oversight

Publications at Military Bases by Civilian Contractors

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-07-26.

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

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Publications At
Military Bases
By Civilian Contractors          E-170924




Department   of Defense




BY THE CQMPTROLLER GENERAL
OF THE UNITED STATES



                          JULY26;1971
                  COMPTROLLER       GENERAL      OF    THE      UNITED      STATES
                                  WASHINGTON.     D.C.       2O!U8




B-170924




Dear    Senator        Proxmire       :

           This is our report            on publications          at Department          of De-
fense bases by civilian                contractors.          Our study was made in
accordance        with your request               of September          23, 1970.      The re-
port refers       to several         base newspapers             and guides       which      are
not specifically         identified.         In accordance          with the interest
subsequently         expressed          by your office,         we would       be pleased
to furnish      you with copies            of these publications             at your request.
Observations         included        in the report         were     discussed      with agency
officials,     but we did not request                written     comments        from      the
Department         of Defense.

          We plan no further       distribution       of this report  unless
copies     are specifically     requested,        and then we shall make dis-
tribution     only after your agreement             has been obtained     or pub-
lic announcement          has been made         by you concerning     the con-
tents of this report.




                                                      Comptroller               General
                                                      of the United             States

The Honor able William                Proxmire
United States Senate




                        SOTH ANNIVERSARY                     1921-       1971
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     I           COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S REPORTTO                                        PUBLICATIONSAT MILITARY BASES BY
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     I           THE HONORABLE WILLIAM PROXMIRE                                        CIVILIAN CONTRACTORS
     i           UNITED STATES SENATE                                                  Department       of    Defense    B-170924
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     I           DIGEST
                 ------
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    I            WHYTHE REVIEW WASMADE
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    1                        The General     Accounting        Office     (GAO) was requested       by Senator       William
     I                       Proxmire     to examine      the arrangements        und_er_~ch-uno~~~-~-~=ia-l--ba-se-        news.-
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                             papers distributed         on mil~-~~ry-~~-_are-puhlishgd-              by c-ivili-an      con--.-.._.
     I                       tractors    using military          personnel.
                                                                  _--. .--_      GAO was asked to determine            whether
     I                       such arrangements         are a proper         use of Federal    funds and whether           the
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     I                       Government-is      losins      revenue     to which     it is entitled    for furnishing
     I                       services    under these circumstances.                (See p. 19.)
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                 FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
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     I                       As a part of the Armed Forces              Information      Program,     military      bases may
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      I                      contract    with civilian      publishers        for the publication           of unofficial
      I                      newspapers,      base guides    and directories.            These are referred           to as
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                             civilian    enterprise    publications.            In this way military           bases are pro-
      I                      vided with publications         without       having     to pay printing        costs.       The
      I                      publishers      pay for this    and have the opportunity             to earn a profit
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         I                   through    sale of advertising          space.       (See p. 3.)
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                             In return    for the printing,.military                  bases generally           have performed
         I        1
         I                   a large   portion   of the other functions                  required   in       the publication            of
         I                   these newspapers,     including
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                                --writing        editorial      matter;
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         I                      --editing,        proofreading,         and supervising        layouts;      ,and
         I                      --distributing             the newspapers     after    their     delivery      to the    bases.
         I                                                                                                                        .*.
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         I                   Similar  arrangements      have         existed     in the publication            of unofficial
         I                   base guides    and directories.                (See pp. 5 and 9.)
         I
         I
         I                   On the basis         of the f&zts       developed,     there     is no legal    basis    for
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                             questioning        the expenditure          of Government      funds to support       cikyilian
         I                   enterprise        publications.         Although    the Government       received     some com-
         I
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                             pensation       in the form of services,            GAO did not find         any contracts
         I            ,      which     provided      for any payment to the Government.                 The Department       of
         I                   Defense      (DOD) should       review      the adequacy     of the consideration          that
         I
         I       I.          it receives        under future        contracts    and recover      payments     to the max-
         I                   imum extent        practicable       for its services        under any agreements          with
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                             publishers.          (See p. 9.)
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                                                                                                    NLY26,1971
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                          Tear Sheet
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GAO questions        the extent         to which DOD personnel              were involved         in view   '
of regulations         prohibiting         the use of such personnel                 on the editorial
staffs     of civilian        enterprise        publications.           DOD regulations         provide
that   civilian      enterprise         publications         be unofficial         and not subject
to military       control.         In practice,         however,     base commanders          had virtu-
ally   total    control       over these publications.                  The civilian       enterprise
newspapers      served      the same purpose            as in-house        authorized      newspapers,
since both were part of the commanders'                        internal       information       programs.
(See pp.10       to 14.)

