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Military Bases: Analysis of DOD's 2005 Selection Process and Recommendations for Base Closures and Realignments

GAO-05-785 Published: Jul 01, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 01, 2005.
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On May 13, 2005, the Secretary of Defense submitted proposed base realignment and closure (BRAC) actions to an independent commission for its review. The Commission must submit its recommendations to the President by September 8, 2005, for his acceptance or rejection in their entirety. Congress has final action to accept or reject these recommendations in their entirety later this year. The law requires that GAO issue a report on the Department of Defense's (DOD) recommendations and selection process by July 1, 2005. GAO's objectives were to (1) determine the extent to which DOD's proposals achieved its stated BRAC goals, (2) analyze whether the process for developing recommendations was logical and reasoned, and (3) identify issues with the recommendations that may warrant further attention. Time constraints limited GAO's ability to examine implementation details of most of the individual recommended actions.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should take appropriate steps to establish mechanisms for tracking and periodically updating savings estimates in implementing individual recommendations, with emphasis both on savings related to the more traditional relignment and closure actions as well as those related more to business process reengineering.
Closed – Implemented
DOD concurred with GAO's recommendation. DOD subsequently issued guidance on BRAC 2005 Implementation Planning to the Secretaries of the Military Departments and others in September 2005 and October 2005. Unlike in prior BRAC rounds, that guidance required the Military Departments to submit business plans, which addressed the implementation of each BRAC 2005 recommendation for which they had responsibility, to OSD in its BRAC oversight role. The plans were to be updated every 6 months and submitted to OSD. The plans were to include, among other things, updated cost and savings estimates based on better and updated information. These actions satisfy the intent of our recommendation calling for a mechanism to track and periodically update savings estimates.

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Base closuresBase realignmentsCost analysisDefense cost controlFinancial analysisInternal controlsMilitary basesMilitary facilitiesMilitary policiesPerformance measuresPolicy evaluationStrategic planning