Reductions in Coast Guard Leased Housing Can Achieve Savings

GGD-84-91: Published: Aug 8, 1984. Publicly Released: Aug 8, 1984.

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GAO reviewed the Coast Guard's policies, procedures, and practices for the leasing of housing for its service members and their dependents to determine whether it needs to continue leasing in view of the variable housing allowance (VHA).

GAO found that the Coast Guard's internal surveys used to determine private housing costs overstated the costs and thereby the need for leasing. Leasing costs were about $6 million more than the $20 million of allowances its members would have been entitled to in fiscal year 1982 if they had obtained their own housing. GAO believes that the Coast Guard should discontinue leasing the majority of the units and pay its members basic allowance for quarters and VHA. The Coast Guard also needs to improve its use of leased housing.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard has taken action to improve the identification of vacant leased units.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should require the Commandant of the Coast Guard to develop procedures in the three Coast Guard districts reviewed for the prompt identification of vacant leased units so that they can be reassigned or the leases cancelled. If warranted, these procedures should be applied in the other nine districts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard has taken some action to reduce the number of leased houses. However, the changes cannot be directly tied to this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should require the Commandant of the Coast Guard to rely more on allowances and phase out leased housing, except in areas with limited housing.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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