oversight

Evaluation of Forest Service Plans for Carrying Out Activities of the Stockton, California, Regional Equipment Depot

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-03-23.

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

                                                 rwice
           Carrying
Activities Of The


Department         of Agriculture

Before a final decision is made on the future
of the Stockton     Depot, the Forest Service
needs to develop better estimates of the costs
involved under various alternatives.




CED-77-55
                        COMPTROLLER       GENERAL     OF THE    UNITED   STATES
                                        WASHINGTON,   D.C.   ZOS48




B-125053



The Honorable  John J.                McFall
House of Representatives

Dear    Mr.   McFall:
        This report      is in response          to your September         20,
1976,     request    that we review          the Forest     Service’s      plan
to close       its Regional      Equipment       Depot in Stockton,
California.         The activities         of the Stockton        depot,
located      in the Forest       Service’s       Region 5, include         equip-
ment fabrication--         the assembly         and/or  final     preparation
of model 41 and 51 firetrucks,                  utility   trucks,     and other
special      trucks    used in the region--and            the operation
of a central        spare parts      inventory.

        Before    our review,      the depot was also responsible
for providing        automotive      repair    accounting      services     to
the 17 forests         in Region 5 and for maintaining               a sub-
sidiary     fire    cache --storage      of fire     suppression      supplies
and equipment --for         the region’s       North Zone Fire        Cache.
Shortly     before     our review,      however,     decisions     were made
to transfer       those activities          to other    Forest    Service
units    in the region.

        On the basis     of a June 1976 study           report     on ways to
provide    equipment     servicing      in Region 5, the Forest
Service    developed     the following         three  alternatives      and
related    cost estimates        to carry      out the depot’s       remain-
ing activities--       equipment     fabrication      and operation       of
the central      parts    inventory.

        --Alternative        I provided  for                 continuing    the
           activities      at the Stockton                   depot.     The estimated
           annual     cost was $437,150.

        --Alternative        II provided     for (1) continuing      to
           fabricate     model 41 firetrucks        and operate    the
           central     parts    inventory    at the Stockton    depot,
            (2) contracting,        on a trial   basis,   for fabrica-
           tion     of model 51 firetrucks,        and (3) transferring
B-125053

           the assembly    of          utility    truck    bodies   to              the in-
           dividual  forests.                The estimated     annual               cost was
           $442,145.

       --Alternative        III   provided      for phasing     out all
          activities       at the Stockton         depot and (1) contract-
           ing for the fabrication            of both model 41 and 51
          firetrucks,        (2) transferring         the assembly     of
          utility     truck     bodies   to the individual         forests,
          and (3) transferring           the central      parts    operation
          to the Forest         Service    center     at Redding,     Cali-
          fornia.       The estimated       annual cost wds $333,305,
          or $103,845        less than that of alternative              I.

           In addition,       the Forest   Service estimated     that    a
           one-time     cost of $49,500 would be incurred          in
           closing    the Stockton     depot and that    $253,000      would
           be realized      from disposal    of the Stockton     site.

          After    an August     9, 1976, meeting        between regional
officials         and National      Federation     of Federal      Employees
representatives,            the Regional      Forester    directed    a further
study of the alternatives.                 As a result      of that study,      the
Forest       Service     revised    the cost estimates         for the three
alternatives         to $436,450,       $459,670,      and $352,930,     respec-
tively.         This   resulted     in a $20,325 decrease          in the esti-
mated annual         savings     between alternatives          I and III--from
$103,845        to $83,520.

       In discussions          with      your       office,        we agreed         to

       --review       the   validity        of      the       Forest     Service’s         cost
           estimates,

       --inquire       into whether    the individual                      forests         could
           assemble      utility truck    bodies with                     existing         per-
           sonnel,

       --inquire    into what would happen to the employees
           who would have their   jobs eliminated if the Stock-
           ton depot were closed,    and

       --inquire       into certain     other                 matters     related         to   the
           Stockton     depot’s   operations.

