Auditing and Financial Management:
Excess Equipment for Former Castle Air Force Base
NSIAD-98-94R, Feb 27, 1998
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the availability of federal excess equipment to use in establishing a military retail store at the former Castle Air Force Base in California, focusing on: (1) whether large and expensive type-equipment, such as refrigeration units, was available in defense disposal offices located in the general geographic area of the former base; and (2) a brief description of the defense property disposal process.
GAO noted that: (1) equipment in various serviceability conditions located at 18 disposal offices throughout California was available for potential use in a BXMart; (2) four federal stock classes were searched: (a) self-contained refrigeration units; (b) self-contained air conditioning units; (c) refrigeration and air conditioning plants and components; and (d) cabinets, bins, lockers, and shelving; (3) specifically, defense marketing service data disclosed a total of approximately 6,800 items with an original acquisition value of about $1.3 million, that were coded as serviceable or, in a few cases, useable with some repair; (4) the actual availability of specific items changes almost daily as items are disposed of or sold; (5) defense marketing service officials recommend that any equipment available in the system be physically inspected to verify the item(s) condition and useability for its intended application; (6) equipment is constantly moving through the disposal system; (7) the process starts when defense activities turn in items to a Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office for distribution or disposal; (8) upon arrival, items are inspected, condition and demilitarization codes are verified, and the type of sale is determined; (9) items are accumulated for 2 to 4 weeks and then processed together; (10) customers may screen items and attach tags, indicating a desire to acquire them; however, disposition is governed by established priorities; (11) first priority is given to defense activities, federal agencies, and other entities with legislative priority; (12) second priority is given to approved donee organizations, i.e., state and local governments, museums, and the Boy and Girl Scouts; (13) any equipment not claimed by the first two priority groups is available for sale to the general public; and (14) within these priorities, items are dispensed on a first-come, first-served basis, and generally, customers have 14 days to requisition and 14 days to remove items.