UNCLASSIFIED (U)

6 FAH-5 H-520

residential commissioning and

 make-ready

(CT:ICASS-80;   07-18-2018)
(Office of Origin:  CGFS/ICASS)

6 FAH-5 H-521  General

(CT:ICASS-70;   01-30-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

The Department of State as the Single Real Property Manager (SRPM) is responsible for managing the consolidated furnished housing program overseas.  At the post level, the Management Officer is typically the SRPM but the day-to-day responsibilities are delegated to the GSO/Housing Officer.  The goal of the furnished housing program is to acquire and retain appropriate housing that meets established safety, fire safety, health, natural hazards, comfort and efficiency standards, as well as specific operational requirements (for details see 15 FAM 250).  Because housing markets are different around the world, the requirements for acquiring and maintaining properties vary from country to country.

a. Residential Commissioning:  For the purposes of this sub-chapter, the process of preparing a new residential property for occupancy by the U.S. Government is called “residential commissioning” (see 6 FAH-5 H-522).  New properties are brought into the housing pool either due to a need to expand the pool (the result of agency growth) or to replace an existing lease.

b. Residential Decommissioning:  In the course of managing the consolidated housing pool program, it is sometimes necessary to drop a lease for a variety of reasons:  downsizing the housing pool, uncooperative landlord, high maintenance costs, etc.  In such cases, the GSO/Housing Officer must prepare the property to return it to the landlord in accordance with local practice and the terms of the lease.  For the purposes of this sub-chapter, the process of preparing a property for return to the landlord is called “residential decommissioning” (see 6 FAH-5 H-523).

c.  Make-Ready Process:  Each year numerous residential properties in the consolidated housing pool, whether government owned or leased, are reassigned as employees rotate in and out of post.  The GSO/Housing Officer is responsible for preparing these properties for occupancy; for the purposes of this sub-chapter, this process is called “make-ready” (see 6 FAH-5 H-524).  Make-ready should not be confused with routine maintenance and repair (M&R) or building operating expenses (BOE) even though many of the tasks covered by these activities may be completed during the make-ready period. 

d. Post Policy:  Each post is required to establish a policy for both residential commissioning and make-ready that outlines the typical process for each activity at post, including any unique factors, and identifies the average cost for each (see 6 FAH-5 H-522 paragraph f and 6 FAH-5 H-524 paragraph e).

e. Building Operating Expenses (BOE):  BOE includes expenses incident to occupying a property including utilities, condo fees, service contracts (see para. 1 below), grounds care, etc.  For a detailed definition of BOE, see 15 FAM 121.

1.   Contracted services specific to a residential property (e.g., gutter cleaning, chimney sweeping, pest control, etc.) are direct charged to the tenant agency.  For State occupied properties, these costs are funded by the appropriate State entity (i.e., State Program/PD, INL, CA, DS, etc.).  GSO should provide all agencies with details on these costs so they can be included in agency budgets and planning.

2.   BOE costs in shared properties that cannot be readily direct charged can be included in ICASS in 78XX-Building Operations and shared among the occupants using square meters occupied.  If necessary to ensure equity, a sub-cost center can be created in the ICASS budget to isolate the costs for a specific property.

f.  Maintenance and Repair (M&R):  Routine M&R includes activities to preserve, maintain or restore a property so it can be used for its intended purpose (examples:  painting, caulking, repair broken water pipes or bathroom/kitchen fixtures, etc.)  For a detailed definition of routine M&R, see 15 FAM 621.1.

1.   All bulk supplies required for M&R activities for all GO/CL and OL residential properties are funded from the OBO Maintenance Cost Sharing (MCS) account (e.g., brushes/rollers, lumber, nails, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, carpentry supplies, hand and power tools required for M&R activities, etc. [for more details see the funding matrix on the OBO/FAC website]).  As these maintenance funds are invoiced to all agencies at the Washington level via OBO's MCS program, there is no direct charge at post for the usage of M&R supplies.

2.   In general, most M&R activities which are the lessee's responsibility are performed by in-house ICASS staff and the agency's subscription to 7810/7850-Building Operations-Residential covers the labor costs.  Additional labor hired to supplement in-house staff during the summer transfer season may be funded by ICASS and budgeted in cost center 7850-Building Operations-Residential, depending on post policy.

(a)  Additional painters or other laborers hired to supplement in-house staff required for make-ready activities are budgeted in 7850-X799- Make-Ready (see 6 FAH-5 H-524).

(b)  If a required task cannot be done with in-house staff because of a lack of expertise and must be contracted out, the cost of the contract is charged to OBO MCS funding.

NOTE:  OBO only funds specialized labor contracts for specific requirements (e.g., Building Maintenance Expenses and annual residential service contracts).  If a particular maintenance task requires technical knowledge and capabilities not provided by in-house facilities staff, OBO will fund the cost of the contract for this labor.  All other labor contracts for routine work (e.g., plumbing, carpentry, electrical, painting, etc.) are considered a building operating expense and funded either in ICASS or direct charged to the tenant agency, depending on post policy.

g. Operating Leases (OL):  Maintenance and repair of OL residential property is nearly always the responsibility of the landlord.  In situations where M&R of leased properties is not performed by the landlord, it becomes the responsibility of the lessee (the USG; it is not charged to the tenant agency except as noted below) and is typically performed by post's facilities staff.

1.   At posts where the landlord is responsible for maintenance requirements but for whatever reason those repairs are arranged by or performed by the US Government, the related costs for the repairs are deducted from the lease payment.  For details on handling lease deductions, refer to OBO's annual funding guidance and 15 FAM 600.

2.   At posts that do not have facilities staff to perform routine residential maintenance services (e.g., plumbing, electrical, carpentry, painting, etc.) and all such work is contracted out, the cost of this work is direct charged to the tenant agency.  Such costs for ICASS employees are budgeted in the cost pool for the employee.

h. Government-Owned/Capital Lease (GO/CL):  For government owned/capital lease (GO/CL) property, M&R is funded by OBO.

i.  Dedicated Properties:  Dedicated residences for the senior representatives of the foreign affairs agencies are included in the workload counts for 7850-Building Operations-Operating Lease Residential Services (and in some posts may be included in 7810-Building Operations-GO/CL Residential).  Routine M&R services for these properties are covered in that cost center and the cost of related M&R supplies is covered by OBO MCS funding.  For any special improvements to such properties, the cost is direct charged to the occupying agency.