        Our review     included          an analysis      of            data supporting
the revised       cost estimates            and interviews                 with Forest
Service    officials      at the         regional    office              in San Francisco,


                                                2
    B-125053
    California;     at the Stockton depot; and at 11 of the
    17 local forests       in Region 5. We also interviewed
    representatives      of the National Federation   of Federal
    Employees.
           In summaryp we found that (1) the Forest Service
    estimates    do not accurately   reflect  the annual or one-time
    costs which ~would be incurred      under the alternatives,
    (2) some of the forests      do not have ample staffs       to as-
    semble utility    truck bodies, and (3) jobs were planned for
    6 of the 12 employees who would be affected         by closing     the
    Stockton depot, and an action plan was drafted          for placing
    the other 6 employees.       These matters are discussed       in more
    detail    in appendix I.
           We believe that,      before the future    of the Stockton
    depot is decided,        the Forest Service needs to develop
    better   cost estimates      under each alternative.     The
    informationGin       this report,   as well as any other useful
    information     for developing     accurate cost estimates,     should
    be considered      in any further    study,
           The Forest Service agreed          that there were inaccuracies
    in the cost estimates     for the       three alternatives      but said
    that their    net effect  did not       significantly     change the
    savings which could be realized             through closing    the Stock-
    ton depot.     It also said that        factors     other than cost were
    involved    in the recommendation         to close the Stockton
F   depot.     (See app. II.)    Among      these were:
          --The need to certify,      as the final   manufacturer
             of the model 41 and 51 firetrucks,       that all safety
             requirements    have been met.    The Forest Service
             does not know the ramifications       of this certifi-
             cation or whether it can make the certification
             without  additional   training.
          --Problems    in meeting authorized personnel ceilings.
             The Forest Service said this was a prime concern
             in determining   the disposition of the Stockton
             depot 0
          --The Government’s general policy of relying    on
             private   enterprise to supply its needs whenever
             possible.
           We recognize that      such other factors    could affect    the
    decision    to close the     Stockton depot.     However, because cost
    is an important     factor    in the decision   and the estimates      were
    inaccurate    and did not     include all pertinent     cost factors,
                                        3
B-125053

we are recommending to the Chief of the Forest Service that,
before deciding   the future of the Stockton depot, the Service
develop accurate cost estimates    of the various alternatives
for carrying   out the depot’s activities.
      As requested by your office, copies of this report
will  be sent to the Department of Agriculture  7 days
after  the issuance date.

                                 42rfGz~yo~


                                 Comptroller  General
                                 of the United States




                             4
                   Conte'nts

APPENDIX                                            Pacre

   I       EVALUATION OF FOREST SERVICE
             PLANS FOR CARRYING OUT AC-
             TIVITIES OF THE STOCKTON,
             CALIFORNIA, REGIONAL EQUIP-
             MENT DEPOT                               1
              Analysis of the validity   of
                estimated annual costs
                under the three alterna-
                tives                                 1
               Analysis of the validity    of
                 estimated  one-time costs
                 if the Stockton depot were
                 closed                               7
               Ability  of individual   forests
                 to assemble utility    truck
                 bodies with existing     person-
                 nel                                  7
               Employment status of personnel
                 who would be affected  if the
                 depot were closed                    8
  II       LETTER DATED MARCH 8, 1977, FROM
             THE ASSOCIATE DEPUTY CHIEF, FOR-
             EST SERVICE                             10
APPENDIX I                                                          APPENDIX I

         EVALUATION OF FOREST SERVICE PLANS FOR CARRYING OUT
              ACTIVITIES OF THE STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA,
                       REGIONAL EQUIPMENT DEPOT

ANALYSIS OF THE VALIDITY OF
ESTIMATED ANNUAL COSTS
UNDER THE THREE ALTERNATIVES
       Our analysis    of data supporting      the latest    Forest
Service estimates      of annual costs under the three alter-
natives showed that (1) improper factors           were used in
computing some of the costs,         (2) some costs included        in
alternatives      I and II should not have been included,           (3)
some costs which should have been included             in alternatives
I, II, and III were not included,          and (4) latest      cost data
was not used in some cases.          In addition,    we noted other
factors    which could affect    the validity     of the cost esti-
mates but adequate information          was not readily     available
to determine      the net effect   of these factors       on the alter-
natives'     costs.
Forest     Service   cost    estimates
         The following      table shows the Forest Service's         latest
cost     estimates   for    each of the three alternatives.
                                                      Alternative
          Cost category                        T                         III
                                               I
                                                          II
Annual payroll     cost                  $153,200     $153,200       $ 55,180
Annual facility     cost                   15,000       15,000          2,300    -'
Cost for fabricating        fire-
  trucks at Stockton depot:
     Model 41 and 51 trucks               197,500
     Model 41 trucks only                               46,020
Cost for fabricating        fire-
  trucks under contract:
     Model 51 trucks only                              171,700
     Model 41 and 51 trucks                                           221,700
Cost for assembling utility
  truck bodies:
     At Stockton depot                       70,750
     At individual      forests                         73,750          73,750
            Total                        $436,450     $459,670       $352,930




