oversight

Military Housing: Opportunities That Should Be Explored to Improve Housing and Reduce Costs for Unmarried Junior Servicemembers

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-06-10.

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

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to the Secretary of Defense




June 2003
             MILITARY HOUSING

             Opportunities That
             Should Be Explored to
             Improve Housing and
             Reduce Costs for
             Unmarried Junior
             Servicemembers




GAO-03-602
                                               June 2003


                                               MILITARY HOUSING

                                               Opportunities That Should Be Explored
Highlights of GAO-03-602, a report to the      to Improve Housing and Reduce Costs
Secretary of Defense
                                               for Unmarried Junior Servicemembers



Each year, the Department of                   GAO found three areas where DOD could potentially reduce costs in its
Defense (DOD) spends billions of               unmarried servicemember housing program:
dollars to house unmarried junior
enlisted servicemembers, primarily             • DOD and the services have not determined whether “privatization,” or
in military barracks. Over the next
                                                 private sector financing, ownership, operation, and maintenance of
several years, the Army, Navy, and
Air Force plan to spend about $6                 military barracks is feasible and cost-effective. Barracks privatization
billion to eliminate barracks with               involves a number of unique challenges ranging from the funding of
multi-person bathroom facilities                 privatization contracts to the location of privatized barracks. Recently,
and provide private sleeping rooms               each service has independently given increased attention to developing
for all permanent party members.                 privatization proposals. A collaborative, rather than independent,
Given the cost of the program,                   approach could minimize duplication and optimize lessons learned.
GAO looked at (1) the status of
efforts to examine the potential for           • DOD could reduce the construction costs of government-owned barracks
private sector financing,                        through the widespread use of residential construction practices rather
ownership, operation, and
                                                 than traditional steel frame, concrete, and cement block. The Army
maintenance of military barracks;
(2) the opportunity to reduce the                estimated that residential type construction could reduce barracks
construction costs of barracks                   construction costs by 23 percent or more. However, concerns about
through widespread use of                        barracks durability and unanswered engineering questions have prevented
residential construction practices;              widespread use of these practices.
and (3) whether opportunities exist
to make better use of existing                 • DOD’s full use of required existing barracks space could reduce the cost of
barracks.                                        housing allowances paid to unmarried junior members to live off base in
                                                 local communities. GAO found that the services have authorized housing
                                                 allowances for unmarried members to live off base even when existing
GAO recommends that the                          barracks space was available. This occurred because of lenient barracks
Secretary of Defense promote a                   utilization guidance, which in some cases does not require full use of
coordinated, focused effort to                   existing barracks, and possible noncompliance with guidance. The Air
determine the feasibility and cost               Force could have potentially reduced annual housing allowances by about
effectiveness of barracks                        $20 million in fiscal year 2002 by fully using available barracks space.
privatization. GAO also
recommends that DOD undertake                  New Style Barracks at Fort Eustis
engineering studies to resolve
questions about the use of
residential construction practices,
issue guidance to direct the
maximum use of required existing
barracks space, and identify and
eliminate any barracks space
determined to be excess.

In commenting on a draft of this
report, DOD generally agreed with
the recommendations.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-602.

To view the full report, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.      Source: GAO.
For more information, contact Barry W.
Holman at (202) 512-5581 or                    Newly constructed barracks at Ft. Eustis, Va., feature private sleeping rooms and semi-private
holmanb@gao.gov.                               bathrooms, improving the servicemember quality of life.
Contents


Letter                                                                                    1
               Results in Brief                                                           2
               Background                                                                 4
               DOD and the Military Services Have Not Determined the Feasibility
                 of Barracks Privatization                                                9
               Residential Construction Practices Offer Opportunities to Reduce
                 Costs of Government-Owned Barracks                                     14
               Opportunities Exist to Make Better Use of Existing Barracks              21
               Conclusions                                                              25
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                     26
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                       27

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                    30



Appendix II    Photographs of Old and New Style Barracks and
               Quarters Aboard Navy Ships                                               32



Appendix III   Details on Cost Differences in Barracks Built with
               Residential and Traditional Construction Practices                       35



Appendix IV    Comments from the Department of Defense                                  37



Tables
               Table 1: Cost Comparison of Army Barracks with a Private Sector
                        Extended Stay Hotel                                             15
               Table 2: Cost Comparison of the Different Construction Practices
                        at Fort Meade, Maryland, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina         19
               Table 3: Utilization of Air Force Permanent Party Barracks in the
                        United States as of September 30, 2002                          23




               Page i                                           GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Figures
          Figure 1: Photographs of the Fort Meade, Maryland, Barracks
                   Project and a Traditional Barracks at Langley Air Force
                   Base, Virginia                                                                   18
          Figure 2: Old and New Style Barracks at Fort Eustis, Virginia                             32
          Figure 3: Typical Living Quarters and Gang Latrines in Old Style
                   Barracks and Aboard Ship                                                         33
          Figure 4: Typical Living Quarters in New Style Barracks                                   34




          Abbreviation

          DOD               Department of Defense




          This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the
          United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further
          permission from GAO. It may contain copyrighted graphics, images or other materials.
          Permission from the copyright holder may be necessary should you wish to reproduce
          copyrighted materials separately from GAO’s product.




          Page ii                                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   June 10, 2003

                                   The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
                                   Secretary of Defense

                                   Dear Mr. Secretary:

                                   Each year the Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions of dollars to
                                   house unmarried servicemembers at their permanent duty locations in the
                                   United States. Unmarried junior enlisted members are normally required
                                   to live on base in furnished living quarters commonly referred to as
                                   barracks. If barracks space is unavailable, these members can be
                                   authorized a housing allowance and live off base in local civilian
                                   communities. Because DOD views housing as a key factor affecting quality
                                   of life, the services have initiated plans to improve barracks living
                                   conditions. Over the next several years, the services plan to spend about
                                   $6 billion to eliminate barracks with multi-person bathroom facilities, or
                                   “gang latrines,” and provide private sleeping rooms for all permanently
                                   assigned members.1 The Navy has an additional goal to provide barracks
                                   for approximately 20,000 sailors who currently live aboard ships even
                                   when in homeport. To improve military housing faster than could be
                                   achieved if only traditional military construction funds were used,
                                   legislation was enacted in 1996 at DOD’s request to authorize private
                                   sector financing, ownership, operation, and maintenance of military
                                   housing, including barracks.2 Because of the cost of the program and the
                                   importance of housing on servicemembers’ quality of life, we examined,
                                   on the basis of the Comptroller General’s authority, DOD’s housing
                                   program for unmarried members and explored whether opportunities
                                   exist to reduce costs.



                                   1
                                    For reasons of unit cohesion, the Marine Corps plans to provide barracks rooms shared
                                   by two junior enlisted members.
                                   2
                                     The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (P.L. 104-106), Feb. 10, 1996.
                                   The “alternative authority for construction and improvement” (i.e., the military housing
                                   privatization program) provided in this legislation was to expire 5 years after the date of
                                   enactment on February 10, 2001. However, authority for the program was first extended by
                                   the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (P.L. 106-398), Oct. 30, 2000,
                                   from February 10, 2001, to December 31, 2004. Subsequently, the authority for the program
                                   was extended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002
                                   (P.L. 107-107), Dec. 20, 2001, from December 31, 2004, to December 31, 2012.



                                   Page 1                                                       GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                   Since 1998, we have issued six reports on DOD’s military housing
                   program—three about the military housing privatization initiative, one
                   about the services’ barracks design standard, one about DOD’s process for
                   determining military housing requirements, and one about the opportunity
                   for the services to reduce future barracks construction costs and improve
                   quality of life by allowing more unmarried members to live off base. This
                   report examines additional opportunities for reducing unmarried enlisted
                   servicemember housing costs and discusses (1) the status of DOD and
                   military service efforts to examine the potential for private sector
                   financing, ownership, operation, and maintenance of military barracks;
                   (2) the opportunity to reduce the construction costs of government-owned
                   barracks through widespread use of residential construction practices;
                   and (3) whether opportunities exist to make better use of existing
                   barracks.

                   Our review included interviews with DOD and service housing officials;
                   analysis of DOD and service data; and site visits to Fort Eustis, Virginia;
                   Fort Meade, Maryland; Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia; Langley Air Force
                   Base, Virginia; and Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. A more detailed
                   description of our scope and methodology is included in appendix I.