6 FAH-5 H-522  commissioning residential properties

(CT:ICASS-70;   01-30-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. What is Residential Commissioning:  Initial requirements to commission a residence for the housing pool may include, where required:

1.   Add/provide/install basic kitchen fixtures (e.g., cupboards, counter tops, sinks and faucets) where none are present or they are significantly below U.S. standards;

2.   Upgrade the electrical and/or plumbing systems to accommodate American appliances (e.g., dedicated circuit and/or water lines for a washer and dryer, grounding of the electrical system, wiring to accommodate air conditioning units, etc.).  In some locations it may also include installing bathroom fixtures and appliances, shower curtain rods, etc.;

3.   Install a gas line for bottled gas, if required;

4.   Install USG-provided air conditioners, water heater(s), and household appliances, as required if not provided by the landlord (see paragraph d);

5.   Repair/replace/install interior light fixtures, as needed, including ceiling fans, if appropriate for the local climate;

6.   Refinish/repair floors, as needed (see NOTE 1);

7.   Install a water tank, water pump, and water chiller, as needed;

8.   Install water filtration/purification system (see NOTE 2);

9.   Install safety upgrades to meet POSHO certification requirements specified in 15 FAM 252.5 (e.g., pool fencing, safety railing, gas venting);

10.  Install security upgrades as identified by the RSO (includes, as needed, installation of a portable guard booth including a concrete pad and connection to required utilities) (see NOTE 3);

11.  Install window screens and mosquito bed nets, if required (see NOTE 4);

12.  Install light-reflecting window film (see NOTE 5)

13.  Install smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers (equipment is provided by OBO; see paragraph h);

14.  Perform pest control/fumigation, if required;

15.  Perform initial gardening/yardwork, as needed;

16.  Plaster and paint, as needed;

17.  Perform a title search to validate ownership;

18.  Install a generator, including an external fuel tank, automatic transfer switch, sound enclosure and concrete pad (see 15 FAM 645.3 for funding guidelines and 15 FAM 635).  In extremely hot climates, this may also include a solar shield to improve efficiency (see NOTE 6); and

19.  Conduct final cleaning after all commissioning work is completed.

NOTE 1:  The lease should specify the Landlord's responsibility for basic flooring in the property, including a requirement to repair/replace wall-to-wall carpeting and/or tile/wood floors, when necessary.  In the Department of State's model lease (15 FAM Exhibit 342(2)), this language can be included in Article Seven, Section B.  In locations where this is not a landlord responsibility, post should avoid wall-to-wall carpet and use tile, hardwood or carpet tiles when preparing floors.  Sanding wood floors should not be done more than once every eight to ten years and never between each occupant.

NOTE 2:  Post must work with OBO/OPS/SHEM and MED when determining the most effective water treatment solutions, whether point of entry or point of use (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 513.2-2(2)).

NOTE 3:  For residential properties for new positions, all security upgrade costs are the responsibility of the sponsoring agency.  For replacement leases, security upgrade costs are funded by DS.

NOTE 4:  Window screens are not standard in all countries and should be provided only in those countries with a high threat of insect-borne diseases as listed on MED's website.  In general, at such posts, bed nets (provided in the FAP buy-in) must be installed in all bedrooms.  At some posts, the cost of installing window screens is cost prohibitive and often the local climate precludes opening windows, so posts may determine that window screens will not be provided.  This issue must be addressed in post's commissioning policy (see paragraph f).

NOTE 5:  Before installing reflective window film, post should do a cost benefit analysis to compare energy cost savings with the cost of installation.

NOTE 6:  To ensure provision of safe and reliable power, posts must coordinate with OBO/CFSM/FAC/PS for technical assistance in selecting appropriate power conditioning equipment for post's requirements (e.g., generator, voltage regulator, etc.).

NOTE 7:  To facilitate frequent position turnover at posts that operate under a one-year tour of duty policy, special exceptions are allowed for certain costs.  Such posts may fund the infrastructure improvements required to provide internet and television services for employees.  The actual cost of the TV/internet services received must be personally funded by the employee.

b. Who Funds Residential Commissioning Costs for New Positions:  All costs associated with the commissioning of a residential property required for a new position, including security and safety upgrades, are funded in full by the sponsoring agency; an estimate of the average residential commissioning costs is included in the overall start-up costs outlined in the NSDD-38 process.  However, given the timing of an employee's arrival and the SRPM's need to maintain an appropriate mix of housing in the pool, the new employee may be assigned to an existing pooled property.  Regardless of the housing assignment for the incumbent of the new position, the commissioning costs for the new property needed to expand the pool because of this new position will be funded by the growing agency in an amount equal to the average commissioning cost for post.  If this amount is not sufficient to cover the cost of commissioning the new property, ICASS will fund the difference.  If the actual cost is less than the average commissioning cost, the agency will only be charged the actual cost.

1.   In order to ensure the timely receipt of funds and post's ability to complete the required commissioning activities, agencies must provide their fund cite at least ninety days before the end of the fiscal year and/or ninety days prior to the anticipated arrival of the new employee.

2.   If an agency leaves one of its positions vacant for an extended period of time and GSO has to drop a lease, the agency will be responsible for funding the commissioning costs for a new lease when the position is filled.

NOTE 1:  In situations where a new agency/position is established at a post in the same timeframe as another agency abolishes a position or withdraws from post, resulting in no requirement to lease a new property (i.e., existing housing is appropriate to the family size of the new position incumbent), the new agency/position is not charged any residential commissioning costs.  The downsizing or withdrawing agency remains responsible for turnover make-ready costs of any occupied units.

NOTE 2:  Commissioning activities and costs for dedicated or designated residences are governed by the regulations of and funded by the tenant agency.

NOTE 3:  If any tasks in the commissioning process must be contracted out, either due to the temporary lack of staff, or the lack of the skilled staff required, the cost of that contract is direct charged to the growing agency.

c.  Commissioning Costs for Replacement Leases:  Beginning in FY18, residential commissioning costs required for a residential property acquired to replace an existing operating lease in the consolidated housing pool may be funded in ICASS only if 75 percent of post's leased properties have been in the housing pool for at least three tours of duty (based on the Department State's tour of duty policy for post) (for decommissioning costs, see 6 FAH-5 H-523).  This retention limitation is intended to encourage posts to cost effectively manage the housing pool and retain leases for longer periods of time to amortize the cost of safety and security upgrades.  If the lease retention period is not met, all commissioning and decommissioning costs continue to be direct charged to the occupying/assigned agency.  When the retention period is met, these costs (primarily staff time or contract labor costs) are budgeted in a separate sub-cost center 7850-X899-Commissioning/Decommissioning and the costs will be charged to 1901.0-ICASS and then spread through ICASS Redistribution.  Because the replacement property will benefit all agencies in the consolidated housing pool, sharing these costs through ICASS Redistribution is fair and equitable.  Commissioning costs for a capital lease property are funded by OBO.  OBO MCS funds cover most required maintenance supplies used in this process.

1.   ICASS Funding for Commissioning Costs for Replacement Leases:  ICASS funding is limited and commissioning costs for replacement leases, if the 75 percent lease retention limit is met, will be funded by ICASS only in certain circumstances as outlined below:

(a)  SRPM has determined a property is too costly to maintain;

(b)  RSO has determined the property no longer meets security standards and cannot be upgraded;

(c)  POSHO has determined that the property no longer meets SHEM certification requirements and cannot be upgraded;

(d)  Landlord has unexpectedly requested the return of the property; and

(e)  The SRPM has determined the property no longer fits the required post housing profile.

