publishes notices of available properties in the Federal Register.

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9. Is there any criteria to be met to determine if the property is suitable for educational use?

Yes. Criteria for suitability generally include location, property type, and adaptability for educational purposes, environmental condition, and known educational interests.

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10. Who may apply for surplus federal real property for educational reuse?

A state, a political subdivision or instrumentality of a state, a tax-supported institution, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, and any combination of these entities (as defined in 34 CFR 12).

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11. Who has priority acquiring surplus property?

Programs to support the homeless have priority for acquiring surplus property that is being disposed of by the federal government.

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12. Who reviews applications for federal real property requesting property for educational purposes? Who makes the final determination on how a particular surplus federal property is disposed of?

Although the Department of Education reviews and makes the decision to approve and disapprove an application for educational reuse of property, by law, the final decision on the disposal of property is made by the federal disposal agency (GSA or DOD).

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13. Who reviews homeless applications?

HUD reviews applications for BRAC properties. HHS reviews applications for GSA properties.

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14. Is notarization required on applications?

No. Notarization is only required on legal instruments such as deeds, abrogations, deed amendments, etc.

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15. What is the Public Benefit Allowance (PBA)?

PBA means the credit granted for the public benefit gained from the use of the property.

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16. Are there disposal methods that do not carry the same requirements and restrictions as the public benefits conveyance program?

Yes. There are numerous other federal property disposal methods (i.e., sale, economic development conveyances, and federal-to-federal transfer).

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17. How is the educational Public Benefit Allowance (PBA) calculated?

The educational PBA is calculated in accordance with the provisions of Appendix A of 34 CFR 12 taking into account the type of Applicant, and the need for, impact of, and type of program and plan of use for the property, as described in that appendix.

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18. Do all education applicants qualify to receive a 100% discount?

No. The basic PBA varies depending on the type of Applicant and the predominant educational use of the property. Generally, classroom use will qualify for 100% discount and other uses for lesser discounts.

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19. Does FRPB staff visit the site prior to conveyance?

FRPB policy recommends that the assigned case specialist visit each site prior to conveyance.

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20. What is the transfer stage?

If an application is approved, title is transferred to the Applicant. At that time the property actually leaves the federal government ownership and title is transferred and vested in the education Applicant who becomes the Grantee.

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21. Does the federal property come with any warranties?

The transfers of surplus federal real property is on an “as is, where is” basis, except for CERCLA (environmental) or any other warranty specified in the deed.

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22. What types of restrictions may assignments have?

Assignments may have environmental restrictions, historic preservation restrictions, and other restrictions deemed appropriate by the disposal agency for the property.

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23. How much time does FRPB have to convey the property after it has been assigned by the disposal agency?

Once an assignment is made by GSA or the military services, the Department typically has 45 days in which to deed the property (in accordance with Federal Management Regulations). However, that time can be lengthened with the concurrence of the disposal agency if extenuating circumstances surround the property’s conveyance (i.e. unknown environmental contamination at the time of assignment, property description errors, etc.)

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24. Who prepares the educational PBC deeds and other legal instruments?

Deeds and other legal instruments are prepared by the Department of Education’s Federal Real Property Assistance Program.

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25. Are all deeds similar?

There are some standard covenants in all deeds; however, deeds are unique to the Grantee and specific property and will contain covenants/conditions specific to each case.

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26. Are there any conditions in the deed that must be maintained by the Grantee to assure that the educational programs and services are delivered as promised?

Yes. The following conditions must be maintained:

  1. The entire property must be utilized solely and continuously by the Grantee for a period of thirty (30) years from the date of the deed for the educational programs set forth and approved in its application and for no other purpose.
  2. The Grantee may not sell, lease, mortgage, encumber or otherwise grant or dispose of any right or interest in the conveyed property or any portion thereof to other parties without the advance written consent of the United States Department of Education.
  3. The Grantee must submit utilization reports on its use of the property each year demonstrating that the terms and conditions of the deed are being fulfilled and that the agreed upon educational programs are being fully delivered.
  4. The Grantee must comply at all times with non-discrimination acts which govern its ownership of the property, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-352), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (P.L. 92-318), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112), and all requirements imposed by or pursuant to the regulations (34 C.F.R. Parts 12, 100, 104, 106) issued pursuant to the Acts and now in effect.
  5. During the 30 year period of restrictions required under the first conditions of the deed, the Grantee will at all times be and remain either a public, tax supported institution or organization or a private, non-profit organization held to be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.

Each deed may also contain property specific requirements, such as historic preservation and environmental restrictions, which must also be followed.

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27. What is the post-transfer stage?

The post-transfer activity begins when the deed is executed and continues throughout the 30-year period of required educational use.