                   Although the authority for private sector financing, ownership, operation,
Results in Brief   and maintenance of military housing was initially approved in 1996, DOD
                   and the military services have not determined the concept’s feasibility and
                   cost-effectiveness as it relates to military barracks. In contrast, DOD has
                   actively pursued this privatization concept for its military family housing
                   program. Compared to family housing privatization, however, barracks
                   privatization involves unique challenges, such as the potentially higher
                   amount of appropriated funds needed to secure a privatization contract,
                   differences in where private developers and the military prefer barracks to
                   be located, impacts from unit deployments, and the availability of funds
                   for housing allowances paid to members occupying privatized barracks.
                   While each service has separately studied barracks privatization over the
                   years, DOD has concentrated on family housing privatization and has
                   provided little centralized direction and focus to help overcome these
                   challenges. Recently, each service has independently given increased
                   attention to developing project proposals, with the Navy hoping to do so
                   by the end of 2003. Without more coordination of activities to address the
                   challenges associated with barracks privatization, efforts might be
                   duplicated and potential opportunities to optimize lessons learned might
                   be lost.



                   Page 2                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Construction costs of government-owned barracks built and operated on
military installations could be significantly reduced through widespread
use of residential construction practices. Traditional barracks
construction practices call for commercial-type construction that includes
the use of steel frame, concrete, and cement block. Similar multi-unit
housing in the private sector, such as apartments, college dormitories, and
extended stay hotels, normally use residential-type construction practices
that include the use of wood frame construction. Compared to steel frame,
concrete, and cement block construction, the Army estimated that
residential type construction could reduce typical barracks construction
costs by 23 percent or more. For example, at its pilot barracks project
under construction at Fort Meade, Maryland, the Army estimates that
using residential construction practices will cost from $12,600 to $31,800
less per occupant. Army analyses also indicate that a barrack’s total costs
over its lifetime would be less if constructed with residential practices
because of its lower initial construction costs and comparable operations
and maintenance costs for many building components. Although the Army
and Navy have undertaken three pilot projects, barriers—including
concerns about durability and unanswered questions about the ability of
wood-frame barracks to meet all antiterrorism force protection
requirements—have prevented widespread adoption of these cost-saving
practices.

Additional DOD efforts to fully use existing government-owned barracks
space could reduce the cost of housing allowances paid to unmarried
junior members to live off base in local civilian communities. Our review
corroborated previous reviews from Army and Air Force audit groups,
which found that these services have authorized housing allowances for
unmarried junior members to live off base even when existing barracks
space was available. This occurred because of lenient barracks utilization
guidance, which in some cases does not require full use of existing barracks,
and possible noncompliance with guidance. Simultaneously paying for
unused barracks spaces and housing allowances obviously wastes
available resources. We estimated that the Air Force alone could have
potentially prevented about $20 million in annual housing allowances in
fiscal year 2002 by fully using available barracks space. At the same time,
if the services were to change their barracks occupancy requirements and
permit more junior members to live off base, then the services could
reduce costs by identifying and eliminating excess barracks space.

We are recommending that the Secretary of Defense promote a
coordinated, focused effort to determine the feasibility and cost-
effectiveness of barracks privatization by addressing the associated


Page 3                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
             challenges and facilitating the development of pilot project proposals. We
             also are recommending that DOD undertake engineering studies to resolve
             questions about the use of residential construction practices for barracks,
             issue guidance to direct the maximum use of required existing barracks,
             and identify and eliminate any barracks space determined to be in excess
             of needs. In comments on a draft of this report, DOD generally agreed with
             the report’s recommendations.


             Under the overall direction of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Background   Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, the military services provide on-
             base furnished living quarters for over 200,000 unmarried enlisted
             servicemembers at their permanent duty locations in the United States.
             Commonly referred to as barracks, housing for unmarried members is
             often cited by DOD officials as a problem area because many military
             barracks are old, rundown, and otherwise do not meet contemporary DOD
             standards for size, privacy, and other amenities designed to enhance the
             quality of life of unmarried members. Junior unmarried members often
             share dilapidated barracks rooms with one or two other members and a
             gang latrine with occupants from several other rooms. Also, about 20,000
             junior enlisted members assigned to Navy ships continue to live in
             cramped onboard quarters even when their ships are in homeport. The
             living conditions in barracks are far different from an apartment or
             townhouse with two bedrooms, living area, bath, and full kitchen that is
             the normal housing standard for junior enlisted married members.

             The services have established specific goals and milestones for improving
             the housing provided to unmarried junior enlisted members. First, the
             services plan to eliminate permanent party barracks—i.e., barracks for
             servicemembers at their permanent duty locations—with common bath
             and shower facilities, or “gang latrines,” through barracks replacement or
             renovation. The Air Force already has achieved this goal and the Army,
             Navy, and Marine Corps plan to eliminate gang latrines by fiscal years
             2008, 2007, and 2005, respectively. Second, the Army and the Navy plan to
             provide each junior enlisted member in the United States a private
             sleeping room with a kitchenette and bath shared by one other member—
             referred to as the 1+1 barracks design standard—by fiscal years 2010 and
             2013, respectively. The Air Force, which already provides private sleeping
             rooms, plans to eliminate its barracks deficit and replace its worst
             barracks by fiscal year 2009. The Marine Corps, given a permanent waiver
             from the Secretary of the Navy to use a different barracks design standard,
             plans to provide barracks with sleeping rooms and baths shared by two
             junior members by fiscal year 2012. Third, the Navy plans to complete its


             Page 4                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
homeport ashore initiative by fiscal year 2008, which will provide barracks
spaces for about 20,000 junior members who are currently required to live
aboard their ships while in homeport. To improve barracks conditions and
achieve these goals, the services plan to spend about $6 billion over the
next 6 years. Appendix II shows photographs of old and new style
barracks as well as typical living conditions aboard Navy ships.

Service officials state that unmarried junior enlisted servicemembers
should live in barracks to help instill service core values, provide for team
building and mentoring, and meet operational requirements. However,
significant differences exist among the services regarding personnel who
are required to live in barracks. More specifically:

•     the Army requires unmarried personnel in pay grades E1 through E6 to
      live in barracks,
•     the Navy requires unmarried personnel in pay grades E1 through E4
      with fewer than 4 years of service to live in barracks,
•     the Air Force requires unmarried personnel in pay grades E1 through
      E4 to live in barracks, and
•     the Marine Corps requires unmarried personnel in pay grades E1
      through E5 to live in barracks.

The Military Housing Privatization Initiative, authorized by law on
February 10, 1996, provided new authorities that, among other things,
allows DOD to provide direct loans, loan guarantees, and other incentives
to encourage private developers to construct and operate military family
and unaccompanied housing (barracks) either on or off military
installations.3 According to DOD, the initiative was aimed at solving its
inadequate housing problem faster and more economically by taking
advantage of the private sector’s investment capital and housing
construction expertise. With private-sector investment, DOD planned to
obtain at least 3 dollars in military housing improvements for each dollar
that the government invested, thereby reducing the amount of government
funds initially required to revitalize housing and accelerating the
elimination of inadequate housing. Although there can be exceptions,
DOD’s position is that the government’s estimated total costs for a
privatization project also should be equal to or less than the total costs for
the same project financed by military construction funding.
Servicemembers who live in privatized housing receive a housing



3
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (P.L. 104-106), Feb. 10, 1996.




Page 5                                                          GAO-03-602 Military Housing
allowance to pay for rent and utilities. In fiscal year 1997, the Congress
appropriated $5 million for the services to use to initiate privatized
barracks projects. However, the Congress rescinded these funds in fiscal
year 1999 because the services had developed no plans for privatized
barracks.