2.   Commissioning Costs Are Not Funded by ICASS in the following circumstances:

(a)  At posts where it may not be possible to retain leases for at least three tours of duty (i.e., six or nine years), commissioning/ decommissioning costs are not budgeted in ICASS and will remain as a direct charge to the assigned agency.  Posts in this category must include this information in their post policy;

(b)  A new lease required for a long-term vacant position now being filled (see 6 FAH-5 H-522, paragraph b.2);

(c)  A new lease required after the departure of a tandem couple, commissioning costs are split 50/50 by the agencies of the departing tandem couple;

(d)  A new lease required when an employee is TDYed to another post and the family is allowed to safe haven at the home post and the agency assigns a replacement officer;

(e)  A new lease required for a group house for a single agency;

(f)   A new or replacement lease required for a dedicated residence for the head of a foreign affairs agency; and,

(g)  A new lease required to expand the housing pool for a new position where the new employee was assigned to an existing lease (see 6 FAH-5 H-522, paragraph b).

3.   Security Upgrades:  The costs of security upgrades for a newly-leased property acquired to replace an existing lease are funded by the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) (see 12 FAH-8 H-320 and 15 FAM 165.3).

d. Lease Duration:  The SRPM, recognizing the additional costs associated with commissioning new residential property, seeks to negotiate leases that will suit the long-term requirements of the consolidated housing program, covering three or more tours of duty (see NOTE 2).  Longer lease terms allow for the amortization of alterations or improvements required to meet U.S. Government security and safety standards when bringing a new property into the consolidated housing pool.  In negotiating the lease, the SRPM will ask the landlord to fund all initial requirements, to the maximum extent possible (see 15 FAM 200 and 15 FAM 313.1).  If the landlord agrees to perform the required upgrades but only at an additional cost, the cost of those upgrades must be separated from the rent and charged up front as a one-time cost to the tenant agency or other appropriate fund source as outlined in this chapter.  If the landlord will not fund any or all of these alterations or improvements, the U.S. Government will fund these requirements as outlined in this sub-chapter.

NOTE 1:  Posts are not authorized to enter into capital leases (as defined in 15 FAM 121) without prior approval from OBO (see 15 FAM 312.1).

NOTE 2:  Recognizing that the operating environment at each post is different, lengthy initial lease terms may not be feasible.  However, posts should acquire leases with renewal options that would allow for retention of the property for three or more tours of duty (i.e., six or nine years, based on the Department of State's tour of duty policy); see 15 FAM 313.2).

e. Cost-Benefit Analysis:  When considering a new property(ies) for the housing pool, the GSO and Facility Manager should do a cost benefit analysis to weigh the total lease costs for a well-appointed property that requires minor residential commissioning costs against potentially lower lease costs for a property that requires significant commissioning costs.  Post should consult with OBO/PRE and make a decision based on the best financial interests of the U.S. Government over the initial term of the lease.  If a proposed lease exceeds post's current rental benchmark or typical lease cost, post must present the analysis and justification to OBO/PRE for review.

f.  Post Policy:  Starting with the standard template, each post will prepare a policy that outlines the typical requirements for the residential commissioning process (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 522), adding sections as needed.  This will ensure that all customer agencies understand how the local environment impacts the requirements for bringing a property into the housing pool.

1.   Central Datasheet:  A datasheet hosted on the ICASS Service Center website will maintain information on the average cost of commissioning a new property into the housing pool at each post.  This average residential commissioning cost will be a budget and planning number to allow agencies to anticipate the projected costs for commissioning a new property, with the understanding that the final cost may be higher or lower than this amount, depending on the size of the incoming family and the availability of suitable housing (see 6 FAH-5 H-522 paragraph g); agencies will fund the actual cost of the commissioning requirements.  Each post is responsible for entering and maintaining this data on the website on an annual basis.

(a)  Calculating Average Costs:  Each post will determine its average residential commissioning cost for a new residential operating lease for the consolidated housing pool program, recognizing that some properties will be more, others less.  The total amount will include all costs, including security upgrades and generator costs (which must be broken out separately).  This average amount and the activities it includes must have the concurrence of the ICASS Council and regional bureau (see 15 FAM 162.2 paragraph d (2).  In calculating the average cost, each post must consider the local environment, availability and condition of residential properties, and the long-term interests of the U.S. Government.

(b)  What Is Included:  Depending on circumstances at post, completion of commissioning requirements may be done by the landlord, in-house staff, contractors, or a combination of all of these.  At posts that perform commissioning requirements in-house, budgeted costs in the 7850-0899-Commissioning sub-cost center will include primarily staff time, and possibly contract costs.

(i)     If all commissioning requirements are contracted out and direct charged, post must determine the average costs across multiple properties of different sizes and enter the average cost in the datasheet.

(ii)    If commissioning requirements are performed by both in-house and contract staff, post must include the average of all costs in the datasheet; posts should use the totals budgeted in the 7850-X899 sub-cost center to calculate these costs.

(iii)    Commissioning requirements performed by the landlord but broken out and funded as a one-time cost by the US Government (tenant agency) must be included in this calculation.

(iv)   Costs for the purchase and installation of a generator and related equipment, where applicable, must be included in this calculation on a separate line.

(v)    Costs for all security upgrades funded by the US Government must be included in this calculation on a separate line.

(vi)   Commissioning requirements completed by the landlord at no additional cost to the US Government should not be included in this calculation.

NOTE:  Costs for OBO-funded maintenance and repair supplies used in the commissioning process for new positions are tracked and included in this calculation.  The cost of these supplies is deducted from the agency's start-up funding and reimbursed to the OBO account that funded the supplies.  This journal voucher is done ONLY for new positions and not for supplies used in commissioning requirements for replacement leases.

g. Management of Records:  Each post will maintain appropriate detailed records of all costs related to the commissioning of a property in accordance with 15 FAM 162.2 paragraph d.  These records are essential for managing post's housing program because they establish the history of conditions at and changes to each leased property and are essential in making a future business case for retention of a property.

h. Commissioning Costs and the FAP:  Posts must make a distinction between what is covered by the commissioning process and what is included in the furniture and appliance pool (FAP) program.  The commissioning process covers only the "infrastructure" improvements required in order to install household appliances, water heaters, water distillers/purifiers, air conditioners, furnishings, etc., that are part of the consolidated FAP program (see 6 FAH-5 H-513 Exhibit 2-2 A and B).  The new position start-up costs include the FAP buy-in amount which covers the purchase of all required furniture, furnishings and appliances.  The cost of the appliances should not be included in the funding required for the residential commissioning process.

i.  Double-encumbered positions:  Most posts are able to accommodate nominal overlapping of positions (e.g., one to three weeks) and assign the newly-arriving employee to existing vacant housing, if available.  Post may also need to consider other alternatives to house the newly-arriving employee until a property becomes available (e.g., hotel, corporate housing, TDY housing, etc., which is charged to the employing agency).  However, if a situation arises where the incoming and outgoing employees of an agency overlap for a lengthy period and post is required to lease and commission a new property, the commissioning costs are direct charged to the agency.

