Military Base Closures:

Issues Related to the Fiscal Year 1999 Budget Request

NSIAD-98-169: Published: Jul 30, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 1998.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) base closure accounts and its budget request for base closure activities, focusing on opportunities for offsetting the budget request for fiscal year (FY) 1999, including the validity of two proposed military construction (MILCON) projects included in that request.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD and the military services have reduced the previous high unobligated balances in the 1990 base closure account; (2) however, there are opportunities to offset the 1999 budget request; (3) GAO's analysis of the 1990 account and the FY 1999 base realignment and closure (BRAC) budget request raises questions about the need for $131.1 million included in the request; and (4) specifically: (a) from the 1990 base closure account, $35.7 million in proceeds generated by BRAC activities that has not been reported to Congress; $12.5 million previously allocated but not needed for BRAC 1991 MILCON projects; $7.8 million allocated but not needed for BRAC 1991 operation and maintenance activities; and $8.5 million previously allocated but not needed for BRAC 1991 environmental projects; (b) from the FY 1998 BRAC appropriations, $26 million previously withheld but ultimately was not needed for other higher priority programs; and (c) from 1999 BRAC budget request, $40.6 million requested for two separate MILCON projects may no longer be needed because the requirements for one project have not been determined and the other has already been funded.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In conference report (House Report 105-647), the conference committee reduced DOD's budget request by: (1) $35.7 million to account for unreported proceeds from land sales and leases from Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions; and (2) $26 million previously appropriated in fiscal year FY1998 but withheld by DOD due to lower than expected inflation rates. In addition, the committee staff stated that the $9.6 million requested for the BRAC IV military construction project was no longer needed in FY1999 because DOD, accelerating its construction schedule, had already funded the project in 1998. The committee staff also identified 4 additional construction projects that were already funded. Overall for construction projects, the committee reduced DOD's 1999 budget request by $4.3 million for one BRAC III project and more than $28.8 million for four BRAC IV projects.

    Matter: As Congress develops the budget authority for DOD's base closure activities in FY 1999, it may wish to consider appropriating up to $131.1 million less than DOD is requesting in its FY 1999 BRAC budget submission because prior year funds are available to meet these requirements and the request to fund two MILCON projects could be eliminated.


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