In June 1997, DOD and the Office of Management and Budget agreed to a
set of guidelines that would be used as a frame of reference for scoring
privatization projects.4 The guidelines state that if a project provides an
occupancy guarantee, then funds for the project must be available and
obligated “up front” at the time the government makes the commitment of
resources. In other words, if a project provides an occupancy guarantee,
then the value of the guarantee—the cumulative value of the rents to be
paid for the housing over the entire contract term—must be obligated at
the beginning of the project. As a result, DOD officials stated that such a
project might not be financially attractive because the amount of
appropriated funds required would be approximately equivalent to the
military construction funding that would be required to build the barracks.
According to DOD officials, this issue has not been a problem for family
housing privatization projects because DOD does not provide occupancy
guarantees and does not mandatorily assign members to family housing.
Military families can choose where to live and the project contracts




4
 Each privatization contract that DOD enters into must be scored for budget purposes.
Scoring seeks to determine the cost that should be recognized and recorded as an
obligation of DOD at the time the contract is signed. The Office of Management and
Budget’s Circular A-11 provides guidelines on how obligations should be recorded in the
budget. The guidelines are designed to ensure that the budget records the full amount of
the government’s commitments when a commitment is made.




Page 6                                                      GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                           include provisions for civilians to rent privatized housing if military
                           families choose not to live there.5


Prior GAO Reports on the   Since 1998, we have issued six reports on DOD’s military housing
Military Housing Program   program—three about the military housing privatization initiative, one
                           about the services’ barracks design standard, one about DOD’s process for
                           determining military housing requirements, and one about the differences
                           among the services concerning who is required to live in barracks.

                           •   In July 1998, we reported on several concerns related to the new
                               military housing privatization program.6 These included (1) whether
                               privatization would result in significant cost savings and whether the
                               long contract terms of many projects might result in building housing
                               that will not be needed in the future; (2) whether controls were
                               adequate to protect the government’s interests in the event developers
                               might not operate and maintain the housing as expected; and (3)
                               whether DOD would face certain problems if privatized housing units
                               were not fully used by military members and were subsequently rented
                               to civilians, as the contracts permit.
                           •   In March 1999, we reported on the status of the services’
                               implementation of the 1+1 barracks design standard.7 The report also


                           5
                            In February 2003, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report, The Budgetary
                           Treatment of Leases and Public/Private Ventures, on budget scoring. The office concluded
                           that (1) DOD’s family housing privatization projects have been treated in the budget in a
                           manner inconsistent with federal budgeting principles that require federal financial
                           commitments to be recognized up front in the budget, and (2) military housing privatization
                           projects that result in the construction of family housing on military bases should be
                           reflected in the budget as if they were investments. This would require the up-front scoring
                           including the value of the rental payments that will be made over the life of the project. The
                           report also noted that the Office of Management and Budget disagrees with this view
                           because DOD may have little, if any, equity ownership in privatized housing, DOD may not
                           be legally liable for the projects’ debts, and the rental payments are made by individual
                           servicemembers. The report made no recommendations, stating that the report’s purpose
                           was to identify the challenges that financing federal projects through leases and
                           public/private ventures, such as the military housing privatization program, pose for
                           congressional control over spending as well as for the transparency of the budget and its
                           ability to facilitate cost-effective investment decisions.
                           6
                            U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Housing: Privatization Off to a Slow Start and
                           Continued Management Attention Needed, GAO/NSIAD-98-178 (Washington, D.C.: July 17,
                           1998).
                           7
                            U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Housing: Status of the Services’
                           Implementation of the Current Barracks Design Standard, GAO/NSIAD-99-52
                           (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 24, 1999).




                           Page 7                                                        GAO-03-602 Military Housing
     discussed DOD’s rationale for adopting the standard, the costs of
     alternatives to the standard, and service views of the impact of the
     standard from a team-building, individual isolation, or similar
     perspective.
•    In March 2000, we reported that initial implementation progress for the
     privatization program was slow, the services’ life-cycle cost analyses
     provided inaccurate cost comparisons because DOD had not issued
     standardized guidance for preparing the analyses, and DOD lacked a
     plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the program.8 DOD
     subsequently quickened the pace of family housing privatization, issued
     standard guidance for privatization life-cycle cost analyses, and
     developed a program evaluation plan.
•    In August 2001, we reported that despite earlier recommendations,
     DOD had not implemented a standard process for determining military
     housing requirements.9 In that report, we pointed out that the initiative
     to increase housing allowances heightened the urgency for a consistent
     process, because the initiative could lessen the demand for military
     housing by making housing in local communities more affordable. In
     January 2003, DOD approved a new standard family housing
     requirements determination process.
•    In June 2002, we noted that by investing about $185 million of military
     construction funds in the first 10 family housing privatization projects,
     DOD should obtain housing improvements that would have required
     about $1.19 billion in military construction funds had only government
     funds been used.10 We also reported that privatization projects were not
     supported by reliable or consistent needs assessments, and the overall
     requirement for military housing was not well defined. Further,
     although DOD had included provisions in project contracts designed to
     protect the government’s interests, our report identified several areas
     where DOD could further enhance protections to the government. DOD
     responded by outlining ongoing and planned management actions to
     address the concerns noted in the report.




8
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Housing: Continued Concerns in
Implementing the Privatization Initiative, GAO/NSIAD-00-71 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 30,
2000).
9
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Housing: DOD Needs to Address Long-
Standing Requirements Determination Problems, GAO-01-889 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 3,
2001).
10
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Housing: Management Improvements Needed
As the Pace of Privatization Quickens, GAO-02-624 (Washington, D.C.: June 21, 2002).




Page 8                                                   GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                         •    In January 2003, we reported on the widely varying standards among
                              the services regarding who should live in barracks and the effect this
                              can have on program costs and quality of life.11 We noted that requiring
                              more personnel (more pay grades) to live in barracks than is justified
                              results in increased barracks program and construction costs and has
                              negative quality-of-life implications because most junior
                              servicemembers would prefer to live off base. We noted that by
                              allowing junior enlisted personnel already living off base with a
                              housing allowance to continue to live off base, the Air Force could
                              reduce planned barracks construction spending by $420 million.
                              Accordingly, we recommended that the rationale behind the services’
                              barracks occupancy requirements be based, at least in part, on the
                              results of objective, systematic analyses that consider the
                              contemporary needs of junior servicemembers, quality-of-life issues,
                              the services’ mission requirements, and other relevant data that would
                              help provide a basis for the services’ barracks occupancy requirements.
                              While DOD agreed in principle with our recommendation, it reiterated
                              the importance of military judgment in such decisions and left unclear
                              the extent to which it is likely to make changes.


                         While the services have considered barracks privatization over the past
DOD and the Military     several years, they have not yet initiated pilot project proposals to
Services Have Not        determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of private sector financing,
                         ownership, operation, and maintenance of military barracks. According to
Determined the           DOD officials, barracks privatization involves unique challenges compared
Feasibility of           to family housing privatization. These challenges range from the
                         potentially higher amount of appropriated funds needed to secure a
Barracks Privatization   privatization contract (as a result of the services’ requirement that
                         unmarried junior members live in barracks) to the differences in where
                         private developers and the military prefer barracks to be located.
                         Deferring to the individual services, DOD has provided limited centralized
                         direction and focus to help overcome the challenges associated with
                         barracks privatization. Recently, each service has independently given
                         increased attention to developing project proposals, with the Navy hoping
                         to do so by the end of 2003. Still, there are unresolved issues associated
                         with barracks privatization and, without more coordination of activities to
                         address these issues, efforts might be duplicated and the benefits from
                         collaboration might be lost.


                         11
                          U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Housing: Opportunity for Reducing Planned
                         Military Construction Costs for Barracks, GAO-03-257R (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 7, 2003).




                         Page 9                                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Barracks Privatization   Compared to family housing privatization, barracks privatization includes
Involves Unique          unique challenges that, thus far, have prevented the development of pilot
Challenges Compared to   project proposals. DOD has actively pursued privatization of military
                         family housing and has awarded contracts to construct or improve about
Family Housing           26,000 family housing units by the end of fiscal year 2002 and has plans to
Privatization            privatize an additional 96,000 units by the beginning of fiscal year 2006.
                         The primary problem with privatizing barracks lies in the services’
                         mandatory assignment policy for unmarried junior enlisted
                         servicemembers and whether this policy implies that DOD would provide
                         private-sector housing developers with an occupancy guarantee.
                         Mandatory assignment, if viewed as an occupancy guarantee, might make
                         a proposed barracks privatization project financially unattractive because
                         a higher amount of appropriated funds would be needed to secure the
                         contract than would be needed for a similar military construction project.
                         Other challenges are related to barracks locations, unit deployments, and
                         funding for housing allowances.

