Military Base Closures

Potential to Offset Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Request Gao ID: NSIAD-99-149 July 23, 1999

To fund the four rounds of military base closures and realignments carried out between 1988 and 1995, Congress established two accounts: the first to fund actions resulting from the first round in 1988 and the second, known as the 1990 account, to fund actions resulting from the next three rounds. The Defense Department's (DOD) authority to use funds from the first account has expired, but funds in the second account are available indefinitely. GAO is required to annually review DOD's base closure accounts and its budget request for base closure efforts. This report discusses opportunities to offset the fiscal year budget request and raises questions about some base closure and realignment funding practices that could make it difficult for Congress to understand DOD's actual funding requirements and priorities.

GAO noted that: (1) while the size of DOD's appropriation requests for BRAC activities has declined as BRAC actions have been completed, GAO's analysis of the BRAC accounts and FY 2000 BRAC budget request identifies at least $66.4 million that could be used to offset DOD's $1.28 billion BRAC budget request; (2) specifically: (a) about $11.8 million in proceeds generated by BRAC property transactions have not been reported to Congress and could be used to offset the 2000 budget request; (b) some prior years' appropriations associated with the 1990 base closure account are available but not needed; (c) about $13.8 million from FY 1998 and FY 1999 appropriations withheld from the services because of lower than anticipated inflation could be used to offset the FY 2000 budget request; and (d) about $6 million is no longer needed because the funds were requested for three military construction projects that have already been funded or cancelled; (3) some of DOD's budgeting practices, such as requests for advance appropriations and the accumulation of large unliquidated obligations for environmental activities, may not clearly reflect the full cost of project requirements and the budgetary resources available to meet those requirements; and (4) they make it difficult for Congress to discern DOD's true funding requirements and priorities or the extent to which all previously appropriated funds have been committed to specific projects.


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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