Savings Possible Through Better Management Of Quarters For Enlisted Personnel

LCD-76-327: Published: Jun 28, 1976. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1976.

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GAO reviewed how the military services can greatly reduce payments for enlisted bachelors to live in the civilian community through better management of existing on-base quarters.

GAO noted that: (1) the military services either provide housing for enlisted bachelors or pay them allowances to live in the civilian community; (2) during 1975 such payments totalled about $91.3 million; (3) this cost could be greatly reduced through better management of bachelor enlisted quarters; (4) military installations manage bachelor enlisted quarters by the "unit integrity concept," in which blocks of space, such as a wing or floor, are assigned to organizational units and later to personnel; (5) people from one unit cannot be assigned to the space of another unit; (6) many people from units whose space is filled are paid to live in the civilian community although space is available in quarters assigned to other units; (7) bachelor enlisted quarters can be used to house either permanent or transient personnel, but it costs more to house transients in the civilian community; (8) appropriated funds can be conserved by skillful allocation of quarters between permanent and transient personnel; (9) military installations do not always do this; (10) the data needed to accurately determine the unnecessary costs was not contained in housing records; (11) by using the best data available at each installation, GAO estimated such costs to be $3.4 million annually at the 11 installations visited; (12) the Army and the Navy do not provide routine information which management can use to compare vacancies in quarters with the number of people paid to live off base; and (13) such information is necessary so the Department of Defense can make the best use of existing housing facilities and, at the same time, reduce its housing costs.

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