                                         1
APPENDIX a:                                                  APPENDIX I



Our analysis     of the estimates
       Payroll   costs
      The estimated   payroll   cost of $153,200 for alternatives
I and II represents    salaries    and fringe   benefits--retire-
ment, health benefits,     and life   insurance--for      nine full-
time employees and three part-time         employees.     Our analysis
showed that the Forest Service had not properly             computed
this estimate.     Some items were overstated        and some were
understated.
       The wrong base pay was computed for 7 of the 12 employ-
ees.     In each instance, the Forest Service's figure was
less   than it should have been.

        Also, the estimate     included 50 percent of a mechanical
engineer's      salary,   50 percent of a shop foreman's salary,
and 100 percent of two journeyman mechanics'          salaries.
According to a June 10, 1976, memorandum by Region 5's
Staff Engineer for Equipment Management, however, only 20
percent of the mechanical engineer's         workload was directly
related     to Stockton depot work.     Also, Forest Service of-
ficials     told us that (1) based on the depot's present work-
load, the shop foreman was not needed and the position            would
be eliminated       and (2) the two journeyman mechanics would
be needed only 50 percent of the work year.           They said that
during the past year, the mechanics were detailed            to indi-
vidual forests       on other work when they were not needed at
the Stockton depot.
       The Forest Service used 10 percent of base pay to com-
pute the cost for fringe     benefits.   According to an Octo-
ber 18, 1976, revision     to Office of Management and Budget
Circular   No. A-76, the cost of fringe     benefits     for civilian
personnel should be computed by multiplying          base pay by
28.7 percent.     The Forest Service officials       were not aware
of the revision    at the time they revised the estimates.
       As a result  of the above items, payroll            costs under
alternatives    I and II, on a net basis, could            be overstated
by as much as $4,240.
       The payroll   cost of $55,180 for     alternative       III--repre-
senting salaries     and fringe benefits     for three       employees


                                    2
APPENDIX I                                                    APPENDIX I



to operate the central      supply operation      at the Redding,
California,    center and three employees, working part-
time, to help administer      the contracts     for fabricating
model 41 and model 51 firetrucks--was         also inaccurate.                     I’
The supporting     data showed a payroll     cost of $56,094, or
about $920 more than the figure       used.    Also the Forest
Service used 10 percent of base pay, rather            than 28.7 per-
cent, in computing the cost of fringe         benefits.      On a net
basis,    the payroll  costs under alternative       III could be
understated    by as much as $11,217 because of these factors.
           Facility    costs
       The estimated   facility   cost of $15,000 for alternatives
I and II represents      (1) depreciation    costs of buildings,
equipment,   and furniture,     (2) maintenance costs of real
property   and shop equipment,     and ( 3 ) miscellaneous    expenses.
The supporting     data showed that these items had been esti-
mated at $15,420, or $420 more than the figure           used.   Also,
the estimate    did not include a cost for telephone and util-
ities.    These had been budgeted at about        $22,320 for fiscal
year 1977.
           Firetruck    fabricating   costs
       The estimates     of $197,500 for alternative          I and $46,020
for alternative       II for fabricating      firetrucks     at the Stockton
depot represent       the costs of component parts,          unskilled    labor,
transportation,       and miscellaneous     tools and supplies.         The
estimates     of $171,700 for alternative           II and $221,700 for
alternative      III represent     the costs of component parts and
fabrication      and transportation      of firetrucks      acquired,   under
contract,     through commercial sources.             Under each alternative,
it was assumed that 34 firetrucks,            17 of each model, would
be fabricated       annually.     Our analysis      showed the following
shortcomings       in the cost estimates.
        In computing the cost of component parts for the model
51 firetrucks,     the Forest Service used a per-truck     cost of
$8,000.     The depot’s records,    however, showed that each of
the last three sets of component parts purchased for the
model 51 firetruck       cost about $9,620.   The use of the lower
cost understated      the cost in each alternative   by about
$27,540.
APPENDIX I                                                   APPENDIX I