GAO's findings         and conclusions      are based on examinations          at six bases.
These conditions           do not pertain     necessarily     to all bases with civilian
enterprise       publications,      but officials       at the headquarters       level  were
unable     to state      that  they were not representative          of conditions      at
other     bases.

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                          Contents
                                                              Page

DIGEST                                                          1

CHAPTER

   1       INTRODUCTION                                         3

  2        USE OF GOVERNMENTPERSONNELIN PUBLISHING
           CIVILIAN ENTERPRISE PUBLICATIONS                     5
                Base newspapers                                 5
                Similar   arrangements for base
                  guides and directories                        9
                Conclusions                                     9

           MILITARY CONTROL OVER CIVILIAN ENTERPRISE
           PUBLICATIONS                                        10
                Contradictions    in DOD regulations           10
                When publications    seem to be official       11
                Control over civilian    enterprise    base
                  newspapers                                   13
                Conclusions                                    13

           SCOPE OF REVIEW                                     15

APPENDIX

   I       Letter  to the Comptroller  General    from
             Senator William Proxmire,   dated
              September 23, 1970                               19

                            ABBREVIATIONS

DOD        Department   of Defense

GAO        General   Accounting   Office
COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S REPORTTO                                  PUBLICATIONS AT MILITARY BASES BY
THE HONORABLEWILLIAM PROXMIRE                                   CIVILIAN CONTRACTORS
UNITED STATES SENATE                                            Department       of Defense     B-170924


DIGEST
_-----

WHYTHE Rh'IEW WASMADE

    The General     Accounting       Office    (GAO) was requested       by Senator    trJilliam
    Proxmire    to examine      the arrangements       under which unofficial         base news-
    papers distributed         on military       bases are published      by civilian      con-
    tractors   using military         personnel.      GAO was asked to determine           whether
    such arrangements        are a proper        use of Federal    funds   and whether        the
    Government     is losing      revenue    to which it is entitled        for furnishing
    services    under these circumstances.              (See p. 19.)


FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

    As a part of the Armed Forces                Information      Program,     military       bases may
    contract     with civilian       publishers        for the publication           of unofficial
    newspapers,       base guides     and directories.            These are referred           to as
    civilian     enterprise     publications.            In this way military           bases are pro-
    vided with publications           without       having     to pay printing         costs.      The
    publishers       pay for this     and have the opportunity              to earn a profit
    through     sale of advertising           space.       (See p. 3.)

     In return    for the printing,   military                 bases generally          have performed
     a large   portion   of the other  functions                  required   in      the publication       of
     these newspapers,      including

         --writing        editorial      matter;
         --editing,        proofreading,         and supervising        layouts;      and
         --distributing             the newspapers     after    their     delivery     to the    bases.

     Similar  arrangements      have          existed    in the publication            of unofficial
     base guides    and directories.                 (See pp. 5 and 9.)

     On the basis         of the facts     developed,       there    is no legal     basis     for
     questioning        the expenditure        of Government       funds to support        civilian
     enterprise        publications.       Although      the Government      received      some com-
     pensation       in the form of services,            GAO did not find        any contracts
     which     provided      for any payment        to the Government.         The Department         of
     Defense      (DOD) should review the adequacy of the consideration                          that
     it receives        under future      contracts      and recover     payments     to the max-
     imum extent        practicable     for its services          under any agreements           with
     publishers.          (See p. 9.)




