Military Base Closures: Assessment of DOD's 2004 Report on the Need for a Base Realignment and Closure Round

GAO-04-760 Published: May 17, 2004. Publicly Released: May 17, 2004.
Jump To:
Skip to Highlights

The Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990, as amended, required the Department of Defense (DOD) to address several base realignment and closure (BRAC) issues in 2004 for the 2005 BRAC round to proceed. The requirements included reporting on a 20-year force structure plan, an inventory of military installations, and separately adopting selection criteria for the upcoming round. The legislation also required DOD to certify whether an additional BRAC round was needed, and, if so, that annual net savings would be realized not later than fiscal year 2011. If the certifications were provided, GAO was required to evaluate DOD's submissions and report to Congress. DOD reported on March 23, 2004, and provided the certifications. In this report GAO evaluates (1) DOD's responsiveness to legislative requirements; (2) the force structure plan, infrastructure inventory, and selection criteria; (3) other key issues included in DOD's report; and (4) DOD's certification regarding the need for an additional BRAC round.

Skip to Recommendations


Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
To ensure that the Department of Defense and the military services improve their tracking and updating of BRAC savings estimates associated with implementing closure and realignment decisions for the upcoming BRAC round, Congress may wish to consider requiring DOD and the military services to provide certification that actions have been taken to implement previously planned improvements for tracking and updating its BRAC savings estimates. This certification should be submitted with its fiscal year 2006 budget request documentation.
Closed – Not Implemented
Congress has not required the Department of Defense or the military services to certify that actions have been taken to implement planned improvements to track and update BRAC savings in either the fiscal year 2007 or 2008 budget submissions. Thus, we are closing the recommendation.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should include in his May 2005 report on recommendations for base closures and realignments a full discussion of relevant assumptions, and allowances made for potential future force structure requirements and changes, including the potential for future surge requirements.
Closed – Implemented
The Department of Defense's May 2005 report to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) identified the military department major service force units and projected end strengths needed to meet probable threats through 2025. In addition, the report noted that each military department and joint cross-service group determined the surge capacities needed to support the force structure plan, evaluated the capability of installations and facilities to surge, and incorporated these capabilities into their capacity assessments.

Full Report