Observations on DoD's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Selection Process and Recommendations--From the United States Government Accountability Office Page: 3 of 36
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Mr. Chairman and Members of the Commission:
I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to provide you with the
results of our work on the defense base realignment and closure (BRAC)
2005 selection process and recommendations. First, I would like to
commend you, Mr. Chairman, and your fellow Commissioners for
undertaking the very important, complex and controversial task of
reviewing the Department of Defense's (DOD) list of proposed
recommendations and recognizing you have to forward your
recommendations to the President in September of this year. I am well
aware that your task is especially demanding, given the limited time in
which you have to do your work and the broad scope of your
responsibilities. However, I would like to point out that your work is of
critical importance since, while reasonable people can and will differ on
specific recommendations, it is clear that DOD must reduce its excess
support infrastructure in order to generate savings for higher priority
needs, including the military and business transformation efforts in light of
21 century trends and challenges.
We have frequently reported in recent years on the long-term challenges
DOD faces in managing its portfolio of facilities, halting degradation of
facilities, and reducing unneeded infrastructure to free up funds to better
maintain enduring facilities and meet other needs. Because of these long-
standing issues, DOD's management of its support infrastructure has been
included in our list of high-risk areas since 1997. While the previous four
rounds of closures and realignments have helped reduce excess
infrastructure and generate savings, DOD's infrastructure costs continue
to consume a larger-than-necessary portion of the DOD budget, and as a
result, DOD has not been able to devote funds to more critical needs.
While the 2005 BRAC round affords the department an additional
opportunity to further reduce infrastructure and generate savings, it will
not, in itself, be sufficient to stem the overall rising costs of DOD's
operations and much more will need to be done to transform the
department. It is critical that DOD continue to search out ways to reduce
unnecessary spending and significantly improve its business processes.
Further, it must recognize that tough choices need to be made in
connection with a variety of initiatives (e.g., weapons systems) and areas
(e.g.,health care) that are not affordable or sustainable over the longer
term, given our large and growing long-term deficits. Moreover, reducing
unnecessary defense costs and creating more efficiency within DOD is an
important step in addressing the nation's growing fiscal imbalances. Over
the long term, the nation's growing fiscal imbalances, if left unchecked,
will ultimately impede our economic growth; have an adverse impact on
GAO-05-905 Military Bases
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Observations on DoD's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Selection Process and Recommendations--From the United States Government Accountability Office, text, July 28, 2005; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc18918/m1/3/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.