Defense Conversion:

Slow Start Limits Spending

NSIAD-94-72: Published: Jan 25, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of three Department of Defense (DOD) conversion programs, focusing on the: (1) amounts obligated for DOD conversion programs as of July 31, 1993; and (2) results of evaluations of two DOD conversion programs authorized prior to fiscal year 1993.

GAO found that: (1) there have been at least three defense conversion initiatives proposed by Congress or the executive branch; (2) although each initiative provides for similar spending, program costs and proposed plans vary; (3) 52 congressional or executive sponsored programs have been included among the three defense conversion initiatives; (4) there are 116 other federal or state programs designed to address the impact of defense downsizing that have not been identified as defense conversion programs by Congress or the executive branch; (5) as of July 1993, 20 of the 52 defense conversion programs had little or no funding, separation incentives and health benefits for DOD civilian personnel accounted for nearly half of the funding for the remaining 32 programs, and the programs that began prior to 1993 incurred most of the remaining obligations; (6) although many defense conversion programs are in the early stages of implementation, DOD and the Department of Commerce have concluded that the programs have had a questionable impact on reducing the long-term economic impact of defense reductions on communities and ineffective planning and oversight have resulted in program implementation problems.

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