                                                     1
GAO questions    the   extent   to which   DOD personnel    were   involved   in   view
of regulations    prohibiting      the use of such personnel on the editorial
staffs of civilian      enterprise    publications.     DOD regulations       provide
that civilian    enterprise     publications    be unofficial     and not subject
to military    control.     In practice,     however, base commanders had virtu-
ally total control over these publications.             The civilian      enterprise
newspapers served the same purpose as in-house authorized newspapers,
since both were part of the commanders' internal              information     programs.
(See pp.10 to 14.)
GAO's findings and conclusions are based on examinations at six bases.
These conditions do not pertain necessarily to all bases with civilian
enterprise   publications, but officials at the headquarters level were
unable to state that they were not representative   of conditions  at
other bases.
                               CHAPTER1

                             INTRODUCTION

        The Secretary     of Defense, under his general powers and
duties as contained in 10 United States Code 133, has dele-
gated to the Assistant         Secretary    of Defense (Manpower and
Reserve Affairs)       the responsibility       for the Armed Forces In-
formation    Program, including        Armed Forces newspapers and
civilian    enterprise     publications.      There are about 750 Armed
Forces newspapers and about 185 civilian              enterprise     newspa-
pers.     The purpose of these newspapers is to support inter-
nal information      programs by giving military          and civilian
employees the military         service and local news and informa-
tion that is not readily          available   through non-Government
media.

       Armed Forces or authorized    newspapers are published       in-
house without commercial advertisements         by a command or ac-
tivity   and are financed from appropriated       or nonappropriated
funds.    Civilian   enterprise or unofficial     newspapers are
published by a commercial publisher        under contract   with a
DOD activity.      No money is exchanged under these contracts,
but the publishers     have an opportunity    to earn a profit
through the sale of advertising.

       Contract  specifications      could include such factors    as
the frequency of publication,         number of pages, amount of
editorial    and advertising     content,  and number of editions
with color,     With the approval of the DOD agency or military
department concerned, nonappropriated          funds may be used to
buy copies of civilian       enterprise   newspapers for distribu-
tion to personnel when there is not sufficient          revenue from
the sale of commercial advertising         and other sources to
make publication    feasible.

      DOD regulations       (DOD Instruction       5120.4, dated April 30,
1970) provide that the military            departments and defense
agencies may authorize         their commands or activities       to enter
into contracts     for civilian       enterprise    newspapers for the
publication     of military      service and local news when these
organizations     are unable to finance the publication           of Armed
Forces newspapers.         Air Force and Navy regulations        encourage
their activities      to have civilian        enterprise   newspapers

                                     3
rather than Armed Forces newspapers. These regulations in-
dicated, and base officials agreed, that not having to pay
for the cost of printing was a primary purpose for entering
into these arrangements with civilian enterprise publishers.
       Other civilian    enterprise publications are base guides
and directories,      which are handboolcs of information about
the specific geographical area in which a military activity
is located,     Unlike newspapers, base guides are only updated
annually.     (See p. 9 .> All these publications are usually
distributed    at no charge to base personnel.
                               CHAPTER 2

                 USE OF GOVERNMENTPERSONNELIN

         PUBLISHING CIVILIAN       ENTERPRISE PUBLICATIONS

BASE NEWSPAPERS

      At one base the civilian       enterprise    newspaper's entire
content,   with the exception      of the advertisements,      was com-
piled by military       personnel.   Military    personnel gathered,
wrote, and edited the news articles,           supervised the layout,
and distributed      the newspaper on the base.         The commercial
publisher    exercised no control     over news and editorial      con-
tent but contracted       for the printing     and sold the advertising.

       The Internal    Information    Branch of the Information      Of-
fice was responsible        for the publication     of the base news-
paper and guide.       The Branch had two sections--the        news-
paper staff of five enlisted        personnel and the special
projects   staff    of three enlisted    personnel.      There was also
an officer    and a noncommissioned officer         in charge assigned
to the Branch.

      The job descriptions   for the enlisted         personnel    in the
Branch include the following     duties.

      Editor--reviews        material  from internal    and external
      news sources for publication           in the newspaper.    Makes
      news article       and feature   story writing    assignments to
      staff members. Edits all copy.             Assigns, monitors,
      and directs       photographic   support for the paper and
      supervises      its layout.     Assists   in development of
      special projects        for the office.

      Writers --responsible      for gathering,    as well as writing
      for assignment,     features,    news stories,    and articles.
      Arrange interviews      and photographic     coverage of as-
      signed news events.        Write headlines and photographic
      outlines,     Responsible for proofreading        and final     de-
      tails   of page layouts at the printshop.          Responsible,
      according to ability,        for page layouts on occasion.



                                    5
      Special projects     writers--write    special feature ma-
      terial    for the base newspaper and for public informa-
      tion use.     Prepare copy and layout for the base guide.
      Responsible for proofreading        and final  details of pub-
      lication.