NOTE:  Post must follow the current guidance regarding charges for existing leases (see 15 FAM 164):  the outgoing tenant agency remains responsible for all costs associated with its property until it is assigned to a new tenant.  If the period of vacancy exceeds 90 days with no tenant being assigned and post wishes to retain the property, OBO authorization is required (see 15 FAM 313.5).  If OBO approves retention of the lease, during the period after 90 days and until the property is assigned, ICASS is responsible for funding all costs associated with the property.  As soon as the property is assigned, the costs are shifted to the incoming agency even if the occupant has not yet arrived at post.

j.  Safety Equipment:  The Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO), is responsible for providing basic safety equipment for all residential properties (e.g., smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms), irrespective of the occupying agency.

k. SHEM Upgrades:  When the SRPM/POSHO implements new safety or other requirements which require changes or upgrades to existing operating leases in the consolidated housing pool, post must first negotiate with the landlord to fund and make the changes.  If the landlord is not willing to fund the changes, post must work with OBO/CFSM/FAC to obtain appropriate funding for the required upgrades.  For any new positions, the costs for these new requirements must be added to the overall NSDD-38 start-up costs. 

l.  LQA/OHA Reviews and Approvals:  Agency employees acquiring their housing under the LQA/OHA programs are required to obtain the approval of the RSO and POSHO before leasing a property.  Any costs associated with alterations required as a result of these reviews are funded by the employee or employing agency, in accordance with agency regulations.  In addition, the post Interagency Housing Board (IAHB) must approve the property to ensure it is within established space standards.

6 FAH-5 H-522.1  Exclusions to the Commissioning Process

(CT:ICASS-70;   01-30-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Commissioning activities may not include any of the following building alterations:

1.   The removal or addition of exterior walls (or portions thereof) from/to a residence;

2.   Modification of any structural components of the property;

3.   Modification of any required component of a fire or smoke-rated material such as ceiling tiles or fire-rated doors;

4.   Alteration of any required means of egress, system or component except DS-approved security features;

5.   Modification of fire protection systems or fuel supply systems;

6.   New building construction for any purpose (see NOTE 1); and

7.   Removal or disturbing of any hazardous materials.

NOTE:  If any specialized enclosure or structure is required for a generator installation, post must coordinate with OBO/CFSM/FAC/PS before any work is started (see 15 FAM 645.3).

b. If any of the above are required, they must be performed either by the landlord as part of the negotiated lease or managed and funded by OBO as a lease fit-out project.  To request a lease fit-out project, post must submit a "Major Lease" cable to OBO's Office of Planning and Real Estate (OBO/PRE) (see 15 FAM 311.4).  If approved, the occupying agency funds the lease fit-out for their residence(s).  For Department of State positions, residential fit-out costs are funded by OBO.

6 FAH-5 H-523  Decommissioning leased residential properties

(CT:ICASS-70;   01-30-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. What is Decommissioning:  In managing the consolidated housing program, residential properties will periodically need to be “decommissioned” and returned to the landlord.  The Department of State discourages including restoration terms in residential leases and has removed such language from the model lease in 15 FAM Exhibit 341(2).  However, depending on host country laws and local customs, such requirements will vary from post to post.  When it is necessary to specify restoration conditions in the lease, posts should negotiate arrangements that are favorable to the USG.

b. Who Funds Decommissioning Costs:  For a property that has served the consolidated housing program over time (i.e., more than three tours of duty), the costs related to the decommissioning are funded by ICASS except as noted below.  These costs will be budgeted in sub-cost center 7850-X899- Commissioning/Decom.  A decommissioned property is typically offset by a replacement lease that is acquired; the workload count for these two activities is "1" in the Commissioning sub-cost center.  Posts will include workload counts for decommissioned properties only if they exceed the total number of replacement leases (i.e., post is in downsizing mode).  The total number of properties decommissioned (and funded in ICASS) is charged to 1901.0-ICASS and the costs spread through ICASS Redistribution.  Decommissioning costs for a capital lease property are funded by OBO.

1.   An agency occupying a leased property that will be decommissioned and returned to the landlord will be held responsible for a portion of the costs related to the decommissioning process equal to or less than the typical turnover make-ready costs for post (depending on the total decommissioning costs).  The agency will provide a fund cite equal to post's average turnover make-ready cost (see 6 FAH-5 H-524).  Post will use those funds to offset the total decommissioning costs related to this property, thereby reducing the total amount funded by ICASS.  If the actual total decommissioning cost is less than post's average make-ready cost, the agency will be charged only the actual cost.

2.   Posts that are not able to retain leases for extended periods of time (e.g., more than three tours of duty), commissioning/decommissioning costs are not budgeted in ICASS and remain a direct charge to the occupying agency.  Posts in this category must ensure this information is included in the post policy.

3.   In decommissioning a property, posts should seek to remove and re-use any USG-installed equipment/items, as appropriate.  Leases may require the lessee to restore the property to its original condition and post may be required to remove security grills, repair holes from HVAC installations, remove "improvements" unique to U.S. Government requirements, etc.  Post should seek to negotiate the most cost effective termination arrangements possible.

4.   For leased housing compounds, post should work with OBO/PRE/RPL to coordinate decommissioning efforts; cost sharing would follow the guidance in paragraph 2 (above).

c.  Planning and Management of Records:  Each post should ensure it appropriately plans for the decommissioning of residential properties well in advance to avoid potential lease penalties related to the notification period or the condition of the property.  Post must also provide timely notification to the tenant agency of the lease termination date to ensure an orderly departure from the property.  Posts must maintain appropriate records in the lease file on all costs related to decommissioning a residential property (see 15 FAM 162.2 paragraph d).  For capital leases, OBO funds all related decommissioning costs.

d. Exceptions:  Decommissioning costs for properties acquired for unique requirements (e.g., a lease for a one-tour short-term position; a one-time need to accommodate a large family of an agency; a group house; or, a dedicated residence) are funded by the occupying/assigned agency.  Post must ensure the affected agency is aware of this requirement.

6 FAH-5 H-524  Residential Make-ready

(CT:ICASS-70;   01-30-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

a. Occupant turnover starts the make-ready process in a consolidated housing program.  These requirements most typically relate to painting and cleaning.  However, because customer agencies often have different tours of duty, the make-ready process will vary from tenant to tenant and may include routine maintenance work required to restore the property to appropriate condition for occupancy.  Each post must establish a basic policy outlining the tasks/actions performed to prepare an existing property for a new occupant (see paragraph e below).

b. What is Make-Ready:  Make-ready is the process to prepare a property for occupancy between tenants, whether it is a GO, CL, or OL property.  Make-ready requirements will vary by post but typically include:

1.   Interior painting (NOTES 1 and paragraph c below);

2.   General cleaning (e.g., appliances, floors, carpets, closets, furniture, curtains, windows, etc.) (see Note 3);

3.   Changing or re-keying door locks, as determined by the RSO (see NOTE 2);

4.   Garden clean-up and grounds care (see paragraph h);

5.   POSHO verification that requirements of 15 FAM 252.5 are still met at the property; and

6.   RSO verification that relevant security requirements are still met at the property (see paragraph c Note 5 for maintenance of security items).

