H.R. 4481:

The 'Defense Savings Act'

T-NSIAD-88-35: Published: May 25, 1988. Publicly Released: May 25, 1988.

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GAO discussed H.R. 4481, a bill which would: (1) allow the Secretary of Defense to close military installations; (2) exempt the Department of Defense (DOD) from environmental and procedural requirements during closures; and (3) establish a base closure and realignment fund. GAO found that the bill would require: (1) DOD to report its proposed Commission on Base Realignment and Closure's recommendations to the Secretary no later than December 31, 1988, but would not address additional closure or realignment actions after that date; (2) the Secretary to close all the bases recommended for closure within 15 days of the Commission's recommendations or justify not doing so to Congress; (3) DOD to certify to Congress that it has reviewed all military installations in the United States, but would not suggest any study criteria; (4) waiver of the Property and Administrative Services Act, which would substitute DOD for the General Services Administration in DOD surplus property disposal; and (5) establishment of an appropriated fund account that would not receive more than $300 million in any fiscal year. GAO believes that: (1) acceptance of all the recommended closures may not offer the Secretary or Congress sufficient flexibility to ensure that subsequent closure actions do not disrupt national defense; (2) the bill should allow the Secretary to decide which closures to accept and to provide Congress with the rationale for acceptance or rejection; and (3) Congress may wish to clarify the limitations on fund revenues.

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