                         The current policy in each service requires mandatory assignment of
                         unmarried junior members to barracks located on base, provided that
                         space is available. According to DOD officials, most military leaders
                         support this policy because they believe that mandatory assignments
                         provide for military discipline and unit integrity. Mandatory assignments,
                         however, might result in the need for more appropriations—in comparison
                         to military construction financing—to cover the obligations that the Office
                         of Management and Budget determines should be recorded at contract
                         award. This could make a proposed barracks privatization project
                         financially unattractive. The amount of appropriations needed hinges on
                         whether the mandatory assignment policy would provide private-sector
                         housing developers with a DOD guarantee of occupancy.

                         Because there have been no barracks privatization project proposals to
                         date, it is unclear whether the services’ mandatory barracks assignment
                         policies for junior members might be viewed as an occupancy guarantee.
                         Office of Management and Budget officials stated that having a mandatory
                         assignment policy alone would not necessarily guarantee that the rent paid
                         to the developer over the life of the project would have to be scored up
                         front. However, if the privatization contract specifically stated that
                         mandatory assignment would occur, the officials stated that the office
                         probably would view this as an occupancy guarantee and the project’s
                         projected rent would be scored up front.

                         As with family housing projects, Office of Management and Budget
                         officials stated that the scoring of a barracks project depends on the


                         Page 10                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
details and circumstances involved in a proposed project and the
associated risk to the government. Key issues that might be considered
include whether the project allows the private developer enough
autonomy to manage the project without significant military control and
whether the contract includes provisions for civilians to rent vacant
barracks spaces in the event of reduced government demand. Obviously,
such issues present problems for the services—specifically, the
willingness of the services to relinquish their control of barracks and allow
civilians to occupy vacant barracks spaces. With a specific barracks
privatization proposal, the Office of Management and Budget officials
stated they would work with DOD to address the associated scoring
questions.

Although the potentially high amount of appropriated funds needed to
secure a contract appears to be the most significant challenge to barracks
privatization, there are other challenges as noted below.

•   Barracks location. According to DOD officials, private developers have
    indicated that they would prefer that privatized barracks be located off
    base or along an installation’s boundary and be severable from the
    installation. Developers would then have greater flexibility in renting
    the units to civilians in the event of reduced government demand.
    However, the services do not want barracks located off-base or near
    installations’ perimeter fences largely for force protection reasons and,
    currently, most existing barracks are not located along installation
    boundaries.
•   Deployments. In the event of unit deployments, many servicemembers
    would not be in the barracks and possibly entire buildings could be
    empty for months. As a result, the developer’s normal rental income
    could be reduced or eliminated even though the developer would still
    need to pay for expenses such as mortgage payments and operations
    and maintenance costs. This is less of a problem in privatized family
    housing because family members normally continue to occupy the
    housing and pay rent if the servicemember deploys.
•   Funding for housing allowances. Service officials stated that identifying
    and shifting funds to pay housing allowances to servicemembers living
    in privatized barracks could be an administrative problem. This is less
    of a problem with privatized family housing because military family
    housing has a separate operations and maintenance budget account.
    When a private developer takes over existing military family housing,
    funds from the family housing operations and maintenance account
    can be shifted to help pay for housing allowances used to pay rent for
    the families living in the housing. However, barracks operations and
    maintenance is not funded by a similar separate account. Instead,


Page 11                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                                   barracks operations and maintenance funds are included in each
                                   installation’s overall base operating budget. According to service
                                   officials, it is more difficult to identify, break out, and shift barracks
                                   funding to the personnel accounts to pay housing allowances for a
                                   privatized barracks project.


DOD Has Provided Limited        With its attention largely concentrated on initiating and managing
Centralized Direction and       privatization of military family housing, DOD has provided limited
Focus for Barracks              centralized direction and focus to help the services overcome the
                                challenges associated with barracks privatization and proceed with pilot
Privatization                   project proposals. Also, in August 1998, 2 years after the military housing
                                privatization legislation was enacted, DOD shifted primary responsibility
                                for implementing the privatization program to the individual services.
                                Since that time, the services have independently studied the barracks
                                privatization concept but have not developed actual project proposals.
                                More recently, the services have given increased attention to exploring
                                barracks privatization, but their efforts continue to be independent and
                                non-coordinated. The status of barracks privatization in each service
                                follows.

Navy and Marine Corps Efforts   While no service has yet initiated a barracks privatization project, the Navy
to Privatize Barracks           and the Marine Corps currently appear to be the most active among the
                                services in examining its potential use. Navy officials stated that they
                                believe barracks privatization offers an opportunity for the Navy to more
                                quickly meet its barracks improvement goals, including the goal of
                                providing barracks space for all junior sailors currently required to live on
                                their ships even while in homeport.

                                In order for barracks privatization to be feasible, Navy officials believed
                                that the Navy needed additional authorities not contained in the Military
                                Housing Privatization Initiative legislation. Specifically, Navy officials
                                believed that existing housing allowance rates provided more money than
                                would be needed to develop a privatized barracks project. The housing
                                allowance rate for unmarried junior members is targeted to cover the
                                costs of a one-bedroom apartment in the civilian community. Yet, the
                                barracks occupancy standard is based on a lesser standard—the modern
                                1+1 barracks design standard where two members share a module
                                consisting of two small bedrooms with a kitchenette and bath. As a result,
                                Navy officials believe the current housing allowance could provide more
                                money than would be needed to pay rent for a similar design standard in a
                                privatized barracks, and the rental income received by the private-sector
                                developer would be more than is needed to finance the construction and



                                Page 12                                              GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                                 management of the project. To address this situation, the Bob Stump
                                 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 provided the Navy
                                 with specific legislative authority to undertake three pilot projects to
                                 privatize barracks.12 According to Navy officials, the legislation will allow
                                 the Navy to pay occupants’ allowances in the amounts needed to provide
                                 the rental income to support the privatized barracks projects and will
                                 allow junior sailors on ships to be assigned to privatized barracks.

                                 With this authority, Navy and Marine Corps officials stated that they plan
                                 to develop specific proposals for privatization. Candidate installations for
                                 barracks privatization include the Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia; the
                                 Naval Station San Diego, California; and the Marine Corps Base Camp
                                 Pendleton, California. Although remaining challenges, such as those noted
                                 above, must be addressed, Navy officials hope that specific proposals will
                                 be developed by the end of calendar year 2003.

Air Force Efforts to Privatize   In May 1997, the Air Force issued the results of a barracks privatization
Barracks                         feasibility study. The study concluded that privatization was feasible and
                                 recommended that the Air Force pursue development of a barracks
                                 privatization project at one base to further define the concept. However,
                                 the study, which was performed prior to issuance of the budgetary scoring
                                 guidelines for privatization projects, stated that occupancy guarantees
                                 would be provided in order to facilitate private financing. According to Air
                                 Force officials, the study recommendation was not implemented because
                                 of the costs associated with occupancy guarantees and the other
                                 challenges associated with barracks privatization.

                                 More recently, however, the Air Force has again begun to explore the
                                 issue. In August 2002, an Air Force team was formed to establish a
                                 baseline for an Air Force barracks privatization program including the
                                 development of policy and guidance. Air Force officials also stated that Air
                                 Force major commands have been asked to identify potential privatization
                                 candidates. One potential candidate identified was Elmendorf Air Force
                                 Base, Alaska, where a family housing privatization project is already
                                 underway. However, officials stated that they do not expect any privatized
                                 barracks proposals in the near future and that they planned to monitor the
                                 Navy’s progress under its pilot program.




                                 12
                                  The Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (P.L. 107-314),
                                 Dec. 2, 2002.




                                 Page 13                                                   GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Army Efforts to Privatize   Army officials stated that they have explored the concept of barracks
Barracks                    privatization but that they have made relatively little progress toward
                            reaching a consensus that the concept should be pursued. They also stated
                            that they were not optimistic that the many challenges facing barracks
                            privatization could be overcome and did not expect any project proposals
                            in the near future. Nevertheless, the Army is continuing to review the
                            issue. For example, in an April 2002 memorandum, the Army Assistant
                            Secretary for Installations and Environment stated that the time was right
                            to pursue the issue and requested the support of the Army’s Training and
                            Doctrine Command and the Army’s Forces Command in formal studies of
                            barracks privatization. At the time of our review, no studies had been
                            completed. In addition, Fort Lewis, Washington, has a barracks
                            privatization study underway that is expected to be completed in 2003.


