Military Base Closures:

Potential to Offset Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Request

NSIAD-99-149: Published: Jul 23, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 1999.

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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: (1) the opportunities available to offset the fiscal year (FY) 2000 budget request; and (2) certain base realignment and closure (BRAC) funding practices that could make it difficult for Congress to discern DOD's actual funding requirements and priorities.

GAO noted that: (1) while the size of DOD's appropriation requests for BRAC activities has declined as BRAC actions have been completed, GAO's analysis of the BRAC accounts and FY 2000 BRAC budget request identifies at least $66.4 million that could be used to offset DOD's $1.28 billion BRAC budget request; (2) specifically: (a) about $11.8 million in proceeds generated by BRAC property transactions have not been reported to Congress and could be used to offset the 2000 budget request; (b) some prior years' appropriations associated with the 1990 base closure account are available but not needed; (c) about $13.8 million from FY 1998 and FY 1999 appropriations withheld from the services because of lower than anticipated inflation could be used to offset the FY 2000 budget request; and (d) about $6 million is no longer needed because the funds were requested for three military construction projects that have already been funded or cancelled; (3) some of DOD's budgeting practices, such as requests for advance appropriations and the accumulation of large unliquidated obligations for environmental activities, may not clearly reflect the full cost of project requirements and the budgetary resources available to meet those requirements; and (4) they make it difficult for Congress to discern DOD's true funding requirements and priorities or the extent to which all previously appropriated funds have been committed to specific projects.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress reduced DOD's FY2000 Base Closure budget request by $31.6 million based on information provided in this report. In addition, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, citing the issues raised in this report, reduced the fiscal year 2001 budgets of the Army, Navy, and Air Force by an additional total of $93.1 million.

    Matter: Because prior year funds are available to meet requirements and other funds requested are no longer supported by specific requirements, Congress may wish to consider appropriating at least $66.4 million less than DOD is requesting in its FY 2000 BRAC budget submission.


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