       We estimated  that, on the basis of standard labor rates
established    by DOD, the labor costs for the five enlisted
personnel working full time on the newspaper staff was about
$22,000 annually.      Other costs were incurred for personnel
working part time on the newspaper.

      News releases were made available       routinely      to other
publicationqaccording     to the Information      Officer.        How-
ever, not all news written     for the newspaper was made avail-
able because, in his opinion,       it would be impractical.           He
decided which articles    would receive routine        distribution.
We talked with the publisher       of one of the two local inde-
pendent newspapers directed      toward the base population          and
were told that it was a continual       problem to obtain news re-
leases from the Information      Office although DOD regulations
provide that all news or information        available     to a civilian
enterprise    publisher be equally available       to any other pub-
lisher who requests it.
        We were advised that the newspaper was distributed                   not
only by regular       installation      messengers but also by unas-
 signed recruits      who had completed basic training              and were
awaiting     orders.     Beginning in October 1970 the publisher
 delivered    the newspaper to several bulk distribution                 points
on base.      Prior to that time military           personnel had been
picking up the newspapers at the printer's                  plant.    The pub-
lisher    believes    that this change was brought about because
the newspaper was under congressional              scrutiny.        DOD regula-
tions provide that civilian           enterprise     newspapers may be
distributed      through official       channels without        cost to the
publisher     if this does not require          additional      expenditures
of appropriated       funds.      The Information      Office also mails
copies to other bases and to various media organizations.

      At another base at least 39 individuals   were involved
in the publication    of the base newspaper.  About one half of
them, in two major units on the base, spent most of their
time preparing    news copy for release to the base newspaper

                                       6
only,and in its production  and distribution.  The Command
Information and Newspaper Branch of the base Information
Office spent about one third of its time in the production
of the newspaper.

      We were told  that the publisher         controlled    the adver-
tising  content of the newspaper and that the Information
Office controlled   the editorial       content.      Although the pub-
lisher had the right    to fill      empty editorial      space with his
own copy, the Information       Office usually furnished        the paper
with sufficient   copy to fill       the allotted     space.   We were
informed that the publisher       did not maintain an editorial
staff  for the base newspaper.

        The involvement        of the Command Information      and News-
paper Branch in publishing             the newspaper was not limited       to
the production       of news releases for all media.           Three of the
personnel in the Command Information               Branch served as an ed-
itorial    staff   for the newspaper.          They wrote headlines,      ed-
ited and rewrote articles,             and selected photographs      to be
published in the newspaper.              Once a week they traveled      to
the publisher's       facilities      where they selected articles,
arranged the front page and sports section,                and previewed
the advertising       content of the newspaper.          Information    Of-
fice officials      maintained       that such supervision     was neces-
 sary to control      the format of the front page and the quality
of the news copy published.

      We estimated   that the cost of Government labor used in
the production    of the newspaper amounted to approximately
$95,000 annually.      This amount represented     the time spent
in producing copy published      in the base newspaper only and
the time spent by the Command Information        and Newspaper
Branch editorial    staff   in supervising   the publication    of
the newspaper.     We estimated    also that additional     Govern-
ment labor costing about $91,000 annually was used for the
production   of news copy which was distributed        to other news
media as well as to the base newspaper.

        The publisher   delivered    the newspapers      to a central
point on the base where military         personnel     received and
distributed     them through normal distribution           channels.  In
addition,    military   personnel too-k copies of       the newspaper
to the base stockade.        Prisoners   rolled  the    newspapers and

                                      7
distributed   them to military   personnel and their  dependents
in base housing areas.      We were advised that every week three
guards, one driver,    and 30 prisoners   spent about 5 hours
each to distribute   the newspapers.

       One civilian     publisher    produced a weekly community news-
paper of about 20 pages.          It was used as the nucleus for the
publication     of the base newspaper.          Base personnel substi-
tuted a new front page and several other pages which had
articles    about the installation.          These pages enclosed the
remaining pages of the community newspaper.                The new publica-
tion became the base newspaper and was distributed                 to base
personnel without       charge.     Advertisements      appearing in the
community newspaper appeared also in the base newspaper.                   A
major selling      point in soliciting       prospective    advertisers
was the fact that the publisher            guaranteed a mixed military
and civilian      audience.

