Military Bases:

Observations on the Analyses Supporting Proposed Closures and Realignments

NSIAD-91-224: Published: May 15, 1991. Publicly Released: May 15, 1991.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reported on the Secretary of Defense's recommendations and the military services' selection process for base closures and realignments.

GAO found that: (1) the Army and the Air Force adequately documented their use of the Department of Defense Force Structure Plan and the four military criteria in their selection process; (2) the Navy did not adequately document its site selection process and did not establish the required internal controls to ensure the accuracy of the data it used; (3) the services inconsistently employed the cost of base realignment action model to estimate the costs and savings associated with their recommended closures and realignments; (4) the services used budgets from different fiscal years as their baselines in estimating costs and savings and used different cost factors; (5) the services' net present-value factors for inflation and discount rates were too conservative; (6) the services used inaccurate input data to calculate costs and savings estimates; and (7) the services differed in the extent to which they examined the local or regional economic impact of base closure or realignment.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretary of the Navy to submit to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission specific details on the manner in which its Base Structure Committee compared bases to develop closure and realignment recommendations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Commission recommended, and Congress approved, closure of 34 military bases and realignment of 48 additional bases. Fiscal year (FY) 1992 through FY 1997 net savings of $2.3 billion, and annual savings of $1.5 billion.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should ensure the use of consistent procedures and practices among the services in future base closure and realignment reviews.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has responded and will develop consistent procedures and practices.

    Recommendation: The Chairman, Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, should consider, in evaluating the Navy requirement for bases, the impact of excess space for ship berths on base requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Secretary's Commission on Base Realignment and Closure

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Defense Base Closure Commission considered the recommendation and decided not to close additional homeports.

    Recommendation: The Chairman, Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, should consider for all the services the effects of incorrect cost and savings estimates on all proposed base closures and realignments, using the result of GAO sensitivity analysis.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Secretary's Commission on Base Realignment and Closure

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Defense Base Closure Commission considered the results of the sensitivity analysis, obtained additional cost and savings data, and modified the closure recommendations recommended by the Secretary of Defense.

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