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Public Benefit Conveyance Program


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) promotes the effective use of real property owned by the federal government and the disposal of this property when federal agencies no longer need it. Through the Public Benefit Conveyance Program, surplus federal land and buildings may be conveyed to public entities at no cost pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 541 et seq., and applicable regulations (specifically 40 U.S.C. § 553 and 41 C.F.R. Parts 102-75.750 through 102-75.815). Eligible applicants for this property include states, or political subdivisions or instrumentalities of states that propose to use the property for law enforcement or correctional facility purposes.

Properties available under the Public Benefit Conveyance Program fall into two categories:

  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Buildings and Land: Military installations of the U.S. Armed Forces that have been identified as underused and are being closed to reduce the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) operations and maintenance costs. GSA has given DoD the authority to convey the deeds for BRAC properties. The official conveying authority of these properties is DoD.
  • Non-BRAC Buildings and Land: Federal buildings and land not affected by BRAC that have been identified as surplus by GSA. The official conveying authority of these properties is GSA.

Department of Justice’s Role

As a component within the Department of Justice, BJA receives and reviews the applications submitted for surplus property to determine whether (1) the use proposed by the state or unit of local government meets the requirements of the statute for correctional facilities or law enforcement use; and (2) the environmental impact of the proposed transfer has been properly assessed under the National Environmental Policy Act. BJA will send its determination to the agency (GSA or DoD) holding the deed to the surplus property to consider a no-cost conveyance of that property.

Application Process

  1. Notification: BJA must receive your Notice of Intent to apply for federal surplus property by email, fax, or postal mail.
  2. Application: BJA must receive an application from you with all required documentation, photos, and signatures by the following deadlines:
    • BRAC Buildings and Land: Within 30 days after federal approval of the Local Redevelopment Authority Plan.
    • Non-BRAC Buildings and Land: Within 30 days of GSA’s surplus notice expiration date.
  3. Determination: BJA will review complete applications and make a determination regarding the proposed use for correctional facilities or law enforcement within 45 days. BJA will then inform GSA or DoD of its decision, as well as the applicant.
  4. Conveyance: Only the deed holder—the GSA Administrator or the DoD Secretary of Defense—can grant the final approval to convey any and all surplus property to the applicant. Disclaimer: Please note that the Department of Justice does not convey nor deed any federal surplus property.

Additional Resources


Public Benefit Conveyance Program
Department of Justice / Office of Justice Programs / Bureau of Justice Assistance
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
Office: 202-616-6500 / Fax: 202-305-1367

Date Modified: December 20, 2022
Date Created: February 17, 2012