     Although it was prohibited    by DOD regulations,    this base
newspaper carried political    campaign news, presumably be-
cause these pages appeared in the publisher's       community
newspaper.

        The Command Information     staff of the base Information
Office prepared the military        section of the base newspaper.
The staff had four military       personnel and one civilian,          and
their job titles      were supervisor,     editor,   and reporter.      The
editor    did the proofreading,     editing,     and copy layout of the
military     section of the newspaper.       The reporters     covered
news and sports events on the base, and other personnel of
the Information      Office prepared feature stories        for the base
newspaper.

        Other releases written     by the Information    Office for
general distribution        to the media were often included in
the base newspaper.        Alsqmembers    of various base units sub-
mitted articles      for the newspaper and all photos appearing
in the military      section were taken by the base photo labo-
ratory.      Once a week the publisher      delivered the newspaper
to the base, where two military         personnel spent approxi-
mately 2 hours each preparing        the newspaper for mail distri-
bution or pickup by units coming for their regular mail.



                                    8
       At one base the commercial publisher      inserted  a supple-
ment to his community newspapers in the base newspaper; at
another base the publisher   inserted    the base newspaper as a
supplement to the Friday edition      of his community newspaper.
This resulted   in increased circulation     for the inserted
publications.

SIMILAR ARRANGEMENTS FOR
BASE GUIDES AND DIRECTORIES

       Under contracts  with the bases, the civilian         enterprise
publishers    of guides and directories     furnished    the bases
each year with a specified       number of copies at no charge.
Most of the editorial    matter and photographs were provided
by the base information     offices.     The publishers     printed
the guides and directories       and sold the advertising.         costs
incurred by the bases were not substantial          since the guides
and directories    were only updated annually.

CONCLUSIONS

        The services provided to the civilian            enterprise    pub-
lishers    by the military       bases represented      a large portion
of the effort       involved in the publication         of the newspapers
and guides.       Many of the articles        were prepared primarily
for publication        in the military     base newspapers and not for
routine    distribution       to the public information       media,    The
civilian    enterprise      publishers    generally   were responsible
for selling      the advertising       and for printing     and delivering
the publications         to the bases.

        On the basis of the facts developed, there is no legal
basis for questioning        the expenditure        of Government funds
to support civilian       enterprise      publications.       But we question
the extent to which military            and DOD civilian      personnel were
involved in the publication            of civilian    enterprise     publica-
tions in view of regulations            which prohibit     using such per-
sonnel on the editorial         staffs    of civilian     enterprise    pub-
lications.      (See p. 10.1 We did not find any instance where
the contracts     provided for the payment of any money consid-
eration    to the Government.          DOD should review the adequacy
of the consideration       that it receives under future             contracts
and recover payments to the maximum extent practicable                     for
its services under any agreements with the publishers.

                                      9
                                  CHAPTER3

                         MILITARY CONTROLOVER

                 CIVILIAN     ENTERPRISE PUBLICATIONS

CONTRADICTIONS IN DOD REGULATIONS

        DOD and military      service regulations  state that a ci-
vilian    enterprise    publication   is not subject to military
control    with respect to content and that military        or DOD ci-
vilian    personnel may not serve on the editorial       staff   nor
may their names be placed in the masthead.

       DOD regulations    require    that a disclaimer          be promi-
nently included on the front page or cover of                  each copy of
a civilian    enterprise   publication     stating    that      the publisher
is in no way connected with DOD, that opinions                  contained   in
the publications      are not official     expressions         of DOD policy,
and that the advertisements        do not constitute           DOD endorse-
ment of the products or services          advertised.

        Civilian   enterprise     publications       must not contain state-
ments that they are authorized            Armed Forces publications.
The use of official        seals, insignias,         or emblems is prohib-
ited.      The name of the military         installation        may not be used
in the dateline      within    the newspaper's banner or folio,                ex-
cept that datelines        may state that the newspaper is pub-
lished in the interest         of personnel at the particular              in-
stallation.       These provisions       are based on the Government
Printing      and Binding Regulations,         published by the Joint
Committee on Printing,         which generally         prohibit    advertising
in Government publications.