NOTE 1: Exterior painting is typically a landlord responsibility.  If the landlord refuses to perform the work, the work is contracted out and the cost is deducted from the lease and used to offset the contracted labor and supplies used.

NOTE 2:  If the RSO requires locks/keys to be changed between tenants, the related cost is funded by DS (FC 5841 - Residential Security Upgrades).

NOTE 3:  In vacated properties where the tenant had pets, posts should ensure that any special cleaning or treatments (e.g., fleas) required are completed and charged to the outgoing tenant (as a personal expense).

c.  Who Funds Make-ready Costs:  Beginning in FY18, make-ready costs will be direct charged to the agency of the outgoing occupant as outlined in paragraph b of this section.  This will ensure that agencies can plan for the estimated cost of a routine make-ready associated with the anticipated rotation of its employees.  This timing will also allow the SRPM/GSO to immediately prepare a property for occupancy without having to wait for a housing assignment to be made.  In-house labor requirements for make-readies are budgeted in ICASS in 7850-X799-Make-Ready.  Contract costs for make-ready painting and cleaning (e.g., appliances, furniture, furnishings, house cleaning, garden clean-up, etc.) are direct charged to the outgoing agency and are not typically funded in ICASS except as outlined below.

NOTE:  Make-ready costs include only the activities identified as typical turnover make-ready requirements outlined in paragraph b in this section, plus any unique post requirements.  It does not include maintenance and repair tasks.

1.   Painting/Cleaning/Grounds Care Services:  OBO MCS funds the cost of all bulk maintenance and repair supplies, including painting supplies and equipment for make-ready requirements, as needed.  Regional Bureau ICASS funds all supplies related to building operating expenses (i.e., cleaning products and tools, grounds care products and tools, etc.)  Posts use various methods to meet these make-ready requirements.  Some posts only use in-house staff, some may contract it out, and others may use a combination of both.  There are four options, depending on post circumstances, to address make-ready requirements:

(a)  Option 1:  At posts with sufficient LE Staff (painters, cleaners, and grounds keepers) to perform make-ready services, these employees must allocate a portion of their time to sub-cost center 7850-X799-Make-Ready.  If the in-house staff is augmented by outside contractors, the contract costs are also budgeted to this sub-cost center, pooling the total costs for make-readies.  The workload count in the sub-cost center is the total square meters made ready for each agency and the total costs are shared by those agencies according to their percentage share of the square meters.

(b)  Option 2:  At posts that typically direct charge portions of make-ready (e.g., all painting, all cleaning, or all grounds care services) but the remaining services are done in-house, post would continue to direct charge those portions that are contracted out and budget in the 7850-X799-Make-Ready sub-cost center only those services performed with in-house staff and related BOE supplies.

(c)  Option 3:  At posts with no in-house staff for make-ready requirements, post will continue to contract for these services and direct charge the tenant agency; no costs would be included in the ICASS budget.

(d)  Option 4:  At posts where the landlord typically provides this service, that practice would continue and these costs would not be included in the budget.

d. Maintenance Performed During Make-Ready:  During the turnover process, many posts take this opportunity to perform a range of maintenance tasks and repairs not done during the tenant agency's period of occupancy.  Technically, these maintenance issues are not/not part of the make-ready process but must be performed during this period in order to bring the property back to established standards.

1.   Repairs at operating lease properties should be coordinated with and charged to the landlord in accordance with established post procedures.  Repairs that are not the landlord's responsibility should be handled according to OBO guidelines in 15 FAM 600.

2.   Costs for all maintenance and repair parts and supplies are funded by OBO MCS funding.  Agencies' subscription to 7810/7850-Building Operations Residential Services typically covers the labor associated with these activities unless post uses contract labor.  If a post does not have in-house facilities staff (e.g., painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.) to perform routine maintenance work, the cost of contract labor for these functions is direct charged to the tenant agency and not included in ICASS.

3.   If a particular maintenance task requires unique skills (e.g., elevator mechanic), OBO will fund the cost of the contract for this labor.  OBO does not fund labor contracts for routine maintenance tasks (e.g., plumbing, electrical, painting, etc.).

NOTE 1:  Maintenance of Security Equipment:  Routine maintenance and repair of security equipment (e.g., repainting of grills, repair/replacement of intercom/entry equipment) is funded by DS (FC 5841 - Residential Security Upgrades).

NOTE 2:  Residential Building Operations Contracts:  Contract costs related to maintenance requirements for a specific property (e.g., gutter cleaning, chimney cleaning, etc.) are direct charged to the outgoing tenant agency.  While these activities may take place in conjunction with turnover make-ready, they are unique costs for a property which must be direct charged to the tenant agency.

NOTE 3:  Generator Maintenance and Repairs:  OBO funds the cost of generator maintenance contracts, regardless of the occupying agency.  At posts that provide generator maintenance services with in-house staff, OBO MCS provides all funding for related parts and supplies.

e. Post Policy:  The SRPM, working with the Interagency Housing Board (IAHB), will establish a policy that outlines the required services to be provided in the make-ready process (see 6 FAH-5 Exhibit 524) to ensure that all properties meet agreed upon standards.  Having a clear policy will ensure that all properties are maintained and prepared for occupancy according to established post standards.

1.   Central Datasheet:  Each post is responsible for entering its final approved residential make-ready cost on the ICASS Service Center website datasheet that also tracks post-specific residential commissioning costs.  This information will be used by the regional bureau and agencies for budget and planning purposes, but posts will only charge the actual costs of the make-ready, whether higher or lower.  Posts should ensure tenant agencies are given early warning if costs will exceed the post's typical make-ready cost (and be prepared to provide an explanation).

(a)  Calculating Average Costs:  Each post will calculate its average turnover make-ready cost for properties in the consolidated housing program, recognizing that some properties will cost more, others less, depending on the size of the unit.  This amount and what it includes must have the concurrence of the ICASS Council and regional bureau (see 15 FAM 162.2 paragraph d (2) and 6 FAH-5 H-522 paragraph d).  In calculating the average cost, each post must consider the local environment, the standard tour of duty, and the typical cost for meeting the make-ready requirements.  This average turnover make-ready cost will be a budget and planning number to allow agencies to anticipate the projected costs for this activity, with the understanding that the final cost may be higher or lower than this amount, depending on the size of the property and the period of occupancy.  It does not include any maintenance and repair costs.

(b)  What Is Included:  Depending on circumstances at post, posts may use various approaches to perform make-readies (i.e., use in-house and/or contract staff); for the datasheet, posts must capture the average cost to perform the basic make-ready requirements.  LE staff time and any BOE supplies (not maintenance and repair supplies) budgeted in the make-ready sub-cost center are included in this calculation, as well as any contract costs that may be direct charged.  This cost is a budget and planning number for both post and agencies so they can be prepared to fund make-ready costs when their staff rotates.

(i)     If post contracts out and direct charges the entire requirement, calculate the average cost from the most recent set of make-readies and enter that amount in the datasheet.

