Management of Cold Storage Facilities Needs Improvement

LCD-80-95: Published: Aug 1, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 1980.

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Better utilization of military cold storage space, high energy users, can be achieved by using available capacity to store stocks of mobilization rations presently held under refrigerated conditions in commercial warehouses. Large savings are possible if available military cold storage space is used for this purpose.

The Defense Logistics Agency has generally been unsuccessful in its efforts to obtain cold storage space from the military services. Defense policy is to make optimum use of existing military facilities to help minimize overall storage and distribution costs. Even if they are retained in standby for mobilization, facilities should be used in the most efficient and effective manner during peacetime. Use of facilities as a whole should be considered before expanding or building new ones. Use of commercial warehouses is permitted when in-house storage facilities are not available to meet requirements. Military components are required to gather, maintain, and exchange storage data to ensure visibility of available storage space. Routine inquiries into the availability of refrigerated space in the military services have not been very successful. Separate management has not been conducive to the easy identification and quick response on the availability of refrigerated space. The military services have been reluctant to release available space due to inherent fears of requiring refrigeration for future needs. Defense officials expressed economic concerns such as location, condition, and size of facilities. They maintained that if an economic analysis was performed at each location, many facilities would require extensive rehabilitation that might not be cost effective. GAO believes that a more extensive use of such facilities should be pursued and explored by an economic analysis or a similar comparative cost study.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should make a concerted effort to identify available refrigerated space and provide a comprehensive report to the Defense Logistics Agency on the amount of space and usage, the condition of the facility, the cost to maintain and repair the facility, and any plans to replace and demolish the facility. The Defense Logistics Agency should also verify the reports, and conduct studies of available space.

    Agency Affected:


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