        Although DOD regulations         provide that civilian          enter-
prise publications         be unofficial     and not subject to military
control,     this is contradicted        by other provisions         that the
commander may suggest the positioning                of editorial      matter
and military       photographs and that he has the authority                to
prohibit     circulation     of any issue if he considers            it to be
unlawful     or prejudicial      to good order and discipline.              More-
over the commander has the authority               to prohibit     the dis-
tribution      of civilian    enterprise     publications      containing


                                        10
an advertisement    which he determines would not be in the
best interest    of his command or which implies discrimina-
tion against any person because of race, religion,      national
origin,   or sex.

       Army regulations    state also that each commander must
determine whether content pertaining         to peace demonstrations,
antiwar movements, or other civil       disturbance     activities
may interfere    with the successful    accomplishment      of his mis-
sion or affect morale and discipline        within   his command.
The commander has the authority       to prohibit    circulation
within   his command of any issue of the civilian          enterprise
newspaper, supplement, guide, or directory          that he considers
to be contrary     to the best interest    of his command. In mak-
ing his decision,      the commander must consider the local cli-
mate, the tone and thrust of those items in question,              and
the identity    and reputation   of the writers.

       Commanders must advise the publishers    of civilian en-
terprise   publications of these criteria    so that the pub-
lishers   may avoid accepting content which would be detrimen-
tal to the accomplishment    of the military   mission or which
in any way would imply endorsement or condonement by the
commands.

        The stated purpose of both civilian         enterprise     and au-
thorized    newspapers is to serve as part of the commanders'
internal     information   program.     This seems to be a basic con-
tradiction      to the regulations    that the newspapers are not
subject    to military    control   because civilian     enterprise
newspapers cannot be part of the commanders' internal                infor-
mation program and not be subject to some military               control.

WHEN PUBLICATIONS SEEM TO BE OFFICIAL

        The commercial publisher      of one base newspaper told us
that he represented       to advertisers     exclusive   coverage of
military    personnel in his area.       In the yellow pages of the
1969-70 city telephone directory,          the publisher      advertised
exclusive    coverage of Air Force personnel and their families
at two bases.       In the current city telephone directory,             the
publisher    advertised    " the only contractual      advertising     cov-
erage of all three giant military         bases."


                                     11
       Another base newspaper contained         an article      featuring
the official    flag of a brigadier       general.     A  guide    at another
base was headed with the name of the base and was not sub-
headed unofficial     directory      or guide.    Contrary    to DOD's
suggested format,     the title      of the guide was not subordi-
nated to that of the city,         town, or area.      Also base guides
at some installations       contained messages from military            offi-
cials.

        To sell advertisements             in a base guide, one publisher
sent out a solicitation             letter     containing    the purpose of
the guide and information               on the total      base payroll,    number
of base military         and civilian         personnel,    and number of cars
registered      on base.       The reverse side of this solicitation
contained      an official      letter      from the base information        of-
ficer    explaining      the nature of the guide, approximate               dis-
tribution,      and authorization           of the publisher's       sales repre-
sentatives.       These instances may have led readers and adver-
tisers     to believe      that the publications           were officially     en-
dorsed by the bases even though the required                    disclaimers
stated     that they were unofficial.

      At one base the public affairs         office     received a "Chief
of Information    Merit Award" during 1970 for exemplary
achievement by the base civilian         enterprise      newspaper.
Another base newspaper was picked to represent               its command
in a DOD-wide contest.        Awards to the base information          staff
for the content    of civilian    enterprise      publications    seem
inconsistent   with the disclaimer      required      by DOD regulations
that the publisher     is in no way connected with DOD.

       DOD regulations       permit the newspaper to carry a state-
ment in the masthead that it is published            in the interests
of personnel at the base.           Army regulations   add that the
masthead of the civilian          enterprise  newspaper will     include
the name and telephone number of the installation               office
which maintains      liaison    with the civilian    publisher.        These
requirements    also are inconsistent        with the disclaimer        that
the publisher    is in no way connected with DOD.




                                       12
CONTROLOVER CIVILIAN          ENTERPRISE
BASE NEWSPAPERS

       At one base articles    dealing with a burglary       and with
a protest   conducted by a labor union regarding base pur-
chasing practices    were not carried      in the base newspaper
because such incidents      might reflect    unfavorably    on the
base.    Members of the newspaper staff at another base told
us that they had tried to include more contemporary material
in the newspaper and cited an article         on the drug problem
in an October 1970 issue of the newspaper as an example.
After the article    on drugs appeared in the newspaper, the
base commander decided that controversial          articles   must be
approved by him.     He said that this was done not to suppress
the news but to set the news in proper perspective.             He said
also that the base newspaper was             management tool and
that, as long as military      personnel wrote the news, military
commanders would exercise control         over what their personnel
wrote.