       The Stockton depot used employees on detail           from other
Forest Service units to assist         in fabricating   model 41 and
51 firetrucks.       Assuming continuation      of this practice,       the
Forest Service computed its costs using 65 hours at $8 an
hour for fabricating      each firetruck.       The supporting    data
showed that (1) 80 detailer        hours were needed for a model
51 firetruck,     (2) 24.6 detailer      hours were needed for a
model 41 firetruck,      and (3) the average cost for a detailer
hour was about $9. As a result,           the cost under alternative
I was overstated      by about $2,000 and under alternative          II
by about $5,240.
      The estimate    for alternative   I included $6,500 for
transportation     of the completed firetrucks.    The supporting
data showed this figure      to be $6,120, or about $380 less
than the figure     used.
      Utility    truck   body assembly     costs
      The estimates       of $70,750 for alternative        I and $73,750
for alternatives      II and III represent         the costs of the truck
bodies, unskilled       labor,   transportation,       and miscellaneous
tools and supplies needed for truck body assembly by the
Stockton depot and by the individual             forests,   respectively.
Under each alternative,        it was assumed that 75 utility           truck
bodies would be assembled annually.              Shortcomings     in the
cost estimates      were as follows.
        In computing the cost of utility       truck bodies, the
Forest Service used a per-truck        factor    of $700, although it
purchases several different      types of utility        truck bodies at
different    costs.    According to depot records,         the last 82
truck bodies had cost from $576 to $1,480 each and averaged
about $800.      Using the lower figure      understated      the cost of
each alternative      by about $7,500.
      Under alternatives      II and III,    the Forest Service esti-
mated transportation      costs of $7,500, or $100 for each truck
body.   According to a Forest Service official,          about $30 to
$35 of the $100 was already included in the estimated             truck
body cost.    Accordingly,      the estimate    could be overstated
by as much as $2,625.
APPENDIX I                                              APPENDIX I



       Employees were also detailed     from other Forest Service
units to assist Stockton depot employees in assembling util-
ity truck bodies.      In computing the cost for the employees
on detail,    the Forest Service used 17 hours at $10 an hour               ..
for each truck.     The supporting   data showed that 14.4 de-
tailer   hours were needed for assembling a utility      truck body
and that the average hourly cost was about $8. As a result,
the cost under alternative      I was overstated   by about $4,110.
     Travel   costs
      The estimated    costs for alternatives    II and III did not
include travel    costs that would be incurred      to administer
the contracts   for firetruck    fabrication  even though the
Forest Service had projected       that two to three trips    would
be necessary each year.       The supporting  data estimated      the
cost of these trips     at about $1,000 annually.
Other factors  which affect
the cost estimates
       In addition   to the shortcomings   noted in the various
cost estimates,    we noted other factors    which may further
affect   the estimates.      However, data was not readily   avail-
able to determine      the total  impact of these factors.
       Under alternatives    I and II, the Forest Service included
the salary cost for a supply technician       position.  According
to a Forest Service official,      50 percent of the supply tech-
nician's    duties were eliminated    when the fire cache was
transferred     from the Stockton depot and the position   may no
longer be needed if the Stockton depot were to remain in
operation.
        Under alternatives      II and III,     the Forest Service cost
estimates    for contracting       for the fabrication     of firetrucks
were based, in part,        on verbal quotes from a private          con-
tractor.     The contractor       said he prepared the quotes without
formally    analyzing     the required      work and that his quotes may
be from $100 to $200 higher than necessary.               He said that,
although he was generally          familiar    with the work required,
he would need to analyze the specifications              before making
formal bids.




                                    5
APPENDIX E



       The cost estimate    for utility      truck body assembly under
alternatives    II and III was based@ in part,           on an assumption
that the individual     forests   would use relatively          unskilled
employees on detail     from their      normal jobs--the      method fol-
lowed at the Stockton depot--to           do the work.     As discussed
on page 8, some forests      do not have ample staff          to do the
assembly work and, if it were assigned,            additional     staff
would be needed or work now being done in-house would have
to be contracted.     Also, some of the forests           indicated     that
the work would be done without          the assistance     of detailed
employees.
       Except for the payroll     cost for alternatives     I and II,
the Forest Service estimates        did not include the costs which
would be incurred    in fabricating     special trucks.     The fol-
lowing table shows the number of special trucks fabricated
at the Stockton depot during fiscal         years 1975 and 1976--
including    the 3-month transition     period--and   the number
scheduled for fabrication      during fiscal     year 1977.


