Document Sample
brac_002 Powered By Docstoc
					This page lists the most recent publications related to the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Program. It also
includes key publications issued since November 1989. Sat, 20 Nov 2010

15:14:15 -0500 GAO      Feed provided by GAO. Click to
visit. The Army is concurrently implementing several major force structure and basing
initiatives, including Base Realignment and Closure, Grow the Force, and Army Modularity. The resulting large increase in
personnel associated with these initiatives at many installations has required and will continue to require significant facility planning
and construction to meet needs. GAO was asked to (1) describe the Army's investment in domestic facilities to meet the needs
associated with the initiatives; (2) determine the extent to which the Army's facility planning systems are complete, current, and
accurate; and (3) assess whether stationing information has been provided to installations far enough in advance to permit facility
planning and acquisition to accommodate arriving personnel. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed relevant
documentation; analyzed budget documents, information from Army planning systems, and facility criteria standards; visited
installations; and interviewed relevant officials. For fiscal years 2006 through 2015, the Army plans to have spent about $31 billion
to meet domestic installation facility needs associated with the personnel increases resulting from several major force structure and
infrastructure initiatives. This investment will reduce facility shortages at the affected installations, but some shortages will still exist
for certain types of facilities, including tactical vehicle maintenance facilities and battalion and company headquarters. The Army
estimates that it could cost an additional $19 billion to eliminate the shortages. Yet, without these buildings, the Army will continue
to rely on legacy facilities that often do not meet current Army standards or use relocatable facilities. The Army plans to evaluate
these requirements and priorities in preparing future budget requests. The systems used by the Army to determine the number,
type, and size of facilities needed to accommodate forces stationed at domestic installations have not always produced reliable
results for some types of facilities because the systems have often relied on data that are not complete, current, or accurate. GAO
examined the criteria system for 62 essential facility types and found that the system did not include the Army's current standard
design criteria for 51 of the 62 facilities. Without current criteria embedded into the facility planning systems, the systems cannot
help planners accurately calculate facility requirements. Additionally, GAO found that the automated calculations that produce
facility allowances--a baseline for determining facility requirements--were questionable in several cases, such as producing a
requirement for 74 baseball fields for Fort Bragg. Moreover, because the information from the planning systems is used to identify
facility shortages and support budget decisions, incomplete, out-of-date, or inaccurate data could adversely affect management
decisions about the construction and renovation of facilities. The Army has not always provided installation planners with
information on stationing actions far enough in advance to allow the installations to prepare the permanent facilities necessary for
arriving personnel. Army guidance recommends 5 years' lead time for submitting stationing packages for approval that require new
construction; however, the size of ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has led to an increase in the movement of
Army personnel, has made this difficult. For example, GAO found cases where installations were informed of stationing decisions
with less than a year's notice, which installation officials said was far less time than needed to prepare the required facilities. As a
result, new facilities have not always been available for arriving units and installations have had to employ interim measures, such
as using relocatable facilities or using sustainment funds to build facilities, which, in turn, could result in needed sustainment work
going unmet. GAO also found that installations were not always being notified when proposed stationing actions had been delayed
or canceled, potentially leading to funds being wasted on unnecessary preparations. Thu, 24 Jun 2010 00:00:00 -0400 Decisions by the military services on where to base their force structure can have
significant strategic, socioeconomic, and cost implications for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the communities surrounding
the bases. Each service uses its own process to make basing decisions. The House Committee on Armed Services directed GAO
to review the services' basing decision processes. GAO examined the extent to which (1) the services have comprehensive
processes in place that are designed to result in well-informed basing decisions and (2) DOD exercises management control of
these processes. GAO reviewed and analyzed DOD and service guidance, studies, and relevant documents on implementation
and oversight of the services' basing processes. The Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force basing decision processes fully
incorporate the key elements, associated factors, and management control standards that GAO identified as necessary in a
comprehensive process; however, the Navy needs additional guidance for its process to be complete. GAO found that while the
Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force each have issued comprehensive guidance for their basing possesses that describes the
organizational roles and responsibilities within the service, establishes links among all of the service's strategic and environmental
guidance documents, and identifies the service's basing criteria, some of the Navy's guidance documents lacked detailed
information about specific actions taken during the process and defined responsibility for completing certain types of analyses. For
example, the Navy's Strategic Dispersal Flow Chart--one of the five guidance documents used to implement the Navy's process--
shows that some types of analyses are conducted to review a range of considerations, such as access to training areas, sailor and
family quality of life, and ship size, for a particular basing decision. But the document does not describe in any detail how and by
whom these analyses will be conducted. Additionally, Navy guidance does not provide a clear explanation of how its five
guidance documents are linked together in implementing the Navy's overall basing process. Without comprehensive and clear
guidance on all aspects of the Navy's overall basing decision process, the Navy may lack the completeness and management
control to ensure that Navy basing decisions can facilitate external stakeholders' examination and scrutiny or ensure effective
implementation of the Navy's basing process. The Secretary of Defense has not set a policy or assigned an office a clear role for
providing management control of the services' basing decision processes within the United States, and as a consequence may lack
reasonable assurance that certain departmentwide initiatives will be fully supported in the services' basing decisions. The Office of
the Secretary of Defense (OSD) officials said that OSD is promoting joint sharing of DOD facilities and seeking to ensure that
domestic basing decisions support global operations. However, OSD has not fully promoted service consideration of the joint
sharing, global operations, and potentially other initiatives because the Secretary of Defense has neither provided a comprehensive
policy for, nor clearly assigned an office within OSD to oversee domestic service basing processes. Without OSD guidance and
an office to provide effective oversight of military service basing decision processes, the Secretary of Defense lacks reasonable
assurance that departmentwide initiatives are adequately considered by the services in their domestic basing decision making. Tue,
11 May 2010 00:00:00 -0400 The Department of Defense (DOD) established the
military munitions response program (MMRP) in 2001 to clean up sites known to be or suspected of being contaminated with
military munitions and related hazardous substances. Cleanup of sites on active and base realignment and closure installations is the
responsibility of the military service--Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marine Corps--that currently controls the land, and the Army has
delegated execution of cleanup of formerly used defense sites (FUDS) to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). GAO was
mandated to assess the (1) MMRP staffing and funding levels; (2) progress DOD has made in cleaning up munitions response
sites; (3) extent to which DOD has established MMRP performance goals; and (4) extent to which DOD collects data on factors
influencing project duration, as well as the accuracy of its cleanup cost estimates. GAO analyzed MMRP data and DOD
documents and interviewed officials from DOD, the military services, and the Corps. The military services and the Corps do not
track the time that staff work on MMRP activities separately from the time they spend on another environmental restoration
program--the Installation Restoration Program (IRP). Consequently, it is not possible to determine the staffing levels for the
MMRP. In addition, obligated funds for the MMRP increased from $95 million in fiscal year 2002 to approximately $284 million
in fiscal year 2008, and the military services and the Corps directed 11 percent of their total MMRP and IRP environmental
restoration funds to the MMRP during the period--a total of about $1.2 billion to the MMRP compared with $9.7 billion to the
IRP. DOD reported to Congress that it had completed its cleanup response for 1,318 of its 3,674 sites by the end of fiscal year
2008; however, for 1,234 of these sites, DOD's response was an investigation that determined cleanup was not necessary. The
remaining 84 sites were cleaned up because of such factors as imminent danger to public safety and pressing military mission and
land reuse needs. In addition, the military services and the Corps are still in the process of gathering information necessary to
prioritize most sites in the MMRP inventory for cleanup. When this process is complete, the military services and the Corps will
consider this information along with other factors, such as land reuse plans, to determine which sites to clean up first. However,
DOD has not issued guidance on how factors other than risk should be considered when making decisions about which sites to
sequence first for cleanup, and the Air Force, the Army, and the Corps have begun to independently develop their own
approaches. Using varying approaches could lead to inconsistent sequencing decisions. DOD has not yet established a
performance goal for implementing the cleanup remedy (referred to as "remedy in place") or achieving the cleanup objective
(referred to as "response complete") at munitions response sites located on FUDS, as required by the fiscal year 2007 National
