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GAO: Bureau of Land Management Mishandled Land Trades

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Government officials say the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has mishandled a mandate to exchange land with the states of California and Washington.

The Government Accountability Office report released Monday says the BLM has been selling some properties and purchasing others, rather than completing the straightforward trades they’re permitted to perform.

It says that doing so circumvented the U.S. Congress’ authority, since it bought land outside of Congress’ appropriations process.

The GAO also says the agency may have missed out on revenue by directly selling land to interested buyers instead of putting it out to competitive bid.

A BLM spokesman did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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