Military Bases:

Opportunities for Savings in Installation Support Costs Are Being Missed

NSIAD-96-108: Published: Apr 23, 1996. Publicly Released: May 8, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to promote interservicing, which includes one service's reliance on another for base support and greater reliance on intraservice consolidated support; and (2) opportunities that exist for military bases to save on installation support costs.

GAO noted that: (1) although DOD is aware of the potential for reducing base support costs through interservicing, it is difficult to determine the amount of the potential savings, since interservicing has never been fully or correctly implemented; (2) the services have not taken sufficient advantage of the potential savings in base support costs from interservicing; (3) the services have been considering a broad array of initiatives, including regionalizing and privatizing some base support functions; (4) consolidating these functions through advanced interservicing agreements could enhance the potential for greater efficiencies and cost savings; (5) many commanders resist interservicing because they fear losing control of their assets and service standards; and (6) an even greater impediment to interservicing on a large scale is the possibility of one base commander having to provide base support for several services.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OSD and the services are still identifying and taking actions to mitigate impediments to interservicing. However, major actions have been completed, such as: (1) a revised policy guidance, DODI 4000.19 (Interservice and Intragovernmental Support) issued in August 1995; (2) draft policy guidance, DODI 4100.33 (Commercial Activities Program Procedures), was issued the end of September 1999; additional interim guidance was issued on April 3, 2000; with the final instruction expected to be out by the end of the calendar year and will include guidance on interservicing; and (3) creation of a DOD installations home page in February 1997, which contains policies and guidance for interservice and intra-service support, and searchable databases for identifying sources of interservice and intra-service support and successful practices.

    Recommendation: Given the potential for significant savings in base support costs through interservicing-type arrangements, the Secretary of Defense should identify options and take steps to minimize the impediments to interservicing.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD indicates that it will emphasize interservicing as part of contracting deliberations and will include this emphasis in revised program guidance. This guidance, DOD Instruction 4100.33, was issued in draft in September 1999 and additional interim guidance was issued on April 3, 2000, with the final instruction anticipated to be out by the end of the calendar year.

    Recommendation: Given the potential for significant savings in base support costs through interservicing type arrangements, the Secretary of Defense should emphasize interservicing as part of contracting out deliberations to maximize potential savings and efficiencies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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