                                                    ' Fiscal year
               Truck   type                 1975          1976      1977
      Garbage compactor                         3
      Dump truck                                2          2
      Water trailer                             1
      Crew truck                                2                    11
      Water truck (2,500      gallon)       .              1
      Water truck (1,500      gallon)                      1          1
      Heavy duty utility      truck                        1
      Flat bed truck                                       1
       Under alternatives      I and II, the Forest Service did not
include cost estimates       for (1) taxes lost because commercial
services   would be provided by the Government,          (2) risk for
uninsured lossesB (3) interest         on the capital    investment
required   to renovate or replace Stockton's         paint shop in
compliance with occupational        health and safety standards,
and (4) depreciation      of the new or renovated paint shop.
       Under alternatives    I, III   and III, the Forest Service
did not include estimates       of the costs which would be incurred
for indirect    support activities,     such as accounting and legal
services.

                                        6
   APPENDIX I                                                APPENDIX I



   ANALYSIS OF THE VALIDITY OF THE
   ESTIMATED ONE-TIME COSTS IF THE
   STOCKTONDEPOT WERECLOSED
          The Forest Service estimated   that a one-time cost of
   $49,500 would be incurred     if the Stockton depot were closed.
   This consisted    of (1) $19,000 for modifying   space at the
   Redding center to accommodate the central      parts inventory,
   (2) $24,000 in personnel transfer     costs for 6 of the 12
   employees at the Stockton depot, and (3) $6,500 for moving
   the parts inventory     to Redding.  Our review showed that the
   figure did not include all potential      costs which could be
   incurred.
          The personnel transfer         cost of $24,000 was based on an
  estimated      $4,000 for each of the six employees.         According
  to information       furnished     by a Forest Service personnel of-
  ficial,     the expenses to be paid to an employee for the sale
  and/or purchase of a house, only one of several cost elements
  involved in relocation,           would be about $4,000.    The infor-
b mation also indicated          that the typical   cost associated     with
  transferring       a family of four a distance       of 209 miles--the
  approximate distance between Stockton and Redding--would                 be
  $6,465.
           Also, the estimate did not include job termination    or
   other costs for the other six employees,       Depending on the
   decision of each employee, costs would be incurred       for relo-
   cation,     unemployment compensation, or severance pay.
          In addition,  the estimate did not include a cost for
   building   and equipment depreciation  during the period between
   the depot closing and the facility    and equipment disposal.
   ABILITY OF INDIVIDUAL FORESTS
   TO ASSEMBLEUTILITY TRUCK BODIES
   WITH EXISTING PERSONNEL
          Under alternatives       II and III, the Forest Service assumed
   that the individual       forests   would use relatively    unskilled
   employees on detail       from their normal,jobs      to assemble utility
   truck bodies.      It estimated     that each assembly job would
   require the same number of labor hours as had been spent at
   the Stockton depot.



                                        7
APPENDIX I                                             APPENDIX I



        We discussed the assembly of utility        truck bodies with
maintenance officials      at 11 of the Region's 17 local forests.
Officials     at six of the forests   said they did not have the
personnel to do the assembly work and, if it were assigned,
they would need additional      people or would have to contract
for work now being done in-house.         Officials     at four of the
forests    said they could do the assembly work with existing
personnel.      For the remaining forest,     we were told that the
assembly work could either      be done in-house or under contract
depending on the shop's workload at the time the truck bodies
were scheduled for assembly.
      Officials      at six of the forests said they would not
use detailed      employees to do the assembly work.    Officials
at the other      forests  did not comment on this matter.
EMPLOYMENTSTATUS OF PERSONNELWHO WOULDBE
AFFECTED IF THE DEPOT WERE CLOSED
      As of November 1976, there were 17 employees assigned
to the Stockton depot.        Of these, 12 would be affected   if
the depot were closed.        The need for the other five employees
was eliminated     when the Forest Service decided to phase out
the accounting     operations   performed by the Stockton depot
and use unskilled     employees on detail    from their normal jobs
in the fabrication      work.
      The job titles  and grades of the 12 employees who would
be affected   if the Stockton depot were closed are as follows,

                     Job title                       Grade
      Depot superintendent                           GS-11
      Inventory   management specialist              GS- 9
      Mechanical engineer                            GS- 7
      Purchasing agent                               GS- 5
      Supply technician                              GS- 5
      Clerk typist                                   GS- 4
      Shop foreman                                   WG-10
      Journeyman mechanic (2)                        WG-10
      Welder                                         WG-10
      Maintenance worker                             WG- 7
      Warehouseman                                   WG- 5



