International Broadcasting

NSIAD-93-302R: Published: Sep 17, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1993.

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GAO reviewed the costs and issues associated with the liquidation or consolidation of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). GAO found that: (1) it could not determine whether retaining RFE/RL as a private corporation or federalizing it would be more cost-effective; (2) it would cost more than $200 million to liquidate RFE/RL, but the costs of consolidating it with the U.S. Information Agency are unknown; (3) if RFE/RL is federalized, it could lose some nontransferable transmitting licenses and transmitting facilities, since some governments may object to the U.S. government operating in their countries; (4) personnel costs savings are unquantifiable, since details of compensation and staffing levels have not been completed; (5) personnel costs savings may not be realized until a substantial staff turnover occurs; (6) overhead and personnel costs will remain high if RFE/RL remains in Germany; and (7) RFE/RL downsizing costs will be about $130 million based on current information, but employee termination costs, unfunded pension liability, and closure of transmission sites could substantially alter the cost estimate.

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