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Highlights

The Army is implementing 44 base realignment and closure (BRAC) recommendations to construct 125 new Armed Forces Reserve Centers (AFRC) and close 387 existing reserve components facilities. The Department of Defense (DOD) expects the new AFRCs to increase recruiting and retention and create greater efficiencies by fostering jointness and consolidating functions. GAO (1) assessed the extent DOD's cost and savings estimates to implement the recommendations have changed from BRAC Commission projections and (2) determined the extent the Army has identified potential challenges that could affect BRAC implementation and has developed a plan to address these challenges. GAO analyzed DOD's publicly available BRAC budget data and interviewed officials at Army offices, including Reserve Command, National Guard Bureau, and the National Guard in five states. This report, prepared under the Comptroller General's authority to initiate evaluations, is one of a series related to the BRAC 2005 round.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To better ensure that BRAC 2005 recommendations affecting the Army's reserve components and interests of the states are effectively managed and any potential adverse effects are quickly identified, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to develop a plan for routinely bringing together the various stakeholders as a group, to include the state Army National Guard when appropriate, to monitor for and develop steps to mitigate implementation challenges should they occur. These steps should include ways to monitor and mitigate the effects of potential challenges on BRAC completion time frames, project cost and scope, construction quality, and capacity of the facility to meet changing mission requirements.
Closed - Implemented
In September 2007, we recommended that the Army develop a plan for routinely bringing together various BRAC Army reserve component stakeholders as a group to monitor for implementation challenges and develop steps to mitigate the effects of potential challenges on BRAC completion time frames, project cost and scope, construction quality, and capacity of the facility to meet changing mission requirements. The Army BRAC Office has taken several steps over the last several years to implement the GAO recommendation. For example, the Army BRAC Office provided a BRAC program update to the Army Vice Chief of Staff in March 2009, with representation from the Army National Guard and Reserves, to identify issues needing the Vice Chief's attention and direction. In addition, the Army BRAC Division Reserve Component Branch, the Army Reserve Division, and the full-time Army National Guard and Army Reserve liaisons assigned to the Army BRAC office have collaborated on issues affecting Army's reserve components implementation of their BRAC recommendations. For example, at BRAC summits held in October 2009 and April 2010, various implementation issues were discussed with Army National Guard and Army Reserve Command. Furthermore, the Army BRAC Division Chief discusses implementation issues with BRAC stakeholders, including the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, on a monthly basis to quickly address any potential implementation concerns. As a result of these actions, the Army has met the intent of our recommendation.

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