(ii)    If post budgets all make-ready costs in the sub-cost center, use the total budgeted costs divided by the number of properties made ready (which you will need to track off-line when preparing this calculation) to calculate the average cost.

(iii)    If post uses a combination of direct charging and budgeted costs, take the average from each category and add them together, dividing by the total number of properties made-ready, entering that total in the datasheet.

f.  Management of Records:  Posts will maintain appropriate records in the lease file on all costs related to the make-ready process in accordance with 15 FAM 162.2 paragraph d(3).  Tracking these costs will allow the service provider to establish and monitor the average make-ready amount for their post and provide essential information for resident agencies.  OBO will track the use of maintenance and repair supplies using ILMS/Expendables and the GMMS system.

g. ICASS-Funded Costs:  All posts that budget make-ready costs in ICASS must activate the sub-cost center 7850-X799-Make-Ready for all property types (GO/CL/OL) and use square meters vacated by each agency in the previous year as the workload count.

h. Tenant Responsibilities:  During occupancy, general cleaning, grounds keeping, and trash removal are the responsibility of the tenant.  Prior to departure, the SRPM will inspect the residential property to assess any damages determined to be beyond “fair wear and tear.”  All costs associated with damages beyond fair wear and tear, including those related to pets, will be charged to the tenant (see 15 FAM 247 and 15 FAM 245).

NOTE 1:  During occupancy, general garden cleaning and grounds keeping is a tenant responsibility.  If extensive clean-up or repair is needed upon departure of the tenant, post should ensure that the tenant is charged, as appropriate.  During the period of vacancy (up to 90 days) until a new employee/agency is assigned, the outgoing agency remains responsible for all costs related to the property, including any service contracts or costs related to the maintenance of the yard.

NOTE 2:  Per 15 FAM Exhibit 341(2), all residential leases must have a "conditions report" attached at signing (referenced in Article 2 of the Model Lease), agreed to and signed by both parties.  The report is the baseline for measuring long-term damage and wear and tear on leased space.

i.  Changing Housing Assignments:  Procedures for appealing a housing assignment are outlined in 15 FAM 212.4-2.  For changes approved for personal preference, any required make-ready of the occupied property being vacated is at the personal expense of the employee (e.g., cleaning costs).  The cost of moving the personal effects of the occupant to the new residence is a direct cost to the occupant.

1.   For moves directed by the IAHB (e.g., an employee in an oversized home must move to accommodate a new, large family), the cost of any make-ready requirements and moving of personal household effects is charged to the tenant agency.

2.   At posts where a new residential compound is acquired, the cost of moving the employees' personal effects from their current residence to the new compound is funded by the employing agency.  The cost of moving all government owned furniture and appliance pool (FAP) program items is funded by ICASS.  Each agency is responsible for any lease termination costs associated with properties vacated by its employees.


 

6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-522
Post Commissioning Policy

(CT:ICASS-80;   07-18-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

This is a sample Post Commissioning Policy that must be tailored to reflect post’s conditions.  See “Alternate Language” on the ICASS Website

 

MANAGEMENT POLICY

 

SUBJECT:  Residential Commissioning Policy for Mission XXXXX

 

1.  PURPOSE

This document outlines the policy and guidance for post’s residential commissioning and decommissioning activities in accordance with 6 FAH-5 H-522-Residential Commissioning and related guidance in 6 FAH-5 H-520.

 

2.  GOAL

The primary goal of this policy is to standardize the process for acquiring residential properties for the post housing program and to ensure the retention of these properties for at least three tours of duty to allow for reasonable amortization of the investment in any required upgrades.

 

3.  SCOPE

This policy applies to all leased properties acquired for post’s consolidated housing pool program and all agencies that receive housing services under that program.  Agencies that have dedicated housing (i.e., senior representatives of the Foreign Agriculture Service, Foreign Commercial Service, US Agency for International Development, and the senior Defense representative, as outlined in 15 FAM 235.3) are included under the provisions of this policy but each agency is responsible for all commissioning costs related to those dedicated properties.  Similarly, properties acquired for unique requirements (e.g., group housing for a particular agency) are funded by the requesting agency.

The Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) is responsible for all commissioning and decommissioning costs related to Government-owned and capital leased properties.

 

4.  WHAT IS RESIDENTIAL COMMISSIONING?

Commissioning refers to the process of acquiring and preparing appropriate residential properties to meet the requirements of the post housing pool.   It includes meeting all the safety and security requirements in accordance with 15 FAM 252.4 and 15 FAM 252.5.  The Single Real Property Manager (SRPM) is responsible for identifying properties and negotiating leases that meet these requirements.  Post makes every effort to have all necessary upgrades be completed by the landlord at the landlord’s expense whenever possible.  Upgrades that the landlord will not fund but are deemed necessary to approve the lease are funded by the US Government as outlined in this policy.

New properties are acquired for new or growing agencies at post, as well as to replace existing properties that are dropped from the housing program as outlined in paragraph 5.d below.

At this post, the following upgrades represent the typical requirements to bring a property into the housing pool:  (SEE ALTERNATE LANGUAGE)

a.   Add/provide/install basic kitchen fixtures (e.g., cupboards, counter tops, sinks and faucets)

b.   Upgrade the electrical and/or plumbing systems to accommodate American appliances (e.g., dedicated circuit and/or water lines for a washer and dryer, grounding of the electrical system, wiring to accommodate air conditioning units, etc.).  Install bathroom fixtures and appliances, shower curtain rods, etc.;

c.    Install a gas line for bottled gas;

d.   Install USG-provided air conditioners, water heater(s), and household appliances;

e.   Repair/replace/install interior light fixtures, as needed, including ceiling fans;

f.    Refinish/repair floors;

g.   Install a water tank, water pump, and water chiller;

h.   Install water filtration/purification system;

i.    Install safety upgrades to meet POSHO certification requirements specified in 15 FAM 252.5 (e.g., pool fencing, safety railing, gas venting);

j.    Install security upgrades as identified by the RSO (includes, as needed, installation of a portable guard booth including a concrete pad and connection to required utilities;

k.   Install window screens and mosquito bed nets, if required;

l.    Install light-reflecting window film;

m.  Install smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers (equipment is provided by OBO;

n.   Perform pest control/fumigation, if required;

o.   Perform initial gardening/yardwork, as needed;

p.   Plaster and paint, as needed;

q.   Perform a title search to validate ownership;

r.    Install a generator, including an external fuel tank, automatic transfer switch, sound enclosure and concrete pad; and

s.   Conduct final cleaning after all commissioning work is completed.

The policy outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-520 contains detailed information regarding limitations on the items outlined above as well as types of activities that may not be included in the commissioning process.  The SRPM is responsible for ensuring these limitations and exclusions are factored into post’s commissioning process.

 

5.  WHO FUNDS COMMISSIONING COSTS?

a.     New Positions:  All costs associated with the commissioning of a residential property for a new position (excluding those costs undertaken by the landlord at the landlord’s expense), including all safety and security upgrades, are funded in full by the sponsoring agency (also see paragraph e.7).  Post’s estimated average commissioning cost is $XX,XXX and is recorded in the RCMR Datasheet on the ICASS website and is updated annually.

