Review of Planned Realignment of Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania

LCD-79-329: Published: Aug 23, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 1979.

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Based on a study made in 1976, the Department of Defense decided to terminate active Army use of Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and to pass control of the installation to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The garrison at Fort Meade, Maryland, would assume the area support mission from Fort Indiantown Gap. An appraisal was made to determine the cost and savings that could be expected under the proposed realinement.

A review of the 1976 Army study disclosed data changes, errors, omissions, and questionable procedures that made GAO challenge the use of the study as a basis for the realinement decision. According to the Army's estimates, the change in the status of the fort would result in one-time costs of about $2.2 million, annual savings of about $2.9 million, and elimination of 310 civilian and 128 military positions. It appeared, however, that 212 rather than 310 civilian positions would be eliminated by the proposed realinement. The study documentation showed that fiscal year 1976 budgeted costs of about $24 million were compared to estimated after-realinement costs to determine the estimated annual savings; since the actual costs for 1976 were about $1 million less than the budgeted costs, however, the savings shown in the study were overstated. The study included the cost for support of training schools, but showed no costs after realinement for these schools. To project the after-realinement costs for Pennsylvania to operate the base, Army officials determined the base operations costs per staff-year for 1976 based on 1975 costs, adjusted for inflation. However, since Pennsylvania provided most of its own engineering services and reimbursed the Army for utilities in 1976, these costs should have been excluded from staff-year cost determination. Other cost factors that should be considered include the number of additional civilian employees needed for the garrison function at the fort and also at Fort Meade, and the cost of troops' rations after realinement.

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