Defense Authorization Act. The act also directs DOD to report on interim goals it determines feasible for achieving the
performance goals, but DOD has not yet done so. Performance goals are important because they are used to track progress
toward cleaning up munitions response sites. By establishing goals, DOD would have better information with which to measure
MMRP progress. DOD gathers data on two of the factors--site size and type of hazard--that can influence project duration at
military munitions response sites. As would be expected, these data indicate that the larger the munitions response site and the
more complex the type of hazard, the longer it takes to clean up the site. In addition, because data on funds obligated to complete
specific phases of the cleanup process are not included in DOD's database for many munitions response sites, it is not possible to
assess the accuracy of the military services' and the Corps' cost estimates for the MMRP. Fri, 09 Apr 2010 00:00:00 -0400 Under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Department of
Defense (DOD) is responsible for cleaning up about 5,400 sites on military bases that have been closed under the Base
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, as well as 21,500 sites on active bases and over 4,700 formerly used defense sites
(FUDS), properties that DOD owned or controlled and transferred to other parties prior to October 1986. The cleanup of
contaminants, such as hazardous chemicals or unexploded ordnance, at BRAC bases has been an impediment to the timely
transfer of these properties to parties who can put them to new uses. The goals of DERP include (1) reducing risk to human health
and the environment (2) preparing BRAC properties to be environmentally suitable for transfer (3) having final remedies in place
and completing response actions and (4) fulfilling other established milestones to demonstrate progress toward meeting program
performance goals. This testimony is based on prior work and discusses information on (1) how DOD allocates cleanup funding at
all sites with defense waste and (2) BRAC cleanup status. It also summarizes other key issues that GAO has identified in the past
that can impact DOD's environmental cleanup efforts. DOD uses the same method to propose funding for cleanup at FUDS,
active sites, and BRAC sites; cleanup funding is based on DERP goals and is generally proportional to the number of sites in each
of these categories. Officials in the Military Departments, Defense Agencies, and FUDS program, who are responsible for
executing the environmental restoration activities at their respective sites, formulate cleanup budget proposals using the instructions
in DOD's financial management regulation and DERP environmental restoration performance goals. DERP's goals include target
dates for reaching the remedy-in-place or response complete (RIP/RC) milestone. For example, for sites included under the first
four BRAC rounds, the goal is to reach the RIP/RC milestone at sites with hazardous substances released before October 1986
by 2015 and for sites in the 2005 BRAC round by 2014. DOD's military components plan cleanup actions that are required to
meet DERP goals at the installation or site level. DOD requires the components to assess their inventory of BRAC and other sites
by relative risk to help make informed decisions about which sites to clean up first. Using these relative risk categories, as well as
other factors, the components set more specific restoration targets each fiscal year to demonstrate progress and prepare a budget
to achieve those goals and targets. DOD data show that, in applying the goals, and targets, cleanup funding has generally been
proportional to the number of sites in the FUDS, active, and BRAC site categories. For example, the total number of BRAC sites
requiring cleanup is about 17 percent of the total number of defense sites requiring cleanup, while the $440.2 million obligated to
address BRAC sites in fiscal year 2008 is equivalent to about 25 percent of the total funds obligated for this purpose for all
defense waste sites. GAO's past work has also shown that DOD's preliminary cost estimates for cleanup generally tend to rise
significantly as more information becomes known about the level of contamination at a specific site. In addition, three factors can
lead to delays in cleanup. They are (1) technological constraints that limit DOD's ability to detect and cleanup certain kinds of
hazards, (2) prolonged negotiations with environmental regulators on the extent to which DOD's actions are in compliance with
regulations and laws, and (3) the discovery of previously unknown hazards that can require additional cleanup, increase costs, and
delay transfer of the property. Wed, 17 Mar 2010 00:00:00 -0400 The Department
of Defense (DOD) estimates that cleaning up known hazards at the over 4,700 formerly used defense sites (FUDS)--sites
transferred to other owners before October 1986--will require more than 50 years and cost about $18 billion. This estimate
excludes any additional needed cleanup of emerging contaminants--generally, those not yet governed by a health standard. DOD
delegated FUDS cleanup responsibility to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). In addition to FUDS, DOD is responsible
for cleaning up about 21,500 sites on active bases and 5,400 sites on realigned or closed bases. The House Armed Services
Committee directed GAO to examine (1) the extent to which the Corps reevaluates sites to identify emerging contaminants; (2)
how DOD allocates cleanup funds; (3) how the Corps prioritizes FUDS for cleanup; and (4) FUDS program overhead costs.
