15 FAM 120
general definitions For OVerseas Buildings Operations
(Office of Origin: OBO)
15 FAM 121 GENERAL DEFINITIONS applicable to this volume
Appliances: Devices or machines not built into the building structure of residential quarters that supplement manual labor and perform a specific task. Appliances normally include such items as domestic clothes washers, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, dish washers, glass washers, domestic hot water heaters (50 gallons and smaller), window air conditioners, split-system air conditioners (three tons and smaller), portable dehumidifiers, ice makers, freezers, refrigerators, etc.
Building maintenance expenses (BME): A cost category that captures operating activities specifically attributable to maintaining and repairing major building systems government-owned or -leased (GO/L) facilities. These include, but are not limited to, preventive maintenance service contracts for major building systems. (See 15 FAM 623.)
Building operating expenses (BOE): Expenses incident to occupying buildings and grounds, but not including improvements, repair or maintenance costs beyond those minor operating system repairs and preventive maintenance identified in the International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) Handbook. (See 6 FAH-5 H-341.12.) BOE are also referred to as operating expenses. BOE include:
(1) Building operations workforce, e.g., carpenters, plumbers, electricians, building engineers, and maintenance technicians;
(2) Grounds care and custodial workforce and services, e.g., janitors, cleaners, window washers, and gardeners;
(3) Operating fuel;
(5) Janitorial supplies, tools, and equipment;
(6) Grounds care supplies, tools and equipment;
(7) Trash and recycling collection;
(8) Government assessments and taxes (when exemptions cannot be obtained);
(9) Insurance; and
(10) Condominium fees, e.g., management fees, service charges, housing association fees (see 15 FAM 168).
Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) funds may not be expended for these items; BOE are funded by the post’s Diplomatic and Consular Programs (D&CP) allotments from regional bureaus, by the occupant agency, or through regional bureau funding in ICASS.
Capital lease (CL): A lease that meets any one of the following criteria:
(1) A lease that transfers ownership to the U.S. Government at the end of the lease term;
(2) A lease that contains an option to purchase the leased property at a bargain price;
(3) The lease term is equal to 75% or more of the economic life of the leased property;
(4) The present value at the beginning of the lease for the minimum lease payment is 90% or more of the fair value of the leased property;
(5) The asset is for a special purpose of the U.S. Government and is built to unique specifications for the U.S. Government as lessee; or
(6) There is no private-sector market for the asset.
If none of the criteria applies, the lease is considered an “operating lease.” The lessee treats capital leases as the acquisition of assets.
Contracting officer: An individual with written authority of the Department of State or USAID procurement executive to enter into, administer, and terminate contracts. The procurement executive (A/OPE for State or M/OAA for USAID) appoints all contracting officers in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 1.603-3 and Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR) 601.603-3 for State or U.S. Agency for International Development Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR) 701.601 for USAID.
Dedicated housing: Under the single real property manager (SRPM) concept, dedicated housing is provided only to the senior representative of each of the following foreign affairs agencies: Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS); Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service (FCS); US Agency for International Development (USAID); and Department of Defense. (See 15 FAM 230.)
Designated housing: Under the single real property manager (SRPM) concept, the only designated housing units are the residences for the ambassador (chief of mission (COM)), deputy chief of mission (DCM), consul general (CG) when also assigned as principal officer (PO), U.S. representative to an international organization abroad when also assigned as PO, and Marine security guards.
Equipment: Those items required for safe, comfortable, and proper habitability of a residence, including window and split air-conditioners, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers.
Executive officer: A term used by some agencies to identify the officer charged with responsibilities for administrative, managerial, and program support activities.
Furnishings: Those items that equip residential quarters for living, such as carpets, draperies or curtains, lamps, and lighting fixtures.
Furniture: Representational residential furniture includes those items listed as “Furniture” in 15 FAM Exhibit 732(A).
Furniture, furnishings, appliances, and equipment (FFA&E): Items that are provided in U.S. Government-furnished quarters. There are two major categories of FFA&E:
(1) Representational FFA&E: Items provided by OBO/OPS/RDF for certain residential quarters. The items are listed in 15 FAM Exhibit 732(A). This includes maintenance items paid for and provided by OBO/OPS/RDF;
(2) Standard and Supplemental FFA&E: Those items provided in post-managed furniture and appliance pool (FAP) programs. A list of these items is in 6 FAH-5 Exhibit H-513.2-2(1) and (2).
Government-furnished residential quarters: See “U.S. Government-furnished residential quarters” definition in this section.
Government-held real property: See “U.S. Government-held real property” definition in this section.
Government-provided residential quarters: See “U.S. Government-provided residential quarters” definition in this section.
Heritage collection: Antiques, works of art, and other cultural objects with historic importance, antiquity, rare quality, or intrinsic value. These include decorative arts such as textiles, antique furniture, clocks, sterling silver hollowware, porcelain, and ceramics; fine arts such as paintings, sculpture, and unique or limited edition prints; architectural features/finishes such as wooden panels, hand-painted wallpapers, chandeliers, and fireplace mantels; and miscellaneous cultural property such as musical instruments and rare books.