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28. How does the Department ensure that the property is used for educational purposes during the 30 years required by conditions in the deed?

During the 30 years the property is required to be used as set forth in the Grantee’s application. The Grantee must submit Utilization Reports (URs) describing the use of the property. In addition to receipt of the URs, the Department conducts Compliance Inspections (CI) periodically to confirm the educational use.

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29. What may happen if the Grantee breaches any of the terms and conditions?

Upon the breach of any of the terms and conditions, the U.S. Department of Education will assist and guide the Grantee to resolve a compliance breach. However, the Department has the authority to institute established sanctions due to a breach of a quitclaim deed and the conditions subsequent. The sanctions may include, but are not limited to, requiring the Grantee to make cash payments to the Government equivalent to the current fair market rental value for each month the Grantee has been in breach of the deed’s terms.

The Department may impose any or all of the following sanctions, as applicable, to all transfers of surplus Federal real property and may require that—:

  • Title or possession to your transferred surplus real property, and the right to immediate possession revert to the United States;
  • The property be transferred or leased to another eligible entity as the Department directs;
  • The Grantee abrogate (buy-out) at the full market value of the property the conditions and restrictions in its quitclaim deed.
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30. How long does a Grantee continue to receive PBC credit if non-use is reported?

Once the Department suspects non-use of conveyed property, a myriad of actions begin to resolve the matter (i.e. letters, e-mails, phone calls, site visit, etc.). Grantees are allowed an appropriate length of time to resolve breaches before FRPB resorts to stronger compliance enforcement actions. There is no standard timeframe to suspend educational PBC credit under our regulations. Compliance enforcement actions are based on many factors such as history of Grantee, circumstances of non-use, potential to resolve, and FRPB past experience with similar circumstances.

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31. Does each Property Case File have an FRPB Transfer File chronology?

Yes, each Property Case File should have an FRPB Transfer File chronology as the top sheet on the left side of the most recent file folder.

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32. What is a Utilization Report (UR)?

A Utilization Report is required by grantees in accordance with program regulations (34 CFR 12) and deeds. The UR is submitted periodically (i.e., either annually or other time period as determined by FRPB) and documents the program of use on the property for the reporting period. The UR should demonstrate that the property is being used as approved.

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33. What is an abrogation?

Abrogation means the release of certain surplus federal real property from the covenants, conditions, reservations, and restrictions contained in the deed before the deed expires. In other words, an abrogation is the buy-out or release of the federal deed restrictions. The Grantee is no longer obligated to adhere to the educational use requirements as outlined in the deed once an abrogation is completed. However, there may be perpetual restrictions that will run with the land.

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34. What is voluntary reversion?

Voluntary reversion is the process in which a Grantee voluntarily returns title to the property back to the federal government.

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35. What is involuntary reversion?

Involuntary reversion is the process in which the federal government notifies the Grantee that title of the property is being returned to the government for non-compliance with the conditions in the deed.

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36. What is a retransfer?

A retransfer is the transfer of title/ownership from one educational entity to another or it can also include retransfer through other federal public benefit agencies.

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37. With prior approval, can a Grantee lease portions of federally-conveyed property to a commercial entity, such as Border’s Bookstore, to assist with its educational programs and services?

While rare, if directly related to the educational program of use, it may be authorized. Approval may be contingent upon remittance of any proceeds or other conditions as determined necessary to protect the federal government’s residual interest in the property as determined by FRPB.

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38. What is an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC)?

Under BRAC disposal only, an EDC is a method of property disposal, typically at no cost, which is to result in job creation. In the 2005 round of BRAC, no-cost EDCs were no longer authorized. Subsequent legislative authority permits a form of EDC where future profit can be shared with the military in return for receiving the property at no cost.

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39. Can an Applicant apply for property under both the PBC and the EDC programs?

Yes, it is the Applicant’s and LRA’s decisions, but EDC conveyances should not supplant PBC educational conveyances.

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40. What is the EDA grant fund?

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) fund within the Department of Commerce. Historically, when EDA grant funds are used, there will be a lien placed upon the federal property which requires prior approval from the Department of Education as required by our deed and regulations.

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41. What organization in the DOD military services handles BRAC property disposals?

AFRPA – U.S. Air Force Real Property Agency

BRAC PMO – U.S. Navy BRAC Program Management Office

BRACD – U.S. Army Base Realignment and Closure Division

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42. Disclaimer

This is a guidance document. Guidance documents represent the Department of Education’s current thinking on a topic. They do not create or confer any rights for or on any person and do not impose any requirements beyond those required under applicable law and regulations. Guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract.

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Last Modified: 04/29/2020