                            To the extent the services continue to rely on government built and
Residential                 operated barracks on military installations, opportunities exist to reduce
Construction                costs of constructing those barracks through adoption of residential
                            construction practices. In the past, DOD policies generally required that
Practices Offer             traditional barracks construction practices use commercial-type
Opportunities to            construction including use of steel frame, concrete, and cement block.
                            Similar multi-unit residential housing in the private sector, such as
Reduce Costs of             apartments, college dormitories, and extended stay hotels, normally use
Government-Owned            residential construction practices that include the use of wood frame
Barracks                    construction. Compared to steel frame, concrete, and cement block
                            construction, Army analyses show that residential construction practices
                            could reduce typical barracks construction costs by 23 percent or more.
                            DOD policies now generally allow use of residential construction
                            practices. However, some barriers still exist to DOD’s adoption of these
                            cost-reducing practices as a normal way of doing business, including
                            concern about durability and unanswered questions about the ability of
                            wood-frame barracks to meet all antiterrorism force protection
                            requirements.


Army Analyses Show That     Concerned with the high construction costs of barracks built to the 1+1
Residential Construction    design standard, the Army began to search for savings opportunities and
Practices Cost Less         concluded that using residential construction practices to build barracks
                            would cost less than using traditional construction practices. In June 2000,
                            the Army revised its barracks construction guidance to permit Army
                            construction projects to be of any construction type. Subsequently, the
                            Army began a pilot barracks project using residential construction
                            practices at Fort Meade, Maryland.


                            Page 14                                           GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Army Concern Over Barracks                As the Army began building new barracks in accordance with the 1+1
Costs Resulted in Search for              barracks design standard adopted in 1995, Army officials became
Savings Opportunities                     concerned with the high construction costs of these barracks. To explore
                                          reasons for the high costs and opportunities for savings, the Army Corps
                                          of Engineers performed a study in 1996 that compared the construction
                                          costs of three typical Army 1+1 barracks with the construction costs of a
                                          similar private sector multi-unit project—specifically a national brand, all
                                          suites, extended stay hotel. After making adjustments to account for
                                          differences in geographic location and dates of construction, the Army
                                          Corps of Engineers found significant cost differences between the projects
                                          as shown in table 1.

Table 1: Cost Comparison of Army Barracks with a Private Sector Extended Stay Hotel

                                                                                                               Difference
                                                                          Average for private
 Factor                                       Average for Army barracks   extended stay hotel               Amount     Percent
 Construction cost per occupant               $48,700                     $34,600                           $14,100         29
 Construction cost per square foot            $131                        $56                                   $75         57
 Key amenities and square feet per occupant   • Two occupants share a     • Private bath and full
                                                bath and kitchenette.       kitchen.
                                              • Common area for           • Private living room.
                                                socializing.              • 621 square feet per
                                              • 372 square feet per         occupant.
                                                occupant.
Source: Army Corps of Engineers.

                                          The extended stay hotel provided each occupant with more amenities and
                                          space than the Army barracks at a construction cost per occupant of
                                          $14,100, or 29 percent, less than the barracks’ average construction cost
                                          per occupant. The Army Corps of Engineers determined that although
                                          many factors accounted for the cost difference between the projects, the
                                          primary reason was the type of construction used to build the projects.
                                          The barracks were constructed in accordance with Uniform Building Code
                                          type I/II (commercial) standards that call for non-combustible
                                          construction built from concrete, masonry, and/or steel. The private
                                          extended stay hotel was constructed in accordance with Uniform Building
                                          Code type V (residential) standards that permit use of any building
                                          material allowed by the code, including wood. The Army Corps of
                                          Engineers’ data showed that if the barracks had been built using
                                          residential construction practices instead of traditional barracks
                                          construction practices, the Army’s average construction cost per occupant
                                          would have been about $37,500, a reduction of about $11,200, or 23
                                          percent, per occupant. This study did not address differences in the
                                          barracks’ total costs—i.e., construction costs and operations and



                                          Page 15                                                   GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                        maintenance costs—over their lifetimes. However, subsequent Army
                        analyses indicate that a barrack’s total costs over its lifetime would be less
                        if constructed with residential practices because of its lower initial
                        construction costs and comparable operations and maintenance costs for
                        many building components. (See app. III for additional details on the
                        Army’s analyses.)

                        A subsequent Army study also concluded that the materials and methods
                        traditionally used to construct government-owned barracks were more
                        costly than the materials and methods normally used to construct similar
                        multi-unit residential buildings in the private sector. In a joint February
                        2001 report, the Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation
                        Management and the Army Corps of Engineers concluded that using
                        residential construction practices, similar to the practices used to build
                        apartment buildings, could achieve considerable cost reductions without
                        adversely impacting barracks’ durability or maintainability.13 The report
                        included an additional example comparing barracks built using traditional
                        construction practices with a residential condominium built using
                        residential construction practices. Specifically, the report cited an Army
                        1+1 barracks built in fiscal year 2000 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Each
                        two-bedroom, bath, and kitchenette module had 506 square feet and cost
                        $193,000. During this time frame, the construction cost of a 1,500 square
                        foot residential unit with two bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen, living
                        room, laundry room, and balcony in a new private condominium complex
                        in Maryland was $180,000. Although the condominium unit was almost
                        three times larger than the barracks module, it cost $13,000 less.

Army Revised Barracks   The Army revised its barracks construction guidance in recent years to
Construction Guidance   permit construction projects to be of any construction type, largely in
                        response to its analyses. When building barracks, the Army had been
                        following guidance in Military Handbook 1008C, which provides direction
                        on the design and construction of DOD facilities.14 The handbook stated
                        that construction of new buildings should be limited to use of traditional
                        barracks construction practices. However, in June 2000, the Army Corps


                        13
                          U.S. Department of the Army, Report on the Barracks Mid-Program Review
                        (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 2, 2001).
                        14
                          U.S. Department of Defense, Military Handbook: Fire Protection For Facilities
                        Engineering, Design, And Construction, Military Handbook 1008C (Washington, D.C.:
                        June 10, 1997). Because the handbook provided an exception for Navy and Marine Corps
                        barracks, the handbook’s requirements for barracks construction applied only to the Army
                        and the Air Force.




                        Page 16                                                    GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                                  of Engineers issued guidance that authorized Army construction projects
                                  to be of any construction type as long as they complied with the Uniform
                                  Building Code requirements for the construction type used. Further, in a
                                  July 2002 memorandum, the Army Vice Chief of Staff stated that use of
                                  less restrictive residential practices in barracks construction would
                                  improve soldier quality of life and provide better value to the Army. An
                                  enclosure to this memorandum stated that, although Army barracks
                                  traditionally have been designed in many cases to exceed industry codes
                                  and standards, such an approach is not in the Army’s best economic
                                  interests.

Fort Meade Barracks Project Is    A 1+1 barracks design project currently under construction at Fort Meade,
Army’s First to Use Residential   Maryland, is the Army’s first barracks to be built using residential
Construction Practices            construction practices. According to Army officials, the project calls for
                                  eight new three-story barracks buildings with a total of 576 private
                                  sleeping rooms. The project’s initial design assumed use of traditional
                                  construction practices. However, on the basis of this design, the Army
                                  Corps of Engineers estimated that the project would cost $48 million—
                                  about $11 million more than had been approved for the project. In an
                                  effort to reduce construction costs, the Army decided to redesign the
                                  project using multi-unit residential 1-hour fire resistive construction
                                  practices. After the redesign and solicitation process, the project was
                                  awarded for about $31 million. With the project 83 percent complete in
                                  January 2003, the Army Corps of Engineers estimated that the final project
                                  cost—including supervision and overhead costs and costs of changes and
                                  enhancements to the contracted design—would be about $39 million. In
                                  addition, the project’s estimated completion date was about 8 months
                                  ahead of the contracted completion date of January 2004.

                                  In January 2003, we visited the Fort Meade barracks construction site.
                                  Visually, we noted few differences in the appearance of these barracks
                                  compared to traditional barracks. Figure 1 shows photographs of the Fort
                                  Meade barracks project contrasted with a traditionally constructed
                                  barracks at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.




