Relocation Travel:

Numbers and Costs Reported by Federal Organizations for Fiscal Years 1991 Through 1995

GGD-97-119: Published: Jun 30, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the number of civilian employees relocated during fiscal years (FY) 1991 and 1995 and the associated costs of these relocations, focusing on: (1) the total number of civilian employees who were relocated at the federal government's expense; (2) the total cost of these relocations to the government; (3) the agencies that had rotational policies requiring their civilian employees to relocate; and (4) trends for the number and cost of civilian employee relocations during this period.

GAO noted that, for FY 1991 through 1995: (1) 97 federal organizations reported authorizing about 132,800 relocations, and 23 other organizations reported making about 40,200 relocations; (2) a small number of organizations accounted for the bulk of the relocations authorized or made; (3) while the total numbers of relocations authorized and made fluctuated yearly across the organizations that provided data for all 5 fiscal years, there was moderate change in these totals between FY 1991 and 1995; (4) across the organizations that provided data for all 5 fiscal years, the total number of relocations authorized decreased by less than 1 percent (89 organizations) and the total number of relocations made increased by about 12.5 percent (19 organizations) from FY 1991 to 1995; (5) 97 federal organizations reported obligating about $3.4 billion for relocations, and 23 other organizations reported expending about $363 million for relocations; (6) a small number of organizations accounted for the bulk of the relocation obligations or expenditures; (7) across the organizations that provided data for all 5 fiscal years, total relocation obligations varied and total relocation expenditures increased yearly; (8) there was noticeable change in these totals between FY 1991 and 1995; (9) in constant 1995 dollars, total relocation obligations increased about 16 percent (83 organizations) and total relocation expenditures increased about 88 percent (22 organizations) from FY 1991 to 1995; (10) for the 22 organizations, this increase was due to the Department of the Navy's expenditures; (11) excluding the Navy's expenditures, the 21 remaining organizations' total expenditures decreased by less than 1 percent during the period; (12) 15 federal organizations reported that they had mandatory rotational policies requiring some of their employees to rotate on a prescribed schedule; (13) most of these organizations attributed their policies to federal regulations that limit overseas tours of duty; and (14) based on data provided by these 15 organizations, GAO estimated that these rotational policies accounted for about 19 percent of the total relocations reported as authorized and about 7 percent of the total relocations reported as made during this period.

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