Consolidation of the Air Force's Environmental and Radiological Health Laboratories

LCD-77-323: Published: Apr 6, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1977.

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The Secretary of the Air Force announced the consolidation at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, of the environmental health laboratories located at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, and the McClellan Air Force Base, California, and the radiological health laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. GAO believes the Air Force's proposed use of minor military construction funds to finance building modifications and other construction work needed to support the consolidation is contrary to the spirit and purpose of the applicable U.S. statute and its implementing regulations.

Top laboratory personnel oppose the consolidation and question whether it will result in increased efficiency and effectiveness. According to laboratory employees, facilities under the current proposal are poorly designed and do not provide adequate space for current and future needs. Over $2 million in new construction over what is currently proposed may be necessary to provide additional space for the consolidated laboratory. GAO estimates the cost for proposed consolidation at about $1.9 million compared to $986,000 estimated by the Air Force. The action will result in one-time savings of $272,000. There are no identifiable recurring savings in personnel.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to: (1) postpone construction and alteration plans related to the consolidation of the laboratories at Brooks Air Force Base; (2) make a thorough study of the construction requirements and costs for adequate laboratory and supporting facilities; and (3) submit a single proposed construction project for all related needs through the normal appropriation process, if consolidation is viewed as in the best interest of the government.

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