                                    8
APPENDIX I                                                  APPENDIX I



       Forest Service officials       told us that current       plans
provide for (1) creating        two regional    equipment special-
ist positions,     (2) retaining    the mechanical engineer posi-
tion,   with minor modifications,        and (3) transferring       the
positions    of inventory     management specialist,     purchasing
agent, and warehouseman to Redding, along with the central
parts inventory     function.     They indicated     that the depot
superintendent     and the shop foreman would probably be
selected    for the two new equipment specialist          positions
and that the employees currently          in the four positions        to
be retained    would choose to relocate        and remain employed
in those positions.
      The officials  also said that placing   the remaining six
employees in other Forest Service jobs would greatly      depend
on whether the employees decided to relocate,     stay in the
area, or retire.    They said that an action plan for placing
these employees had been drafted    and sent to the Regional
Forester  for approval.   The draft  plan states that:
      --A general notice of the reduction-in-force              will be
         sent to each of these employees at least             30 days
         before scheduled closing.
      --Profiles       will be developed on the employees to
         identify      (1) their willingness  to move out of the
         area, (2)      the type of jobs and grades they would
         be willing       to accept, and (3) their retirement
         plans,   if    eligible.
      --Full-time      employees who will not relocate     will be
         placed on a displaced        employees list.   Job applica-
         tions will be sent to other Federal agencies in the
         general area.       Displaced employees must be considered
         for all civil     service jobs for which they are qual-
         ified    before other civil     service employees and other
         applicants.
      --Full-time  employees who will   relocate          will receive
         priority consideration  for all Forest           Service jobs
         for which they qualify.
       --Temporary      employees will be placed      on a separate
          register     for seasonal employment.



                                       9
 APPENDIX II                                                                                 APPENDIX II



                             UNITED    STATES    DEPARTMENT      OF    AGRICULTURE
                                                FOREST   SERVICE

                                        Washington,       D.C.        20013


                                                                                     March   8,   1977
REPLYTO:    1420 GAOAudit
            (6500)

 SUBJECT:   GAO Report - Evaluation of Forest Service Plans for Carryin
            Cut Activities of the Regional Equipment Depot in Stockton,
            California
       T0' Brian Crowley, Assistant Director  in Charge
           Community and Economic Development Division
           U.S. General Accounting Office
           Room 6639-S. Bldg.


            The Forest Service agrees there are some inaccuracies        of the estimated
            costs for the three alternatives    to provide equipment servicing        in
            Region 5. However, when the quantified      omission and/or cost statements
            identified   in the CA0 report are taken in consideration,      the relative
            relationship   of the alternatives  remains the same. Thus, the cost
            savings of contracting    does not change in any significant      degree.
            Furthermore,   the cost savings were only one of several factors        that
            went into our recommendation to close the equipment depot at Stockton.

            Among these   factors     were:

                  A. If we continue to mount Model 41 and 51 bodies, we would have
            to certify    as a final manufacturer,       that all safety requirements in
            manufacture     have been met. We do not know what the ramifications        of
            this certification       would be and whether indeed we could even make that
            certification      without   additional training.

                  B. The personnel ceiling      problem has been with us for some time
            and continues to be of concern in the assignment of personnel and the
            prionities   of all programs to be undertaken.        This was a prime concern
            when determining    the disposition     of the Stockton depot.

                  C. We are in the process of reviewing commercial operations      carried
            on by the government as directed      by CMB Circular A-76.  Since there is
            general direction   to use contracting    whenever possible, we are only
            following  that direction  by recommending closure of the Stockton depot.

            In our opinion,    to summarize a slight  change in the cost relationships  of our
            alternatives    as developed would not bear significantly   on the decision to
            close the depot.     Therefore, we suggest that the recommendation for further
            study be modified    to allow us to proceed with our plan.




             .;zS--'sli A. SHIELDS\.
            CT                         *
            Associate     Deputy Chfep




                                                          10
AN EQUALOPPORTUNlTY                  EMPLOYER

      UNITED STATES                                         POSTAGE   AND   FEES     PAID

 GENERALACCOUNTINGOFFICE                        .   U.   S. GENERAL   ACCOUNTINGti      OFFICE

   WASHINGTON,D.C. 20548

            OFFICIAL     BUSINESS
                                                                              THIRD CLASS
  PENALTY        FOR   PRIVATE      USE,$JOO