Implementation of National Defense Stockpile Plans Would Require Amending Existing Legislation

EMD-82-111: Published: Jul 16, 1982. Publicly Released: Aug 9, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 5-year Annual Materials Plan for fiscal years 1983-1987. GAO was asked to determine whether the Plan met the requirements of the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act, as amended, that stated: (1) the stockpile is to serve national defense only and is not to be used for economic or budgetary purposes, and (2) the National Defense Transaction Fund is not to exceed $500 million.

GAO stated that, from a strictly legal standpoint, the Plan is not required to comply with these provisions of the Act. The Plan is only required to indicate proposed acquisitions and disposals. However, GAO attempted to determine whether the proposed actions, if implemented as planned, would meet the requirements that the stockpile not be used for economic and budgetary purposes and that the stockpile transaction fund not exceed $500 million. GAO concluded that it appears that the administration has given priority to budgetary consideration over stockpile needs, and that the 5-year plan, if implemented, will result in the $500 million limitation on the transaction fund balance being exceeded.

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