GAO analyzed nationwide FUDS property and project data; policies, guidance and budget documents; and interviewed DOD
and Corps officials. The Corps has not often re-examined sites after they have been cleaned up to determine whether emerging
contaminants are present or need to be addressed. Generally, the Corps reevaluates sites only when requested by states or
others, or when reviewing the completed remedy to ensure its continuing protectiveness. Such reviews are required every 5 years
for sites where the chosen remedy does not allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. Corps officials said that they had
not received many requests to re-examine sites and few FUDS had required 5-year reviews. Reports on the 15 5-year reviews
completed as of May 2009 within four Corps divisions indicated that the Corps has not consistently (1) conducted required 5-
year reviews on time, (2) conducted reviews when they are not required but may be appropriate, as EPA recommends, and (3)
submitted reports on these reviews for technical evaluation, as required by Corps policy. Also, DOD and the Corps lack
accurate, complete information on the status of these reviews. Without timely, accurate, and complete reviews, the Corps cannot
ensure that remedies continue to protect human health and the environment. DOD proposes funding to clean up defense sites
based on the department's environmental restoration goals and obligations are generally proportional to the number of sites in each
site category. Funding is directed toward reducing risks to human health and the environment, among other goals. The Army,
Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Defense Logistics Agency each determine the funding requirements to clean up sites based
on these goals. The Corps prioritizes individual FUDS for cleanup on the basis of risk and other factors. The Corps assigns each
site a risk level, considering such factors as the presence of hazards, the potential for human contact, and the concentrations of
contaminants and their potential for migrating, among others. According to DOD officials, sites' risk levels are the single most
important criterion in determining cleanup priorities. However, the Corps also takes into account specific FUDS program goals,
and other factors--such as regulators' and the public's concerns--that can influence the Corps' decisions about which sites to
address first. Consequently, high risk sites are not always addressed before low risk sites. Direct program management and
support costs for the FUDS program have decreased slightly in recent years, mostly due to structural changes in the program. The
Corps' obligations for FUDS direct program management and support costs have declined from 11.0 percent of total program
obligations in fiscal year 2004 to 9.0 percent in fiscal year 2008. In addition, to further reduce certain components of these costs
to make more funds available for FUDS cleanup, the Corps reduced the number of employees managing the program and the
number of districts responsible for FUDS from 22 to 14. Furthermore, Corps officials told GAO that they have implemented a
number of controls--such as assigning tracking codes--to ensure that program management and support funds are spent only on
approved items. Thu, 29 Oct 2009 00:00:00 -0400 As part of the 2005 Base
Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round, the Department of Defense (DOD) plans to relocate over 123,000 military and DOD
civilian personnel, thereby increasing the staffing at 18 bases nationwide. In addition, DOD and local officials expect thousands of
dependents and DOD contractor employees to relocate to communities near the BRAC 2005 growth bases. These actions will
greatly increase traffic in the surrounding communities. BRAC recommendations must be implemented by September 2011. The
House and Senate Committees on Appropriations directed GAO to assess and report on the impact of BRAC-related growth on
transportation systems and on the responses of federal, state, and local governments. Accordingly, GAO determined the (1)
expected impact on transportation in communities affected by BRAC decisions, and (2) federal, state, and local response to the
expected impacts. To perform its work, GAO obtained information from the 18 communities with expected substantial BRAC
growth; visited 8 of these communities; interviewed federal civilian and military officials and state and local officials; and reviewed
DOD data, transportation plans, and environmental studies. GAO provided copies of this report to the Departments of Defense
and Transportation for their review. The Departments provided technical comments, which GAO incorporated as appropriate.