                                  Page 17                                          GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Figure 1: Photographs of the Fort Meade, Maryland, Barracks Project and a Traditional Barracks at Langley Air Force Base,
Virginia




                                         For a comparison with the Fort Meade project, we asked the Army for cost
                                         data on two 1+1 barracks projects under construction at Fort Bragg, North
                                         Carolina. One project is building 960 rooms using traditional non-
                                         combustible construction practices and the other project is building 608
                                         rooms using traditional 1-hour fire resistive construction practices.
                                         Compared to the Fort Bragg projects, it appears that use of the residential
                                         construction practices in the Fort Meade project will result in
                                         considerable cost reductions—from $12,600 to $31,800 per occupant (see
                                         table 2).




                                         Page 18                                                GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                            Table 2: Cost Comparison of the Different Construction Practices at Fort Meade,
                            Maryland, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina

                                                                                        Cost per square                Cost per
                             Project                          Type of construction                 foot               occupant
                             Fort Meade                       Residential:
                                                              1-Hour Fire Resistive                   $113              $38,800
                             Fort Bragg 1                     Traditional:
                                                              1-Hour Fire Resistive                     136               51,400
                             Fort Bragg 2                     Traditional:
                                                              Non-Combustible                           193               70,600
                             Range of cost
                             reductions using
                             residential construction                                                                $12,600 to
                             practices                                                          $23 to $80             $31,800
                            Source: Department of the Army.

                            Note: The Army provided costs directly related to the barracks portion of the projects and adjusted the
                            costs to account for the differences in construction time frames and geographic locations of the
                            projects. We estimated cost per occupant by multiplying the cost per square foot by the project’s
                            gross square feet per occupant. The Fort Meade, Fort Bragg 1, and Fort Bragg 2 projects provided
                            343, 378, and 366 gross square feet per occupant, respectively.




Barriers Exist to Greater   There are barriers to DOD’s widespread adoption of residential
Use of Residential          construction practices as a normal way of doing business. Because Army
Construction Practices      studies and the pilot project at Fort Meade indicate the potential to reduce
                            some costs by using residential construction practices, it would seem that
                            the services would be eager to adopt these practices for all future barracks
                            construction projects. However, this has not been the case due to
                            concerns about barracks durability and concerns related to antiterrorism
                            force protection issues.

                            According to Army officials, the services have been reluctant to change
                            construction practices because of the concern that switching to residential
                            construction practices would result in barracks that are less attractive and
                            less durable. However, the officials noted that the exterior appearance of
                            barracks constructed with residential and traditional practices normally
                            would be the same. Also, Army analyses indicate that there is little
                            difference in durability with each type of construction and a barrack’s
                            total costs over its lifetime would be less if constructed with residential
                            practices because of its lower initial construction costs and comparable
                            operations and maintenance costs for many building components. (See
                            app. III for additional details.) Still, the officials stated that the idea of
                            switching construction practices continues to face resistance. Because of
                            this, even the Army had no definite plans, as of February 2003, for
                            additional barracks construction using residential construction practices.



                            Page 19                                                             GAO-03-602 Military Housing
The Air Force also had no plans to use residential construction practices
for its barracks projects. The Navy, which has completed two barracks
projects using residential construction practices, has no additional
barracks projects underway or planned using these practices.15

Another barrier to widespread adoption of residential construction
practices for barracks relates to unresolved questions on whether use of
these practices would result in barracks that fully complied with new
antiterrorism guidance for force protection. In July 2002, DOD finalized
guidance requiring military components to adhere to common criteria and
minimum construction standards to mitigate antiterrorism vulnerabilities
and terrorist threats.16 The standards seek to minimize the likelihood of
mass casualties from terrorist attacks against DOD personnel in the
buildings where they work and live.

As applied to barracks construction, two standards in the antiterrorism
force protection guidance are particularly important—standoff distance
and prevention of building collapse. Standoff distance refers to the
minimum distance that buildings should be situated from roads, parking
lots, trash containers, and an installation’s perimeter. According to the
guidance, the easiest and least costly way to achieve appropriate levels of
protection against terrorist threats is to incorporate sufficient standoff
distance into project designs. In situations where the standoff distance
standards cannot be achieved because land is unavailable, the guidance
calls for building hardening or other techniques to mitigate possible blast
effects. According to Army officials, because most barracks projects in the
United States could be situated to meet required standoff distances, use of
residential construction practices and compliance with this standard
would not be a problem in most instances. Navy officials, however, stated
that enough land to meet required standoff distances was not available at
many of its installations.

The DOD standard for preventing building collapse applies to buildings of
three or more stories and requires that they be designed with provisions



15
  The Navy used residential construction practices to build barracks projects at Naval Air
Station Brunswick, Maine, and Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island. Compared to the use
of traditional construction practices, Navy officials stated that the use of residential
construction practices reduced the cost per occupant by about one-third.
16
  U.S. Department of Defense, Unified Facilities Criteria: DOD Minimum Antiterrorism
Standards For Buildings, UFC 4-010-01 (Washington, D.C.: July 31, 2002).




Page 20                                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                         that permit the structure to sustain local damage without the entire
                         building collapsing. According to Army officials, questions remain as to
                         whether barracks built using residential practices would comply with the
                         collapse standard. They stated that the primary issue is lack of engineering
                         data. Most available building collapse information addresses structural
                         systems typical of taller buildings that were not built using residential
                         construction practices. Army officials also stated that complying with the
                         collapse standard using residential barracks construction practices might
                         not be a problem or might be solved with inexpensive adjustments to
                         construction techniques. Designers do not have sufficient data on exactly
                         what, if anything, needs to be done to ensure compliance with the
                         standard when using residential construction practices.

                         At the same time, some Army officials also questioned whether the
                         collapse standard should apply to low-rise three-story barracks buildings.
                         They noted that industry design standards usually make a distinction in
                         structural requirements at four stories and above—not at three stories and
                         above as required by the collapse standard. They further noted that today’s
                         1+1 barracks design standard provides relatively low occupancy densities
                         that are more similar to family housing which is exempt from the force
                         protection requirements as long as a family housing building contains no
                         more than 12 family units.


                         The services could minimize housing costs by ensuring full use of existing
Opportunities Exist to   barracks space. Having unused government-owned barracks spaces and
Make Better Use of       paying housing allowances at the same time wastes available resources.
                         Air Force and Army barracks instructions, however, do not require
Existing Barracks        installations to use all vacant space before authorizing housing allowances
                         for junior members to live off base.17 Our review, as well as previous
                         reviews by military service audit groups, found that the lenient barracks
                         utilization guidance, and in some cases noncompliance with the guidance,
                         resulted in installations paying housing allowances when barracks
                         vacancies existed. The services could also reduce costs by identifying and
                         eliminating excess barracks infrastructure if they were to change their
                         barracks occupancy requirements and permit more junior members to live
                         off base.


                         17
                            Service instructions also permit installation commanders to authorize junior members to
                         live off base with a housing allowance for certain reasons other than lack of barracks
                         space, such as for personal hardship reasons or for members with extensive household
                         goods.




                         Page 21                                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Army and Air Force            Army instructions allow its installations to authorize junior members to
Instructions Do Not           live off base with a housing allowance when barracks occupancy reaches
Require Full Utilization of   95 percent. Air Force instructions only require that 90 percent of an
                              installation’s available barracks spaces be used before authorizing junior
Barracks Space                members to live off base with a housing allowance. Prior to June 1998, the
                              Air Force required 95-percent occupancy. Air Force officials stated that
                              the change was made to facilitate flexibility and to help maintain unit
                              integrity in barracks assignments. To put these instructions in perspective,
                              such policies, if practiced in the private sector, would be the equivalent of
                              the owner of a private apartment complex turning away prospective
                              tenants even though 5 to 10 percent of the apartments were vacant—an
                              action not likely to happen if the owner is concerned about costs and
                              revenues. Further, allowing 5 to 10 percent of barracks spaces to go
                              unused appears contrary to the services’ policies requiring that all
                              unmarried junior members live in the barracks as long as space is
                              available.

                              In contrast to Army and Air Force instructions, Navy and Marine Corps
                              instructions state that maximum practical occupancy should be achieved
                              before junior members are authorized to live off base with a housing
                              allowance. The Navy instruction specifically states that barracks
                              utilization should routinely approach 100 percent.


