Department of Defense's Compliance with Public Law 92-545

CED-77-35: Published: Jan 31, 1977. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 1977.

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Under P.L. 92-545, the Department of Defense (DOD) owned family housing can be declared inadequate for public quarters and rented to military personnel with an appropriate reduction of basic allowance for quarters (BAQ). GAO performed a review of housing management at five DOD installations.

The installations studied were not ensuring that income from operating inadequate family housing covered expenses, as the law requires. Fiscal year (FY) 1975 and 1976 family housing expense reports for these installations showed that housing expenses allocated to inadequate housing exceeded rental income; however, only Fort Bragg raised the rental rate in the second quarter of FY 1976 in an attempt to cover expenses. Even at the higher rate, which was 100 percent of the occupant's BAQ, expenses exceeded rental income for the last 8 months of the FY. The DOD cost accounting system for family housing expenses did not require allocating administrative and some maintenance expenses to the individual housing categories. This precluded a valid comparison of income and expenses for inadequate housing. It appeared that Fort Bragg and MacDill Air Force Base had improperly declared some housing units as inadequate.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: An appropriate charge for inadequate family housing should be established when the expenses to operate and maintain the units exceed the income produced by the 75-percent forfeiture level. The issues involving retention of inadequate housing costing more than the total BAQ forfeiture should be studied and the resulting proposal should be discussed with the Armed Services and Appropriations Committees of Congress. DOD Instruction 7220.16 should be revised to require that all administrative, maintenance, equipment replacement and repair, and household furnishing expenses be allocated among the different housing categories. The justifications that the military services used to declare family housing units inadequate should be reviewed. Units improperly classified as inadequate should be reclassified as adequate housing, and the occupants should be required to forfeit their entitlement to BAQ.


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