DOD Problems in Joining Civilian Sewer Systems

LCD-77-359: Published: Jun 23, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1978.

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The military services have a choice of either upgrading their onbase sewage treatment facilities or contracting with civilian sewer system authorities for sewage treatment. From fiscal years (FY) 1972 to 1979, the services requested $169.7 million in military construction funds for 146 projects to upgrade onbase facilities and $71.3 million for 44 projects to join civilian systems.

The choices were often made without analyzing relative costs and benefits. The Navy and Air Force will pay more for joining civilian systems rather than upgrading onbase systems. The Army was primarily influenced by requirement for secondary treatment. Some bases did not have adequate data on sewage capacity needs which are used in determining their share of construction costs for civilian systems. One base is paying its construction share using operation and maintenance funds instead of military construction funds. This will increase the cost of participation and reduce oversight. In contracting for civilian systems, the services sometimes did not comply with requirements for certified cost or pricing data nor obtain contract pricing reviews. The Department of Defense was revising instructions related to economic evaluation of projects and was directing components in review compliance with requirements.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require contracting officers to support treatment capacity purchases with engineering estimates of base sewage flow and infiltration volume and with cost effectiveness comparisons. He should require the service Secretaries to: (1) obtain verification that prices were set by law or regulations for contracts negotiated under an exemption; (2) where exemptions do not apply, obtain certified cost or pricing data, a cost or price analysis, and a contract price adjustment where applicable; and (3) assign contract specialists to bases committed to joining civilian sewerage systems. In cooperation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, he should request approval to reprogram funds for unforeseen costs of upgrading base plans or participating in civilian systems. He should direct the Secretaries of the services to determine the amount of commercial borrowing they have done to join civilian systems and request funds to prepay such amounts where it is economical.

    Agency Affected:


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