DOD Infrastructure

DOD's Planned Finance and Accounting Structure Is Not Well Justified Gao ID: NSIAD-95-127 September 18, 1995

The Defense Department's (DOD) consolidation of more than 300 defense accounting office did not adequately consider the functions and proper staffing levels of the new offices and gave undue weight to the reuse of closed military bases. GAO concludes that DOD's plan, which is expected to cut 23,000 finance and accounting jobs, stressed short-term cost savings at the expense of customer service and improved business practices. This report assesses (1) the process that DOD used to identify the appropriate size and location for its finance and accounting centers and operating locations, (2) the consolidation's potential impact on customer service, and (3) the extent to which DOD's consolidation plan reflects cutting-edge business practices.

GAO found that: (1) the DOD plan to consolidate and reduce personnel is necessary to achieve a more effective and efficient finance and accounting service; (2) DOD has not achieved a balance between cost considerations, maintaining customer service, and improving business operations in its process to select the number and locations of new operating centers; (3) DOD has decided to open 20 new operating locations without first determining what functions they would perform or if these centers would support its operations; (4) DOD has mainly emphasized maximizing short-term cost savings during the decisionmaking process; (5) 15 of the 20 operating locations will be housed in excess DOD facilities, even though these facilities may be less desirable from a customer service, cost, or quality workforce standpoint; (6) DOD has not reengineered the finance and accounting functions to be performed at the new locations, thus, DOD business operations will not likely be improved; and (7) DOD has time to reconsider its consolidation decisions, since it will be some time before the operating locations will be fully staffed and operational.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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