Actual Barracks Utilization   In view of the differences in the services’ barracks utilization guidance, we
Varied                        attempted to review barracks utilization and payment of housing
                              allowances for unmarried junior members in each of the services.
                              However, our analysis was limited to the Air Force and the Marine Corps
                              because only those services require their installations to collect and
                              centrally report barracks utilization data and the number of members
                              authorized to live off base. The Navy requires barracks utilization reports,
                              but the reports do not include the number of members authorized to live
                              off base. Army officials stated that although utilization data is maintained
                              by each installation, they had eliminated central reporting requirements
                              years ago in order to reduce paperwork costs. With centralized data only
                              available from the Air Force and the Marine Corps, we focused our review
                              on an analysis of that information.

Many Air Force Barracks       The Air Force reported an inventory of about 43,400 adequate permanent
Rooms Were Vacant             party barracks rooms in the United States as of September 30, 2002. Table
                              3 shows that on September 30, 2002, about 4,700 of these rooms were
                              diverted from normal use for maintenance and other reasons. Of the
                              remaining rooms, about 35,300, or 91 percent, were occupied and about


                              Page 22                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
3,400 rooms, or 9 percent, were vacant. Among major Air Force
installations, the occupancy rates for the available barracks rooms ranged
from 100 percent at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, to 82 percent at
Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Table 3: Utilization of Air Force Permanent Party Barracks in the United States as of
September 30, 2002

                                                                                   Percentage of
                                          Number of          Percentage of          net available
                                            roomsa             total rooms                rooms
    Total                                    43,400                     100
    Diverted for maintenance                  1,900                       4
    Diverted for other reasons                2,800                       6
    Net available                            38,700                      89                    100
    Occupied                                 35,300                      81                     91
    Vacant                                    3,400                       8                      9
Source: Department of the Air Force.
a
 Numbers rounded. Rooms diverted for reasons other than maintenance include 1,219 rooms set
aside for temporary and student lodging, 527 rooms set aside to temporarily house members arriving
at an installation until they are assigned to a permanent room, 275 rooms set aside for offices, 218
rooms set aside for storage, 60 rooms set aside for training, and 507 rooms set aside for other
miscellaneous reasons.


The Air Force also reported that as of September 30, 2002, it had
authorized about 24,100 unmarried junior servicemembers in pay grades
E1 through E4 to live off base with a housing allowance. We analyzed this
data to estimate the housing allowance funds that the Air Force could
potentially have prevented if members living off base had been assigned to
the vacant barracks rooms. To do this, we compared—on an installation-
by-installation basis—the number of junior servicemembers living off base
with a housing allowance to the number of barracks vacancies on
September 30, 2002. Our analysis showed that the vacant barracks spaces
could have accommodated about 2,900 of the junior members who were
living off base—suggesting a practice at variance with the Air Force’s
stated policy of requiring E1 through E4 to live on base in barracks. Had
these members been assigned to the barracks, the Air Force potentially
could have reduced its annual housing allowance costs by about
$20 million. Because the data used in this analysis reflected barracks use
on a single date, September 30, 2002, our analysis reflects results as of this
single date. Also, because barracks occupancy can change daily, results
would have differed if utilization data on another date had been used or if
data had been available to show daily utilization over a period of time.




Page 23                                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                            Although Air Force instructions require that 90 percent of an installation’s
                            available barracks spaces be used before authorizing junior members to
                            live off base, some Air Force installations apparently were not in
                            compliance with this guidance. For example, data for Kirtland Air Force
                            Base, New Mexico, indicated an 85-percent occupancy rate with 105
                            vacancies and 392 junior members living off base with a housing
                            allowance. Similarly, data for McChord Air Force Base, Washington,
                            indicated an 86-percent occupancy rate with 101 vacancies, and 118 junior
                            members living off base with a housing allowance. Air Force officials
                            noted that installation occupancy rates are reported only twice a year and
                            represent a snapshot in time. Thus, to determine whether installations
                            reporting less than 90-percent occupancy were not complying with policy
                            would require a detailed installation level review of occupancy rates over a
                            period of time and the reasons why members living off base were allowed
                            to do so. Air Force officials also noted that Air Force commands are
                            reminded on a regular basis of the importance of complying with
                            utilization policy and making full use of their barracks.

Nearly All Marine Corps     The Marine Corps data as of September 30, 2002, showed that barracks at
Barracks Were Occupied      most Marine Corps installations were fully used. Of the few major
                            installations that reported less than 100-percent utilization, only one also
                            reported unmarried junior enlisted members living off base with a housing
                            allowance. In this instance, however, the installation reported only three
                            junior members with a housing allowance.


Audit Groups Have           Previous reports from service audit groups also have noted that
Reported Noncompliance      noncompliance with existing guidance has resulted in installations paying
with Utilization Guidance   housing allowances when barracks vacancies existed. For example, in a
                            February 1999 report on barracks management at Langley Air Force Base,
                            Virginia, the Air Force Audit Agency stated that housing managers did not
                            require individual barracks to meet the occupancy goal before authorizing
                            members to live off base.18 The report also stated that maintaining
                            barracks occupancy rates above the Air Force goal would provide direct
                            savings to the Air Force budget. The Army Audit Agency reported in
                            January 1997 that Fort Benning, Georgia, had authorized members to live
                            off base even though barracks utilization was below the Army goal of



                            18
                              U.S. Air Force Audit Agency, Installation Report of Audit: Dormitory Management 1st
                            Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, EL099036 (Langley Air Force Base, Va.:
                            Feb. 3, 1999).




                            Page 24                                                   GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                      95 percent.19 The report stated that the unnecessary authorizations were
                      issued because Fort Benning decentralized barracks management to the
                      unit level and did not make sure that each unit fully used its barracks
                      before authorizing members to live off base with a housing allowance.


Changing Occupancy    While it is important to make full use of existing barracks space, it is also
Requirements Could    important that the services maintain an inventory of barracks spaces only
Reduce the Need for   in the numbers actually required. In our January 2003 report, we discussed
                      the widely varying standards among the services regarding who should
Barracks Spaces       live in barracks and the effect this can have on program costs and quality
                      of life and recommended that the services review the rationale behind
                      their barracks occupancy requirements.20 DOD has left unclear the extent
                      to which it is likely to make changes in its barracks occupancy
                      requirements. However, if the services were to change their barracks
                      occupancy requirements and permit more junior members to live off base
                      with a housing allowance, then the services could reduce housing costs by
                      identifying and eliminating excess barracks infrastructure. To use the Air
                      Force case as an illustration, instead of bringing junior members back on
                      base to fill up barracks vacancies, the Air Force could officially decide that
                      many of these members should be allowed to continue to live off base.
                      This decision would reduce barracks needs and the Air Force could then
                      consider vacant barracks spaces as excess infrastructure that could be
                      eliminated to reduce costs.


                      DOD and the services have not fully explored barracks privatization to
Conclusions           determine whether the concept could provide a better economic value to
                      the government than the use of military construction financing. Although
                      the services have separately studied the issues and unique challenges
                      associated with barracks privatization, DOD has largely concentrated on
                      family housing privatization and not on promoting a coordinated, focused
                      effort to address the challenges and develop pilot project proposals to
                      determine the overall feasibility and merits of barracks privatization.
                      Without more coordination of activities to address the challenges
                      associated with barracks privatization, efforts might be duplicated and
                      potential opportunities to optimize lessons learned might be lost.


                      19
                       U.S. Army Audit Agency, Space Utilization: U.S. Army Infantry Center and Fort
                      Benning, Georgia, AA 97-97, (Alexandria, Va.: Jan. 6, 1997).
                      20
                           See GAO-03-257R.




