Review Of Preliminary Estimates Of Evacuation Costs, Temporary Care, And Resettlement Costs of Vietnamese And Cambodian Refugees

Gao ID: ID-75-68 May 27, 1975

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the preliminary estimates of evacuation costs of Vietnamese refugees.

GAO noted: (1) the estimate for sealift costs, made by the Military Sealift Command, consisted of seven types of costs; (2) of the total estimate, $15 million ($10 million for ocean transport of foodstuffs and other material and $5 million for ship repairs) was for items for which there was no input data upon which to calculate an amount; (3) although it was known that there would be considerable costs for these items, there was no way to compute what the costs would be; (4) the estimate for airlift costs totalled $132 million which was made up of three components--$33 million to airlift 110,000 refugees to the staging areas at a rate of $300 a person, $69 million to airlift 130,00 refugees from the staging areas to the processing centers at a rate of $530 a person, and $30 million to airlift materials and nonrefugee personnel; (5) the Department of Defense (DOD) estimated the basis for facility costs to be about $35 million; (6) GAO was unable to determine the basis for the estimate of $20 million for staging area facilities and $15 million for processing center facilities; (7) the daily maintenance estimate was $185 million; (8) the $15 daily maintenance rate used in computing this estimate was arrived at by DOD after a group discussion of the various factors involved, such as food, utilities, medical care, transportation, temporary duty personnel, and contract services costs; (9) resettlement costs were estimated at $78 million by the Department of State's Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs by assuming that 130,000 refugees will be resettled in the United States at an average cost of $600 each; (10) the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) had requested budget authority of $125 million for carrying out its responsibilities under provisions of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975 for a 14-month period ending June 30, 1976; (11) the movement of an added 20,000 refugees to third countries for resettlement was estimated to be $20 million; and (12) this amount was arrived at by assuming that 20,000 refugees of the estimated 130,000 total will be resettled in various third countries at an average cost of $1,000 per refugee.

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