Military Family Housing

PLRD-83-19: Published: Dec 3, 1982. Publicly Released: Dec 3, 1982.

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James G. Mitchell
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GAO surveyed major maintenance and repairs to military family housing units at five installations. Because the work disclosed a problem relating to wood floor replacement and maintenance, GAO concentrated its efforts in that area.

GAO found wood floors at four of the installations it surveyed. Over a period of several years, one Air Force installation had replaced the original veneer floors with solid oak parquet in most of the units constructed in 1960. GAO estimated that the cost of replacing these floors was $1.6 million. At three other installations, hardwood or parquet floors had been replaced with vinyl or vinyl asbestos tile in some housing units. The Department of Defense (DOD) has instructions on sanding and refinishing wood floors, but it does not have have a policy on which materials to use when floors need to be replaced. GAO believes that economic analyses are essential to determine the most cost-effective materials when it is necessary to replace these floors. Neither DOD nor the services have records on the number of units with wood floors; therefore, the total number of units with the potential for floor replacement could not be determined. Because four of the five locations visited had wood floors in many units, the potential for savings could be significant. GAO also found that wood floors were being sanded or refinished more frequently than provided by DOD policy.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Assistance Secretary has directed all services to perform economic analyses when replacing wood floors. All of the services are complying.

    Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Logistics should establish a policy which requires the services to perform economic analyses to identify the most economical materials for replacing wood floors in military family housing.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Logistics should emphasize to the services the need to follow DOD procedures for maintaining wood floors and stress the need for all services to ensure that their procedures are consistent with the DOD policy for maintaining wood floors.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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