        Agencies must provide a fund cite for residential commissioning costs at least 90 to 180 days prior to the anticipated arrival of the employee to avoid temporary lodging costs.  If funding for the lease and commissioning costs is not received, work on a new property cannot begin.

        In some cases, post may assign the employee for a new position to an existing housing pool property due to the timing of their arrival or family size.  However, the agency will remain responsible for ultimately commissioning a new property required to expand the housing pool in that transfer season.  In this situation, recognizing all the unknowns involved and the possibility that multiple new properties may be acquired, the new agency would be responsible for funding the commissioning costs of a new property equal to the average commissioning cost for post.  If the actual commissioning costs for this property exceed the post’s average cost, ICASS funds will cover the difference; if they are less, the agency would only fund the actual cost.

        If a new position is established in the same year that another agency withdrew from post and no new property must be commissioned for the new position, the new agency will not be charged any commissioning costs.

        All maintenance and repair (M&R) type supplies used in the commissioning process for new positions are funded by OBO/Maintenance Cost Sharing.  Upon completion of the commissioning process, post will journal voucher the total value of the supplies used back to the OBO account that funded these costs.

b.     Short-term Positions:  All costs associated with the commissioning of a residential property required for a short term position, where the property will be dropped upon the departure of the employee, are funded by the sponsoring agency.  The cost of M&R supplies used in this process is handled as outlined in paragraph a above.

c.      Unique Requirements:  All costs associated with the commissioning of a residential property required for a specific, one-time requirement (i.e., group house for an agency with many TDYers, or a very large property required to accommodate a very large family) are funded by the sponsoring agency.  The cost of M&R supplies used ii this process is handled as outlined in paragraph a above.

d.     Replacement Leases and ICASS Funding: (SEE ALTERNATE LANGUAGE):

Commissioning costs for replacement leases are funded in ICASS only if 75 percent of our leases have been retained for three or more tours of duty.  Currently, our post does not meet this requirement because only XX percent of our leases have been in the housing pool for that period of time.  Consequently, commissioning costs for new and replacement leases must be charged to the first assigned occupant.  Post is working with the Interagency Housing Board (IAHB) to review this issue to determine if and how our retention rate can be improved.

e.     Replacement Leases Not Funded by ICASS:  Irrespective of the 75 percent rule, ICASS will not fund commissioning costs for replacement leases in the following circumstances:

        Landlords at post will not sign leases that cover multiple tours of duty, so all commissioning/decommissioning costs are direct charged to the assigned agency;

        A new lease required for an agency’s long vacant position that is now being filled is charged to the agency;

        A new lease required following the departure of a tandem couple is shared 50/50 by the agency(ies) of the departed employees;

        A new lease, required when a family is safe-havened at a post and a replacement employee is assigned, is charged to the agency supporting the safe-havened family;

        A new lease for a group house for a single agency is charged to that agency;

        A new or replacement lease for a dedicated house for the head of a foreign affairs agency is charged to the agency; and

        A new lease required to expand the housing pool for a new position where the new employee was assigned to an existing property (see paragraph 5.a above).

f.      Security Upgrades for Replacement Leases:  The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) funds the cost of security upgrades for all replacement leases, regardless of occupant.

6.  BUDGETING FOR COMMISSIONING COSTS  (SEE ALTERNATE LANGUAGE)

This post uses in-house and contracted labor to complete commissioning requirements.  Commissioning costs are budgeted in a special sub-cost center under Residential Building Operations (7850-0899-Commissioning) and the workload count is the number of properties commissioned for each agency.  ICASS is only charged when an ICASS employee is assigned to a new property.  At this post, all plumbing work and the final cleaning* is always contracted out and direct charged to the assigned agency; similar costs for ICASS properties will be budgeted in the sub-cost center.  All other commissioning requirements are performed with in-house staff and those costs are also budgeted in the sub-cost center.  Any M&R supplies required for the commissioning process are funded by OBO/MCS and are not charged back to the assigned agency except for requirements for new positions (see paragraph 5.a).

*post must tailor this phrase to reflect post’s situation

 

7.  WHO FUNDS NEW SAFETY AND SECURITY UPGRADES ON EXISTING PROPERTIES?

If new safety (POSHO) requirements are introduced after properties are commissioned and included in the post housing pool, the cost of upgrading all existing properties to meet this standard is funded by OBO.  If new security requirements (DS or RSO mandated) are introduced after properties are commissioned and included in the post housing pool, the cost of upgrading all existing properties is funded by DS.  In both cases, these new costs are added to post’s estimated average commissioning costs maintained on the RCMR Datasheet.

 

8.  COMMISSIONING REQUIREMENTS AND LQA/OHA PROPERTIES

Employees who acquire their properties using the LQA or OHA process are required to obtain the approval of the RSO and POSHO before leasing a property.  Any costs associated with alterations required as a result of these reviews are funded by the employee or the employing agency, in accordance with agency regulations.

 

9.  FUNDING RESPONSIBILITY FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES  (SEE ALTERNATE LANGUAGE)

a.     Building Operating Expenses (BOE) include items incidental to occupying a property (e.g., utilities, condo fees, service contracts, grounds care, etc.) and are direct charged to the tenant agency.  Also included in BOE are various contracted services that are unique to a property (e.g., gutter cleaning, chimney cleaning, pest control, etc.); these costs are direct charged to the tenant agency.  Other BOE activities performed by in-house staff are budgeted in ICASS in 7810/7850-Residential Building Operations and charged to tenant agencies according to their square meters assigned.  If there is a shared multi-residence property, costs that can be separated out will be direct charged.  Any costs that cannot be separated out are budgeted in ICASS in 7810/7850 Residential Building Operations and charged to the tenant agencies according to their square meters assigned.

b.     Maintenance and Repair (M&R) includes activities to preserve, maintain or restore a property so it can be used for its intended purpose (e.g., caulking, repairing broken water pipes or household fixtures, etc.).  At this post, landlords are responsible for maintenance activities as outlined in the lease agreement.  When the landlord is unable or unwilling to do this work, the SRPM will undertake to complete the work and calculate a rental offset to cover all necessary costs.  Depending on the task involved, the work may be completed by a contractor and that cost will be the rental offset.  If the work is completed with in-house staff, all M&R supplies for these activities are funded by OBO/MCS with no charge-back to the assigned agency because these costs are shared at the Washington level.  Your subscription to 7810/7850-Residential Building Operations covers most labor costs.  On occasion, post may need to augment in-house staff with contracted labor to perform routine maintenance tasks and in those cases, we will also budget those costs in the Building Operations cost centers.  When work is performed with in-house staff, the rental offset is comprised of the cost of M&R supplies and any contract labor used.

10.  DECOMMISSIONING COSTS

When a property must be dropped from the post housing program, the process for returning the property to the landlord is called “decommissioning.”  The SRPM attempts to negotiate leases with no costs related to decommissioning, but if that is not possible, there may be costs associated with the removal of safety or security upgrades, appliances or other equipment.