Growth resulting from BRAC decisions will have a significant impact on transportation systems in some communities, but estimates
of the total cost to address those impacts are uncertain. In addition to BRAC, other defense initiatives will result in growth in
communities and also add to transportation needs. BRAC growth will result in increased traffic in communities ranging from very
large metropolitan areas to small communities, creating or worsening congested roads at specific locations. Traffic impacts can
also affect larger relocation decisions, and were important in DOD's decision to acquire an additional site for Fort Belvoir,
Virginia, an acquisition that DOD estimates will cost $1.2 billion. According to a DOD Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA)
survey, 17 of 18 BRAC growth communities identified transportation as one of their top challenges. Near-term transportation
projects to address these challenges could cost about $2.0 billion, of which about $1.1 billion is related to projects in the
metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. BRAC-related transportation infrastructure costs are subject to a number of uncertainties.
For example, not all potential projects are included in the estimate, military staffing levels at some growth installations are in flux
and the location decisions of military and civilian personnel have not yet been made, and pre-existing, non-military community
growth makes a direct link between transportation projects to military growth difficult. The federal government has provided
limited direct assistance to help communities address BRAC transportation impacts, and state and local governments have
adopted strategies to expedite projects within the time frame allowed by BRAC. For example, DOD's Defense Access Roads
Program has certified transportation projects for funding at three affected communities. Also, OEA has provided planning grants
and funded traffic studies and local planning positions. While federal highway and transit programs can be used for many BRAC-
related transportation needs, dedicated funds are not available. Instead, BRAC-related transportation projects must compete with
other proposed transportation projects. Communities had identified funding for about $500 million of the estimated $2.0 billion
needed to address their near term project needs. Some state and local governments have adopted strategies to expedite highway
projects, such as prioritizing short-term high-impact projects, because the time frames for completing BRAC personnel moves are
much shorter than the time frames for such projects. While legislation mandates that BRAC growth be completed by 2011, major
highway and transit projects usually take 9 to 19 years. To complete some critical projects before BRAC growth occurs, state
and local officials are reprioritizing planned projects and implementing those that can be completed quickly. For example,
Maryland prioritized certain lower-cost intersection projects that will improve traffic flow. In Texas, officials used an innovative
financing approach to generate funding quickly for a major highway project at Fort Bliss. Wed, 09 Sep 2009 00:00:00 -0400 As a result of a 2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
recommendation, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is charged with consolidating supply, storage, and distribution functions at
13 military service depot maintenance locations to streamline operations and save money. The BRAC Commission data indicate
that these consolidations would generate net savings of nearly $1 billion through 2011 and about $137 million annually thereafter.
Because these actions could affect depot maintenance operations, the conference report accompanying the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 directed GAO to assess implementation issues associated with the consolidations. GAO's
objectives were to assess (1) DLA's progress and challenges to implement these consolidation actions and (2) the extent to which
DLA's most recent cost and savings estimates related to these consolidations differ from those of the BRAC Commission. To
meet these objectives, GAO visited three depot locations where consolidation actions had begun, interviewed service and DLA
officials, and analyzed estimated cost and savings data. While DLA has made progress to consolidate supply-related functions at
the 13 depot maintenance locations recommended by BRAC and has taken steps to minimize the risk to ongoing operations,
some of the most difficult tasks are yet to be undertaken and pose implementation challenges for DLA. For example, the Army
and DLA officials are still negotiating what specific functions and personnel will transfer to DLA and the information technology
interfaces needed to consolidate DLA's and the services' supply inventories continue to evolve and have experienced delays.
Nevertheless, DLA anticipates that the consolidation actions will be completed by the mandated September 2011 BRAC
deadline for completing recommended actions. For the actions to be complete, DLA officials told GAO the military services must
have transferred all related personnel positions to DLA and physically consolidated all applicable inventories with DLA. While
personnel transfers are under way, DLA has not begun physically consolidating inventories. And, although DLA has taken several
steps to mitigate risk to ongoing depot operations such as involving stakeholders in the decision-making process, ensuring high-
level leadership to drive these transformational actions, and employing time-phased transfers, continued collaboration between the
services and DLA and periodic monitoring by DOD are critical to ensure the timely completion of these BRAC actions.