High-rise properties: Buildings of any type with an occupied floor located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access. In most cases, that means partial or fully-occupied space on the sixth floor and higher.
Improvements: Additions or alterations that increase the value or change the use of a building or property, or that significantly improve its utility. They do not include maintenance, repair, or restoration to the original condition. Improvements create something that did not exist before.
International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS): An interagency program administered by the Department of State, through which the U.S. Government provides and shares the cost of common administrative support services. ICASS uses a cost-distribution system based on per capita counts, actual workload counts (such as number of kilometers driven), and other distribution factors (such as square meters occupied, or number of telephone instruments serviced) to share administrative support costs among participating agencies. (See 6 FAH-5, ICASS Handbook.)
Lease costs: Base rent for a leased property. This does not include BOE, commissioning costs, capital construction costs, taxes, or maintenance and repairs.
License agreement: A revocable agreement that formalizes the terms of temporary occupancy of property without creating a leasehold right to occupy the property for a specified time.
Living quarters allowance (LQA): An allowance intended to cover the average costs of rent and utilities incurred by U.S. citizen civilian employees living in a foreign area by reason of employment with the U.S. Government. The LQA is available if U.S. Government quarters are not provided. The amount of the allowance varies by post, employee grade or rank, and size of family. (See Standardized Regulations, section 130.)
Lot: A piece of land that is (or could be used) for constructing a building, or for some other purpose such as right-of-way, easement, or setback. Lot also refers to the land below and surrounding a purchased, existing building.
Maintenance and repair (M&R): See 15 FAM 630, Maintenance, Repair, and Custodial Responsibilities.
Management officer or counselor: The State Department officer responsible for managing all administrative and support activities of a post abroad, except for USAID activities under independent administration. Responsibilities include management and budgeting of real property operations. (See definition in this section for single real property manager (SRPM).)
Nonresidential space: All nonresidential U.S. Government-held real property, such as office, warehouses, garages, and special program space.
Office: A type of nonresidential property used primarily for the conduct of official government business including the provision of purely administrative, clerical, and other types of services. Office buildings can be single- or multi-agency occupied.
Operating lease (OL): Any lease that is not a capital lease, as defined in 15 FAM 120.
Principal representative: The senior representative of a U.S. Government agency assigned to a diplomatic mission abroad.
Property identification number (PropID): The five-digit number assigned by post to each real property unit or structure. (Consult the Real Property Application (RPA) online help function or user’s guide for additional information.)
Real property: A parcel or plot of land and any buildings and structures contained thereon.
Real Property Application (RPA): The Department of State’s single comprehensive database for all real property overseas. RPA also serves as a subledger to the Department of State’s financial system. RPA is designed to support the following efforts:
(1) Local planning, operation, management, and control of U.S. Government-held real property abroad; and
(2) Management and reporting requirements of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO).
Repair and improvement (R&I): See 15 FAM 622, Repairs and Improvement (R&I).
Residential space: A type of property containing living quarters for habitation and not for business purposes.
Residential commissioning: The process of preparing and certifying a new residential property to meet fire, life safety, and security requirements and U.S. standards prior to occupancy by the U.S. Government. (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 property.
Residential make-ready: The process of preparing an existing residence in the consolidated housing pool for a new occupant. (See 6 FAH-5 H-524.) Make-ready generally includes interior painting, cleaning, and garden clean-up. The agency of the outgoing occupant is usually responsible for make-ready costs. NOTE: Maintenance and repair (M&R) and BOE activities that take place during occupancy turnover time are not considered make-ready.
Routine maintenance and repair: See 15 FAM 621, Routine Maintenance and Repair (M&R).
Single Real Property Manager (SRPM): The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) is the designated worldwide SRPM. This responsibility is delegated by OBO through the chief of mission (COM) to the management counselor or executive officer at each embassy. This person is responsible for acquisition and management of all officially leased and U.S. Government-owned real property in the country, except for certain USAID property.
Structure: A building or other object that is constructed above or below ground.
Tandem couple: A couple in which one spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) is a career or career candidate employee of the Foreign Service or Senior Foreign Service, and the other spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) is also a Foreign Service employee of the Department of State (or one of the agencies authorized to use the Foreign Service Personnel System, pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 3922).
U.S. Government-furnished residential quarters: U.S. Government-held quarters that are provided with standard furniture, furnishings, appliances, and equipment (FFA&E) for the occupant’s convenience and use.
U.S. Government-held real property: Real property owned, leased, requisitioned, or otherwise held in the name of the U.S. Government by the Secretary of State, by the U.S. Agency for International Development, or by other agencies, as authorized. This does not include real property leased under living quarters allowances (LQAs), which is a direct lease between employee and landlord.
U.S. Government-provided residential quarters: Living quarters made available to employees in lieu of a living quarters allowance/overseas housing allowance (LQA/OHA).
Use agreement: An interagency agreement covering the use by one or more agencies of all (or part of) a real property to another agency. Instead, their understandings on use of the real property, e.g., funding and other responsibilities, are stated in a use agreement, which is signed at post by all involved agencies and administered according to the terms of the agreement.
15 fam 122 through 129 unassigned