For posts that meet the 75 percent rule, decommissioning costs may be funded in ICASS if the reason for dropping the lease is due to one of the reasons outlined in paragraph 5.d.

The last departing agency will provide a fund cite equivalent to the average make-ready cost reported on the ICASS Datasheet; these funds will be used to offset any costs related to the decommissioning of the property.  If the total decommissioning costs are higher than this amount, ICASS will fund the difference.  If they are lower, the agency will be charged only the actual cost of the decommissioning.  This process is intended to ensure that all agencies pay their fair share of this aspect of the post housing program.

Posts that do not meet the 75 percent rule charge the decommissioning costs to the outgoing tenant agency.

Decommissioning costs related to unique properties, dedicated residences, group houses, etc., are charged to the sponsoring agency as outlined in 6 FAH-5 H-523 paragraph d.


 

6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-524
Post Make-Ready Policy

(CT:ICASS-80;   07-18-2018)
(Applies to participating ICASS agencies)

This is a sample Post Make-Ready Policy that must be tailored to reflect post’s conditions.  See “Alternate Language” on the ICASS Website

 

MANAGEMENT POLICY

 

SUBJECT:  Residential Make-Ready Policy for Mission XXXXX

 

1.  PURPOSE

This document outlines the policy and guidance for post’s residential make-ready process in accordance with 6 FAH-5 H-524 – Residential Make-Ready.

 

2.  GOAL

The goal of this policy is to ensure all agencies are familiar with the activities covered in the make-ready process and separate those actions from other residential property requirements (e.g., maintenance and repair [M&R]).  Understanding this policy will ensure agencies are prepared to fund the estimated costs of the make-ready process for their employees.

 

3.  SCOPE

This policy applies to all agencies that participate in the post housing program, including tenants of both Government-owned and leased residential properties.  Make-ready costs are charged to the outgoing tenant agency and agencies are expected to plan for and promptly provide the estimated costs for make-ready requirements so that a property can be quickly prepared for the next occupant.  Agencies will be notified six months prior to the projected departure of an employee that these funds will be required.  GSO will conduct a pre-departure inspection of each property to determine if there are any damages beyond normal wear and tear that need to be charged to the tenant; the agency will be charged for such repairs if they are not paid by the tenant.

 

4.  WHAT IS MAKE-READY?

Occupant turnover starts the make-ready process in the consolidated housing program.  Make-ready is the process to prepare a property for occupancy between tenants, whether it is a government-owned, capital lease or operating lease property. Make-ready requirements typically include:

Interior painting;

General cleaning (e.g., appliances, floors, carpets, closets, furniture, curtains, windows, etc.);

Changing or re-keying door locks as determined by the RSO;

Garden clean-up/grounds care (during period after tenant departure and prior to assignment to new tenant); and

POSHO verification that requirements of 15 FAM 252.5 are still met;

RSO verification that the property still meets relevant security requirements (see 15 FAM 252.4).

It is post policy that all properties that were occupied by employees with pets must have the furniture professionally cleaned at the personal expense of the tenant; the tenant is also responsible for any pet-related damages.  Post’s estimated average commissioning cost is $X,XXX and is recorded on the RCMR Datasheet on the ICASS website, updated annually.

Because customer agencies have different tours of duty, maintenance requirements that were not requested during a tenant’s occupancy are often identified in the make-ready process.  These maintenance requirements will be addressed at the same time as make-ready activities are underway and will remain the responsibility of the tenant agency (see paragraph 8).

5  WHO FUNDS MAKE-READY COSTS?  (SEE ALTERNATE LANGUAGE)

Make-ready costs are charged to the outgoing tenant agency.  This post uses primarily in-house staff for this requirement, augmented by contracted labor when necessary.  All costs are budgeted in a special make-ready sub-cost center in ICASS (7850-0799-Make-Ready) and the workload count is the total square meters made ready for each agency in that fiscal year.  Any bulk painting supplies used in the make-ready process are funded by OBO/MCS and are not charged to the tenant agency.  Upon vacating a property, agencies that abolish a position or withdraw from post are still required to fund the cost of make-ready in preparation for the next tenant.

 

6.  SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

The RSO requires locks/keys to be changed between tenants and the related cost is charged to DS.  The cost for security equipment that requires maintenance (e.g., repainting of grills, repair/replacement of intercom/entry equipment, etc.) is also funded by DS, regardless of the occupant agency.

 

7.  MAINTAINING “MAKE-READY CONDITIONS” IN VACANT RESIDENCES

The tenant agency remains responsible for an assigned property after the departure of its employee and until its assignment to a new employee/agency, up to a maximum of ninety days.  During this period of vacancy, the agency is responsible for all costs (e.g., rent, utilities, periodic contracts, grounds care, pool maintenance, etc.).  If no assignment is made within 90 days, the SRPM will submit a justification for retention of the property and request ICASS Council concurrence.  With the Council’s concurrence, the SRPM will submit the justification for retaining the property to OBO and request authorization to retain the property and charge the related costs to ICASS until the property is assigned to a new tenant.

 

8.  MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR (M&R) REQUIREMENTS (SEE ALTERNATE LANGUAGE)

The Facilities Section will use the period a property is in the make-ready process to assess any required maintenance activities.  At this post, landlords are responsible for maintenance activities as outlined in the lease agreement.  When the landlord is unable or unwilling to do this work, the SRPM will undertake to complete the work and calculate a rental offset to cover all necessary costs.  Depending on the task involved, the work may be completed by a contractor and that cost will be the rental offset.  When the work is completed with in-house staff, all M&R supplies for these activities are funded by OBO/MCS with no charge-back to the assigned agency because these costs are shared at the Washington level.  Your subscription to 7810/7860-Residential Building Operations covers most labor costs.  On occasion, post may need to augment in-house staff with contracted labor to perform routine maintenance tasks and in those cases, we will also budget those costs in the Building Operations cost centers.  When work is performed with in-house staff, the rental offset is comprised of the cost of M&R supplies and any contract labor used.

 

9.  CHANGING HOUSING ASSIGNMENTS

Housing assignments may be changed in limited circumstances and often create additional make-ready requirements.  We will charge make-ready costs according to the following guidance:

a.     Moves for Personal Preference:  If the IAHB approves the move of a tenant for personal preference, any required make-ready of the property being vacated is the personal expense of the employee (typically it is cleaning costs).  The cost of moving the personal effects of the employee to the new residence is a direct charge to the employee.

b.     Moves Directed by the IAHB:  The IAHB may direct the move of a family in over-sized housing to accommodate the arrival of a large family.  The cost of make-ready for the property being vacated and the cost of moving the employees’ household effects are charged to the outgoing tenant agency.

c.      Moves to a New Residential Compound:  If a new residential compound is acquired, the cost of moving employees’ household effects from the current property to the new property is funded by the employing agency.  The cost of moving all furniture and appliance pool (FAP) property is funded by ICASS.  Each agency is responsible for their respective lease termination costs associated with the properties being vacated.

UNCLASSIFIED (U)