Compared to the BRAC Commission's 2005 cost and savings estimates, DOD expects to spend more and save significantly less
by implementing the supply-related consolidation actions. DLA's current data indicate that the cost to implement the
recommended consolidation actions has increased by about $158 million (378 percent) while estimated savings have decreased
by $753 million (73 percent). Consequently, estimated net savings of about $82 million over the 2006-2011 BRAC
implementation period are considerably less than the BRAC Commission's estimate of about $993 million. Further, net annual
savings beyond 2011 are projected to be $52 million per year, rather than the Commission's $137 million estimate--an annual
decrease of about $85 million (62 percent). Moreover, GAO found that DLA's most recent savings estimates are unrealistic
because they are based on practices that count some savings that GAO believes are not attributable to BRAC actions, use 4-
year-old data, assume an inventory reduction scenario that is unlikely to occur, and employ an overall methodology that has not
been approved by senior-level officials. DOD's financial management regulation requires BRAC savings estimates to be based on
the best projection of savings that will actually accrue, but GAO's analysis indicates that DLA could actually incur a net cost of
$22 million during the implementation period if non-BRAC-related savings were removed from the estimate, compared to the $82
million in net savings that DLA currently projects. Although the potential exists for DLA to eventually realize savings over time as it
assumes control over supply-related operations, updated savings estimates based on sound estimating practices would provide
better information for congressional oversight and help maintain public confidence in the BRAC process. Thu, 09 Jul 2009
00:00:00 -0400 The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) establish 12 joint bases by consolidating the management and support of
26 separate installations, potentially saving $2.3 billion over 20 years. In response to a direction from the House Armed Services
Committee report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, GAO evaluated DOD's (1)
efforts and expected costs to deliver installation support at joint bases and (2) funding for facility sustainment, which includes the
maintenance and repair activities necessary to keep facilities in good working order, at all installations. GAO compared new
support standards with the current support levels, visited nine installations that will become four joint bases, and compared facility
sustainment funding levels with requirements and goals. DOD has made a comprehensive effort to ensure consistent delivery of
installation support at the planned joint bases, but the cost of installation support is expected to increase rather than decrease as
forecasted by the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. In January 2008, DOD began issuing joint base
implementation guidance that for the first time established a set of common definitions and standards for installation support. The
guidance defined 47 installation support areas (e.g., airfield operations, grounds maintenance, custodial services, and child and
youth programs) and provided 267 standards to define the expected level of service in each area. DOD officials stated that the
standards represented the service levels needed to meet mission and personnel requirements in view of DOD policies and
guidance, commercial standards, other federal agency guidance, or in some cases, military judgment. However, contrary to the
expectations of the commission, for two primary reasons installation support costs at the joint bases are expected to increase
above the cost of support provided by the separate installations before consolidation. First, DOD has required the joint bases to
deliver installation support in accordance with the new standards even though the military services have not previously funded
installation support in the amounts needed to meet each of the standards. GAO's comparison of 40 selected standards to the
service levels currently provided at the nine installations it visited showed that on average service levels would have to increase to
meet the standards in about 27 percent of the areas compared. Second, in some instances the services' approach to implementing
joint basing will result in additional administrative costs and the loss of some existing installation support efficiencies. Although
DOD officials stated that the increased support costs at the joint bases might be at least partially offset over time as experience is
gained and new efficiencies are identified and adopted, it is unclear whether joint basing will result in actual savings. The military
services have not budgeted and spent sufficient funds to meet their facility sustainment requirements and goals and prevent facility
deterioration at the installation level. Citing other budget priorities as the reason, the military services did not budget funds to meet
about $2.3 billion (9 percent) of their total facility sustainment requirements during fiscal years 2005 through 2008 and, according
to DOD, needed sustainment work that is not performed may eventually result in damaged facilities, shortened facility service
lives, and increased future costs for facility restoration. The services have further exacerbated the sustainment funding issue by
using some budgeted sustainment funds for other purposes. During fiscal years 2006 through 2008, the military services used
