Frequently Asked Questions

Deferred maintenance is complicated. These questions and answers are intended to help explain the process of identifying, reporting, and addressing deferred maintenance and define some of the terms you may hear.

As maintenance and repair work is identified through condition assessments and not completed on schedule, deferred maintenance increases. Deferred maintenance decreases when work orders are closed out or when maintenance work is accomplished. As the NPS reviews, quality checks, and improves its data—or when work and materials cost estimates change—deferred maintenance statistics fluctuate up or down accordingly.
The NPS actively uses facilities and financial data to support both day-to-day work management and long-term strategic decisions. NPS resources are primarily directed to deferred maintenance affecting the highest priority assets that support mission-critical infrastructure and visitor service. Target projects include critically needed repairs to existing assets, as well as demolition projects for assets that are no longer needed or that create a risk within parks. The NPS uses a standard, servicewide priority-setting approach to align investment decisions with a number of factors, including financial sustainability, resource protection, visitor use, and health and safety. The approach is based on empirical data and uses the business systems in place to direct investments to the highest priorities.
Deferred maintenance is addressed by multiple funding sources, including individual park budget allocations, project funding sources, concessions revenue, partnerships, agreements and grants, and the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA).
Since 1986, the NPS has used computerized maintenance management systems to track workload inventories of real property; maintenance tasks that describe work performed on NPS assets; descriptions of work standards; work programs and performance budgets; work schedules and task prioritization; work orders that specify job authorizations and record work accomplished; and asset reports and analyses.

The current NPS Facility Management Software System (FMSS) was deployed in 1998 and has been modified over time to meet the Service’s unique needs for an asset management system. The FMSS is an asset-based work identification, work management, and work analysis system. This "cradle to grave" system allows parks, regions, and the NPS Washington Office to track asset conditions, asset operations and maintenance, repair and rehabilitation, and removal of assets.
The facility condition index (FCI) is a measure of a facility's relative condition at a particular point in time. The FCI rating is a ratio of the cost of repair of the asset's deferred maintenance divided by the current replacement value for the asset. A lower FCI rating indicates better facility condition.
A critical system is a system, sub-system, or piece of equipment that is essential to the effective functioning of an asset. Some examples of critical systems for buildings are roofs; foundation components; exterior doors; and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) components.
Critical systems deferred maintenance is associated with the proper upkeep of an asset’s critical system. While its name may indicate that all critical systems deferred maintenance is of high importance to the bureau, the truth is more complex. The NPS prioritizes its maintenance work by the importance of the asset itself to our mission and not by an asset’s critical systems. If the asset itself is not a priority, the critical systems deferred maintenance connected to it is also not a priority.
The asset inventory reports include the total of all assets that the NPS tracks for all reporting types. Government organizations, like the General Services Administration or the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, only require the NPS to report specific subsets of the total focused on their individual authorities or areas of responsibility. Because of the varying requirements, there are slight variations in the total inventory count, deferred maintenance, and other data elements presented in different reports.

Last updated: July 23, 2018