How To Improve Procedures for Deciding Between Contractor and In-House Military Base Support Services

LCD-76-347: Published: Mar 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1977.

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The government's policy for obtaining military base support services is to rely on the private enterprise system unless the government must supply them or can supply them less expensively. In spite of this policy, about 77 percent of base support expenditures were for activities operated and managed by government personnel. GAO evaluated the effectiveness of the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to improve the implementation of the base support service policy. An examination conducted at 14 different military installations included agency cost studies, reviews, and inventory reports.

Improvements are needed in DOD management of its own improvement program. Its military services' reviews of commercial and industrial activities have not been effective because the services have been unable to identify many activities and to associate all costs with the activities for contracting consideration. Many commercial and industrial activities have been improperly excluded from contracting consideration. Military installations' annual inventories of activities were unreliable for directing and controlling reviews to determine whether in-house or contract performance was best for the government.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) redefine DOD classification of industrial and commercial activities to facilitate the military services' identification of activities to be reviewed; (2) require the military services to exclude from contracting consideration only those activities properly excludable under the terms of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 and to reconsider the many activities previously excluded improperly; (3) direct the military services to avoid delays in the review and approval processes; and (4) ensure that all real property maintenance and repair activities are reviewed under the circular.

    Agency Affected:


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