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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed two issues related to the Department of Defense's (DOD) management of real property, focusing on the: (1) opportunities to reduce the cost of maintaining inactive Army ammunition plants; and (2) same issue as it relates to military bases among all the services that were closed during the 1988 and 1991 base realignment and closure (BRAC) process.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. The Secretary of the Army should begin the disposal determination process for: (1) all excess real property not needed for replenishment requirements at the Kansas, Louisiana, and Sunflower Army Ammunition plants; and (2) all inactive plants retained only for their unique capabilities when those capabilities can be adequately provided by other sources. An integral part of this process will be identifying the costs involved in accomplishing the disposal of unneeded properties.
Closed - Implemented
The Army initiated reports of excess on the seven plants, which were approved by the Secretary of the Army, and has turned the plants over to GSA to begin the disposal process.
Department of the Air Force 2. The service secretaries should establish incentives for communities to speed up the transfer of closed bases. Specifically, after the initial maintenance period has elapsed, which varies by BRAC rounds, the services should establish criteria for a phased drawdown of maintenance until minimum maintenance levels are reached.
Closed - Implemented
DOD states that the military departments are pursuing various initiatives to reduce maintenance costs at closing installations. They have, for example, reduced maintenance costs by: (1) transferring properties to communities via economic development conveyances before closure dates; (2) negotiating minimum facility maintenance levels with local reuse authorities; and (3) establishing temporary leases and cooperative agreements with local reuse authorities. DOD has recently received authority to transfer property by deed, with certain caveats, prior to environmental restoration of the property.
Department of the Navy 3. The service secretaries should establish incentives for communities to speed up the transfer of closed bases. Specifically, after the initial maintenance period has elapsed, which varies by BRAC rounds, the services should establish criteria for a phased drawdown of maintenance until minimum maintenance levels are reached.
Closed - Implemented
DOD states that the military departments are pursuing various initiatives to reduce maintenance costs at closing installations. They have, for example, reduced maintenance costs by: (1) transferring properties to communities via economic development conveyances before closure dates; (2) negotiating minimum facility maintenance levels with local reuse authorities; and (3) establishing temporary leases and cooperative agreements with local reuse authorities. The Navy has implemented a plan to reduce caretaker budgets to a 10-percent funding level over a 6-year period beginning with the base closure date. DOD has also recently received authority to transfer property by deed, with certain caveats, prior to the environmental restoration of the property.
Department of the Army 4. The service secretaries should establish incentives for communities to speed up the transfer of closed bases. Specifically, after the initial maintenance period has elapsed, which varies by BRAC rounds, the services should establish criteria for a phased drawdown of maintenance until minimum maintenance levels are reached.
Closed - Implemented
DOD states that the military departments are pursuing various initiatives or incentives to reduce maintenance costs at closing installations and transfer the property more quickly. They have, for example, reduced maintenance costs by: (1) transferring properties to communities via economic development conveyances before closure dates; (2) negotiating minimum facility maintenance levels with local reuse authorities; and (3) establishing temporary leases and cooperative agreements with local reuse authorities. DOD has also recently received authority to transfer property by deed, with certain caveats, prior to environmental restoration of the property.

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