about $2.6 billion (14 percent) of the funds budgeted for sustainment for other purposes, primarily to pay for unfunded facility
restoration and modernization projects. Although service officials stated that these projects were needed, the consequence was
that sustainment requirements were not met. During visits to nine installations, GAO found backlogs of deferred sustainment needs
and some facilities that were not in good condition because funds were not available to pay for all needed sustainment work. Mon,
30 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0400 The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
round is the biggest, most complex, and costliest BRAC round ever. In addition to base closures, many recommendations involve
realignments, such as returning forces to the United States from bases overseas and creating joint bases. However, anticipated
savings remained an important consideration in justifying the need for the 2005 BRAC round. The House report on the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 directed GAO to monitor BRAC implementation. Therefore, GAO assessed (1)
challenges that might affect timely completion of recommendations, (2) any changes in DOD's reported cost and savings estimates
since fiscal year 2008, and (3) the potential for estimates to continue to change. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed
documentation and interviewed officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the services' BRAC offices, and the
Army Corps of Engineers; visited installations implementing some of the more costly realignments or closures; and analyzed
BRAC budget data for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. DOD has made progress in implementing the BRAC 2005 round but faces
challenges in its ability to meet the September 15, 2011, statutory completion deadline. DOD expects almost half of the 800
defense locations implementing BRAC recommendations to complete their actions in 2011; however, about 230 of these almost
400 locations anticipate completion within the last 2 weeks of the deadline. Further, some of these locations involve some of the
most costly and complex BRAC recommendations, which have already incurred some delays and thus have little leeway to meet
the 2011 completion date if any further delays occur. Also, DOD must synchronize relocating about 123,000 personnel with an
estimated $23 billion in facilities that are still being constructed or renovated, but some delays have left little time in DOD's plans to
relocate these personnel by the deadline. Finally, delays in interdependent recommendations could have a cascading effect on
other recommendations being completed on time. OSD recently issued guidance requiring the services and defense agencies to
provide status briefings to improve oversight of issues affecting timely implementation of BRAC recommendations. However, this
guidance did not establish a regular briefing schedule or require the services to provide information about possible mitigation
measures for any BRAC recommendations at risk of not meeting the statutory deadline. DOD's fiscal year 2009 BRAC budget
submission shows that DOD plans to spend more to implement recommendations and save slightly less compared to the 2008
BRAC budget. DOD's 2009 estimate of one-time costs to implement this BRAC round increased by $1.2 billion to about $32.4
billion. Net annual recurring savings estimates decreased by almost $13 million to about $4 billion. Also, GAO's calculations of net
present value, which includes both expected cost and savings over a 20-year period ending in 2025 and takes into account the
time value of money, show that implementing the 2005 BRAC recommendations is expected to save $13.7 billion. This compares
to an estimated $15 billion in net present value savings based on last year's BRAC budget and the BRAC Commission's reported
estimate of about $36 billion. Although DOD is about 3? years into the 6-year implementation period, the potential remains for
BRAC cost estimates to continue to increase, but the potential for changes in savings estimates is unclear. Greater than expected
inflation and increased market demands for construction materials could cause estimated construction costs to increase, although
the extent of this increase is uncertain given today's economic market conditions. However, the potential for changes in savings
estimates is unclear because BRAC headquarters officials at both the Army and the Air Force told us they do not plan to update
their savings estimates regardless of factors that may cause those estimates to change, and OSD is not enforcing its own regulation
requiring them to do so. Hence, congressional and defense decision makers could be left with an unrealistic sense of the savings
this complex and costly BRAC round may actually produce, an issue that could be important in considering whether another
round of BRAC may be warranted. Fri, 30 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0500 In
September 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD)
close Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and realign most of its technical functions to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, as one of
182 recommendations in the 2005 base realignment and closure (BRAC) round. DOD must complete the closure and realignment
actions specified in the recommendation within the statutory 6-year implementation period ending September 15, 2011.