CONCLUSIONS .

        Although the civilian       enterprise     publishers       theoreti-
cally control      the content of their publications,               in actual
practice     the military     bases have virtually         total control.
DOD and service regulations          governing civilian         enterprise
publications      seem contradictory       and inconsistent.           On the
one hand, they provide that civilian                enterprise      publica-
tions not be subject to military            control,     that military        or
civilian     personnel not serve on the editorial              staffs,     and
that the civilian        enterprise    publications      contain a promi-
nent disclaimer       that the publisher        is in no way connected
with DOD and that the publications             are unofficial.          These
provisions      are based on regulations         which prohibit        advertis-
ing in Government publications.

       On the other hand, the regulations         permit base command-
ers to suggest the positioning       of editcrial      matter and to
unilaterally   refuse to distribute     any issue for various
reasons, and the regulations      state that the base newspapers
are in support of the DOD internal       information       program.

     The appearance of some publications       can give readers
the impression the publications   are official     although the

                                        13
disclaimers   state they are unofficial.     Giving DOD awards
to base information    staffs  for these publications  also seems
inconsistent   with the disclaimer    that they are in no way
connected with DOD.




                              14
                                 CHAPTER 4

                             SCOPEOF REVIEW

        This review was made at the Office of the Secretary             of
Defense, the headquarters          of the military   services,    and the
following    installations       which had civilian   enterprise    pub-
lications:      Fort Devens and Hanscom Field, Massachusetts;
Fort Hood, Lackland Air Force Base, and Corpus Christi
Naval Air Station,         Texas; and the New London Naval Sub-
marine Base, Connecticut.            We also visited  the Newport
Naval Station,       Rhode Island,    which had an official      base
newspaper and we obtained newspapers and guides from a num-
ber of other bases.

       We met with responsible       installation       officials,       In-
formation   Office personnel,       and civilian       enterprise      pub-
lishers.    We reviewed the contracts           between the bases and the
publishers,    to  find   out  the  extent    of   the involvement         of
base personnel in the publication            of civilian       enterprise
newspapers and guides and the extent of military                   control
over these publications.          In computing the estimated             cost
of military    personnel,     we used the standard military              labor
rates shown in DOD Instruction          7220.25, dated April 29,
1970, which was in effect         at the time of our fieldwork.                We
examined pertinent       DOD and service regulations            and reviewed
the publications      for compliance with these regulations.




                                      15
 APPENDIX
-m--w
                                                                                                                                           APPENDIX I




                                                                         COMMITTEE             ON BANKING            AND   CURRENCY
             DUDLEY L. OWEP.L. JR.
STAFF    DlREcrOR      AND    GENERAL        CO‚ÄĚNSEL                                   WASHINGTON.            D.C.     20510




                                                                              September                   23, 1970

        The Honorable        Elmer B. Staats
        Comptroller      General    of the United                                      States
        General     Accounting     Office Building
        441 G Street,        N.W.
        Washington,      D.C.


        Dear        Elmer:

                  Enclosed       is a letter       ILve sent to the Air Force 1,egislative
        Liaison   regarding        the Lackland        (Tex.)    AFB newspaper,     the Talespinner.
        The case raises        a question      that needs an answer:            Does the Government
        lose revenue      to which it is entitled              because   of arrangements      under
        which private       businessmen       publish      "unofficial    newspapers"    with the
        labor of military          personnel?
         .
                         I am also enclosing     an article .._ from The Texas                                                        Observer   that
        gives          more information    on the agreement       at Lackland.

                   Such arrangements,    it is indicated,       are commonplace      in the
        Air Force.     Is it possible    other   branches     of the service    have similar
        arrangements?      Are such arrangements       proper   use of Federal     funds?

                              Thank                you   for   your   attention

                                                                              Sincer
                                                                                                ?
                                                                                               to this

                                                                                                     ,,
                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                 matter.




        WP:ceg                 l        1
                                                                             k!   il
                                                                                       I
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                                                                                                           xmire,              U.S.S,


        Encl


        GAO note:                              Enclosures             have been omitted.


        U.S.    GAO,         Wash..         D.C.                      Ml9