Mandatory Participation in the Department of Defense Self-Help Program Can Reduce Operation and Maintenance Costs

CED-78-26: Published: Jan 13, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 1978.

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A survey of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) family housing operation and maintenance program indicated that DOD's housing maintenance costs could be reduced.

Significant savings could be achieved if participation in self-help programs were required. A significant amount of family housing maintenance and repair work, which, according to DOD and service regulations should be performed by the occupants, is being performed by installation maintenance personnel. Five installations visited incurred unnecessary maintenance costs of more than $291,000 for work the occupants should have done. Family housing occupants who prefer not to perform self-help work should be charged for work done by maintenance personnel. Occupants are not charged for damages to housing units.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense (DOD) should instruct the services to strengthen their self-help programs by: enforcing the requirement that family housing occupants do elementary maintenance and repair tasks; and requiring occupants who refuse to do elementary tasks to pay for the cost of the work done by maintenance personnel. DOD should instruct the services to implement new instructions authorizing military installation commanders to assess and collect charges for family housing damages without having to prove gross negligence.

    Agency Affected:


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