Representatives from communities surrounding Fort Monmouth, as well as elected officials, raised concerns during hearings before
the BRAC Commission that a number of current employees would not move to Aberdeen Proving Ground, leading to a loss of
expertise that could negatively affect ongoing support for military operations, including the Global War on Terrorism. The
Secretary of the Army pledged that the Army would not allow the transfer of functions to Aberdeen Proving Ground to affect this
ongoing support. Although some of the BRAC commissioners shared the concern about the potential loss of expertise, the
commission concluded in its report that DOD could mitigate the adverse effects of moving existing programs over the
implementation period. However, to ensure that future leaders understood this concern, the commission report included language
recommending that the Secretary of Defense submit a report to Congress that the movement of functions from Fort Monmouth to
Aberdeen Proving Ground would be accomplished without disruption to their support to the Global War on Terrorism or other
critical contingency operations. DOD issued its report in December 2007, which concluded that the department could accomplish
the move without disruption to ongoing support efforts. Fort Monmouth currently hosts organizations that perform research,
development, and acquisition of the Army's command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. About one-third of the current C4ISR workforce consists of scientists and engineers, the
largest single group, with logistics, contracting, and business occupations constituting most of the remaining federal government
civilian workforce. Clerks and administrative assistant positions constitute about 5 percent of the workforce. This workforce is
further supplemented by about 1,600 embedded contractor employees and more than 1,000 contractor employees located off the
installation. This review is one in a series of reviews that we have undertaken on the implementation of the 2005 BRAC round
recommendations. The Army is in the process of developing and implementing plans to transfer C4ISR functions from Fort
Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground. The Army faces some significant challenges and has started to identify mitigation
strategies that, if implemented as intended, may lessen the mission-disruption risks associated with the transfer. With about 3 years
remaining before the planned closure of Fort Monmouth, the Army has developed high-level plans that are outlined in DOD's
December 2007 report to Congress, which identified approaches to completing the transfer and general risk-mitigation strategies.
However, DOD's December 2007 report did not include detailed plans for how the Army intends to complete the transfer. As
planning efforts have evolved, the C4ISR organizations have started to develop detailed plans to manage the transfer and continue
support for ongoing DOD missions. By its very nature, the BRAC process is complex. As such, the Army faces several significant
challenges in completing the transfer, which officials have recognized, and the Army is developing strategies designed to lessen the
associated risks. First, the Army is facing human capital challenges in hiring a projected 3,700 federal government civilian
employees to fully reconstitute its expected workforce authorization of about 5,100 civilians at Aberdeen Proving Ground in
2011, which includes a large number of scientists and engineers with technical expertise. At the time of our review, the Army's
request for direct hire authority was under review within DOD, but had not yet been submitted to the Office of Personnel
Management, which grants the authority. To help mitigate the effects of the potentially smaller and less experienced workforce at
Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Army has identified strategies, including focusing on the highest-priority workload and deferring
some portions of the C4ISR workload, temporarily transferring some of the workload to other DOD organizations, or hiring
additional contractors. Second, the Army faces challenges in obtaining personnel security clearances for nearly all of its newly
hired employees in a timely manner. Third, the Army faces infrastructure challenges in completing the construction of facilities to
accommodate C4ISR personnel and relocation of personnel and equipment to Aberdeen Proving Ground by the end of the
BRAC implementation period. Finally, the Army faces challenges in funding the increasing costs of the transfer. These challenges
are significant but are not unique to the closure of Fort Monmouth, as we have previously reported on similar challenges as they
relate to the implementation of other BRAC recommendations. While the Army has begun to identify and implement mitigation
strategies designed to lessen the risks associated with each of the challenges, it is too early to determine the effectiveness of these
strategies in ensuring continued support to military missions. DOD plans to continue ongoing oversight of the implementation of this
BRAC recommendation at the installation level, Army headquarters, and DOD, and to revise plans, as appropriate, which may
also lessen potential mission-disruption risks. Wed, 13 Aug 2008 00:00:00 -0400

Shared By: