Survey of the Management of Civilian Personnel Offices

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-10-20.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                       UIWED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTIN
                                                  WASHINGTON,     D.C.   20548

DEFENSE   DIVISION     -.ā€™         :


            Dear Mr. Secretary:               .
                   We have recently   completed our,survey-of                        the management of civilian
             personnel  offices   as outlined  to you in our                     letter   of October 31, 1969.

                  We visited     17 civilian       personnel    offices  in Texas (see enclosure),
            and found that although          regulations     from the Office    of the Secretary
   \        of Defense (OSD) and from the military               departments  recommend use of                        I-
            consolidated     personnel     offices,      the departmentshad   not promoted
            consolidations     at the installations          we visited.


                    OSD policy   recommends that each military        department   use the services
            provided     by another department's   local civilian       personnel    office     where
            economical and practical.       OSD instructions       state that commanders who
            desire support from another department's         civilian      personnel     office   will
            request    the support from the command having jurisdiction            over that

                      The Army, Navy, and Air Force also have guidelines             for establishing
             civilian     personnel    offices.  The guidelines        recommend consolidation      of
             these offices       when it is economical,     practical,      and mission effectiveness
             is not impaired.         Under the departments'      regulations,    activity   commanders
             are responsible       for managing and determining          the need for consolidated
             personnel     services.

                    Our survey indicated              that these     policies      and regulations,      recommend-        .
             ing the use of consolidated                 personnel    offices,      are not being     effectively

                     The Army operated     two civilian      personnel   offices    at Fort Sam Houston,
            San Antonio,      Texas.    One  office    serviced    about  3,400    civilian      tenants at
            the installation;        the other office      serviced    about 1,700 civilian
            employees at the Brooke Army Medical Center,                an Army Surgeon General
            activity     at Fort Sam Houston.         Air Force civilian       personnel     offices
            operated at each of the five Air Force activities                  in and around San
            Antonio.      Three of these activities--Kelly           Air Force Base, Lackland Air
            Force Base, and the Headquarters,             Air Force Security       Service--are       adjacent.

                     The Army operated a civilian                personnel     office    at the Corpus Christi
             Naval    Air Station  to serve about               4,600 civilian        employees of the Army

                                              50 TH ANNIVERSARY          ?921- 1971
-   - Aeronautical Depot Maintenance           Center,    located    at the station.           The
      Navy also operated a civilian           personnel    office    at the station          to serve
      about 1,300 Navy employees.


           All civilian     personnel     offices   perform common functions       in clerical
     and administrative       support.     We believe     that these functions     could be
     economically     consolidated     into a single office       in each geographical       area.
     We found no indication        that such consolidations         at the locations    visited
     would impair mission effectiveness.

     Savings    in Personnel      Costs

             In the San Antonio area, the two Army and five Air Force personnel
     offices    operated with authorized           staffs     totaling     408 employees and
     provided     services   to a total     authorized       work force of about 37,600 people.
     Using Air Force standards          for staffing        these offices       (explained    below),
     we estimate      that this work force could be provided                 the necessary     personnel
     services     by a single office       staffed      with 310 employees.          Such action
     would result       in a reduction     of 98 personnel          office   employees and would
     enable the Government to realize              annual savings in payroll            costs of more
     than one million       dollars.

            The Army and Navy personnel           offices     at the Corpus Christi      Naval Air
     Station   had authorized      staffs    totaling       85 employees and provided      services
     to a total    authorized    work force of about 5,900 people.               Using the Air
     Force staffing     standards,      we estimate       that this work force could receive
     its required     personnel    services     from a single office       staffed    with 66
     employees.     The resulting       reduction      of 19 personnel    office   employees
     would enable the Government to realize                 annual savings of $180,000 in
     salary costs at the air station.

            Economic consolidation   may be feasible in the other areas                       we visited
     but we concentrated     on those with the most convenient  proximity                      for

             We used the Air Force standards             to estimate    staffing       requirements
     for the local central          office     because these standards         identify      the number
     of employees with specific             occupational    skills   for staffing         personnel
     offices    serving    civilian      work forces in a range of sizes.               The Army and
     Navy staffing      guides identify         the total   number of personnel           required    to
     serve given work forces,            rather    than the specific     occupational          skills

            The total      personnel    strength   of all civilian     personnel  offices
     throughout    the continental         United States is currently       about 13,000
     employees.       Information      developed during our survey indicates          that con-
     solidating    personnel      offices     by geographical    areas could lead to a

reduction  in this employment          level ranging between 2,000 and 4,000
employees.   We estimate  that         such a reduction  would result   in annual
 savings in Government payroll          costs of more than $20 million.

Other   Benefits    of Consolidation

        One central     personnel     office   in each location     operating    under
unified    policies,      procedures,      and regulations   could aid in assuring
consistent      administration,       on a local basis,    of defense-wide       personnel
programs such as equal employment opportunity.                  Also, relations      with
local interagency         boards, employment commissions,          job applicants,      labor
groups,minority       groups, and local communities          in general could be
through one office.

       Numerous personnel       forms-- some with the same purposes--were                used
by each Department of Defense activity                we visited.       Opportunities     to
eliminate     duplicate    forms would be readily           identified,      if one personnel
office    provided    all personnel      services     in a location.         Although the
achievable     benefits    in simplified       operations      and reduced costs from the
elimination      of duplicate     forms cannot be fully           determined     at this time,
they appear to warrant         consideration.
                                                          jjEg      DOCUMENT        AVAlLBBLE

         It is the official       policy  of the Department of Defense to consolidate
civilian      personnel   offices     when economical and practical.      Our survey has
indicated      that this policy has not been effectively         applied,   and the
Department has therefore           not realized   the savings achievable    from such

        We recommend that the Department of Defense take action             to initiate
a pilot    program consolidating     the seven civilian     personnel   offices      in
the San Antonio area and consolidating           the two at Corpus Christi.          After
an appropriate      test period of about one to two years, we suggest that the
Department of Defense carefully         analyze the results     for application        to
civilian     personnel   offices throughout    the United States,     and possibly,
the world.

      We plan no further       reporting     or reviewing     of these    matters    at the
present  time.

       This report   is subject   to the provisions     of section    236 of the
Legislative    Reorganization    Act of 1970.    We will   appreciate    receiving
copies of the statements       you furnish  the specified    committees     in accord-
ance with these provisions.

                                                                                    -3   -
     Copies of this letter  are being sent to the Secretaries  of the
Army, Navy, and Air Force and to the Appropriations,   Armed Services,     ' ?.
and Government Operations  Committees of the Senate and the House
of Representatives.

                                    Sincerely   yours,



The Honorable
The Secretary   of Defense


                               LIST OF INSTALLATIONS VISITED AND

                            SELECTED CIVILIAN    STAFFING INJ?ORMATION

                                                                               Civilians  assigned
                                                                               to personnel office
                                              Total population                            Average
Activity        and location     in Texas   of activities    serviced                     salary


   Army Aeronautical  Depot
     Maintenance Center,
     Corpus Christi                                    4,592                       53        $ 9,848
   Army-Air National  Guard,
     Austin                                            1,654b                      10          9,435
   Brooke Army Medical Center,
     San Antonio                                       1,752                       24         10,707
   Fort Hood, Killeen                                  3,644                       35         11,064
   Fort Sam Houston,
     San Antonio                                       3,482                       34         10,081


      Naval Air Station,        Beeville                 468                           7       9,037
      Naval Air Station,
        Corpus Chris ti                                1,314                       22          9,498
      Naval Air Station,       Kingsville                 359                       5          8,895

Air     Force

      Bergstrom Air Force Base
         (AFB), Austin                                 636                          9         10,203
      Brooks AFB, San Antonio                          946                         17         12,693
      Goodfellow    AFB, San Angelo                    402                          5         11,689
      Kelly AFB, San Antonio                       24,745                         225         10,935
      Lackland AFB, San Antonio                     2,810                          35         11,124
      Laredo AFB, Laredo                               541                         10         10,824
      Laughlin AFB, Del Rio                            641                          9          9,954
      Randolph AFB, San Antonio                     2,844                          41         10,828
      Headquarters,    Security Service,
        San Antonio                                                               23          10,653

           TOTALS - 17 activities                  51,904                                    $10,678a

           aTotal   is an average     based on total     salary   divided    by total      employees.

           bThis civilian     personnel office   serves Army and Air National               Guard
            technicians     in 130 cities  and towns within  the state.