                      Page 25                                                 GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                      For several reasons, DOD and the military services have not taken
                      advantage of opportunities to potentially reduce their housing costs for
                      unmarried servicemembers through use of residential construction
                      practices in government-owned barracks construction and better
                      utilization of existing government-owned barracks. First, widespread
                      adoption of residential construction practices in building government-
                      owned barracks has been hampered because of concerns about barracks
                      durability and unanswered questions about the ability of wood-frame
                      barracks to meet all antiterrorism force protection requirements. Without
                      engineering studies to resolve these questions and, if appropriate,
                      adoption of residential construction practices, the services could be
                      spending more than is needed on barracks construction. Second, lenient
                      barracks utilization guidance—which in some cases does not require full
                      use of existing government-owned barracks before authorizing housing
                      allowances for junior members to live off base—and limited enforcement
                      of existing guidance have led in some cases to the routine acceptance of
                      less than maximum use of barracks and the payment of housing
                      allowances when vacancies exist. The establishment of and compliance
                      with guidance that requires maximum use of required existing barracks—
                      specifically, utilization that routinely approaches 100 percent before
                      unmarried junior members are authorized housing allowances—could
                      result in reducing the services’ housing costs for junior members. It is also
                      important that the services maintain an inventory of barracks spaces only
                      in the numbers actually required. If the services were to change their
                      barracks occupancy requirements based on their review of the
                      requirements’ rationale and permit more junior members to live off base,
                      then they could also reduce costs by identifying and eliminating barracks
                      space that is no longer needed.


                      To capitalize on opportunities for reducing housing costs for unmarried
Recommendations for   servicemembers, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Executive Action      Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to:

                      •   Promote a coordinated, focused effort among the military services to
                          determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of barracks
                          privatization by addressing the associated challenges and facilitating
                          the development of pilot project proposals. This effort should support
                          the Navy’s use of the pilot housing privatization authority provided to
                          the Navy in the Fiscal Year 2003 Bob Stump National Defense
                          Authorization Act, with lessons learned applied to the other services’
                          efforts.




                      Page 26                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                     •   Direct the Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities
                         Engineering Command to jointly undertake an engineering study to
                         resolve questions about use of residential construction practices for
                         barracks and compliance with antiterrorism force protection
                         requirements.
                     •   Direct the military services to adopt residential construction practices
                         for future barracks construction projects to the maximum extent
                         practical, providing that the engineering studies show that barracks
                         built with residential construction practices can economically meet all
                         force protection requirements.
                     •   Issue guidance directing that the services maximize use of required
                         existing barracks space—defined as utilization that routinely
                         approaches 100 percent—before authorizing unmarried junior
                         members to live off base with a housing allowance.
                     •   Direct the military services to identify and eliminate excess barracks
                         infrastructure if, by reviewing the rationale behind their barracks
                         occupancy requirements, they determine that more unmarried junior
                         members should be permitted to live off base with a housing
                         allowance.


                     In commenting on a draft of this report, the Director, Competitive
Agency Comments      Sourcing and Privatization, fully agreed with four and partially agreed with
and Our Evaluation   one of our recommendations and indicated that actions were underway or
                     planned to deal with most of them. DOD stated that it was supportive of
                     initiatives to energize barracks privatization and planned to build on
                     lessons learned from the Navy’s pilot project to encourage barracks
                     privatization. DOD also stated that it supports the study and use of
                     commercial and residential construction standards and use of the
                     privatization authorities to improve the living conditions for
                     unaccompanied members as quickly as possible. In addition, it stated that
                     the Army Corps of Engineers has already begun a study of residential
                     construction methods and compliance with antiterrorism force protection
                     requirements using the Fort Meade barracks project as a basis for the
                     study. Further, as the first step to maximizing use of existing barracks,
                     programming for new barracks, and divesting of excess infrastructure,
                     DOD stated that the actual need for barracks space must be determined by
                     establishing a common requirements process consistent with individual
                     service missions.

                     DOD partially agreed with our recommendation to issue guidance
                     directing the services to maximize use of required existing barracks space.
                     DOD stated that barracks requirements must first be determined before



                     Page 27                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
issuing such guidance. We agree that the services should maintain an
inventory of barracks spaces only in the numbers actually required and
that if the services were to reduce their barracks occupancy requirements
and permit more junior members to live off base, then they could reduce
costs by identifying and eliminating barracks space that is no longer
needed, as DOD suggests in its comments. However, on the basis of their
current barracks occupancy requirements and construction plans, the
services have individually determined that most of their existing barracks
spaces are needed. Unless stated barracks occupancy requirements are
reduced, we believe that these spaces should be fully used before
authorizing housing allowances for junior members to live off base and
that additional DOD guidance is needed now to help achieve this. To do
otherwise, results in having unused government-owned barracks spaces
and paying housing allowances at the same time, which wastes available
resources.

DOD’s comments are included in appendix IV of this report.


As you know, 31 U.S.C. 720 requires the head of a federal agency to submit
a written statement of the actions taken on our recommendations to the
Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on
Government Reform not later than 60 days after the date of this report. A
written statement must also be sent to the House and Senate Committees
on Appropriations with the agency’s first request for appropriations made
more than 60 days after the date of this report.




Page 28                                          GAO-03-602 Military Housing
We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
committees, and it will be available at no charge on GAO’s Web site at
http://www.gao.gov. If you or your staff have any questions on the matters
discussed in this letter, please contact me at (202) 512-8412, or my
Assistant Director, Mark Little, at (202) 512-4673. Gary Phillips, Jim Ellis,
Sharon Reid, Harry Knobler, and R.K. Wild were major contributors to this
report.

Sincerely yours,




Barry W. Holman, Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 29                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology


             Our review of DOD’s housing program for unmarried servicemembers
             focused on enlisted members at their permanent assignment locations in
             the United States—after the members completed recruit and advanced
             individual training. We interviewed DOD and service headquarters housing
             officials; reviewed applicable DOD and military service policies and
             procedures; reviewed barracks improvement plans and milestones; and
             visited selected installations to view barracks conditions and discuss local
             management practices. Specifically, we visited the Naval Station Norfolk,
             Virginia; Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; Fort Eustis, Virginia; and Marine
             Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

             To examine opportunities for reducing costs through barracks
             privatization and the barriers to developing barracks privatization project
             proposals, we examined the laws authorizing and funding the program,
             reviewed DOD’s experiences with family housing privatization,
             interviewed DOD and service officials, and reviewed available
             documentation to identify past efforts and current plans related to
             barracks privatization. We also discussed privatization plans and
             challenges with local officials at the installations visited and discussed
             budget scoring issues for barracks privatization with officials at the Office
             of Management and Budget.

             To examine opportunities for reducing costs through adoption of
             residential construction practices for barracks construction, we reviewed
             Army studies and analyses in this area. We also obtained and compared
             selected cost information for barracks constructed using traditional
             practices and for barracks constructed using residential practices. We did
             not attempt to validate this cost information. Further, we interviewed
             service officials to discuss the services’ use of residential construction
             practices for barracks and to determine the reasons why the concept has
             not been widely adopted. We also visited Fort Meade, Maryland, to
             observe construction progress on the Army’s first barracks project that
             has incorporated residential construction practices.

             To examine opportunities for reducing costs through better utilization of
             barracks, we reviewed the services’ policies and instructions related to
             barracks use, occupancy goals, and justification for authorizing unmarried
             junior members to live off base with a housing allowance. To determine
             whether greater use of barracks could reduce housing allowance costs, we
             obtained and analyzed readily available data showing the number of
             barracks vacancies and the number of junior servicemembers living off
             base with a housing allowance on September 30, 2002. To estimate the
             potential cost reductions, we multiplied the number of members who


             Page 30                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




could have been assigned to the barracks vacancies by the national
average basic allowance for housing rate. We also reviewed prior audit
reports related to barracks utilization from military service audit
organizations.

We conducted our review between May 2002 and April 2003 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 31                                          GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                                          Appendix II: Photographs of Old and New
Appendix II: Photographs of Old and New   Style Barracks and Quarters Aboard Navy
                                          Ships


Style Barracks and Quarters Aboard Navy
Ships
                                          The military services are replacing old barracks, where junior members
                                          often share a sleeping room with one or two others and share a gang
                                          latrine with occupants from several other rooms, with new barracks,
                                          where in most cases junior members have a private sleeping room and
                                          share a bath and kitchenette with one other member. The Navy’s
                                          “homeport ashore” initiative intends to provide barracks spaces on base
                                          for junior members who are currently required to live in cramped quarters
                                          aboard their ships even when their ships are in homeport. During our visits
                                          to installations, we observed a variety of barracks in conditions ranging
                                          from outdated to newly constructed. Figure 2 shows photographs of
                                          typical old and new style barracks.

Figure 2: Old and New Style Barracks at Fort Eustis, Virginia




                                          At the older barracks, we saw cramped living quarters, peeling paint,
                                          damaged walls and ceilings, and poor heating, ventilation, and air
                                          conditioning systems. On board ship, the space was cramped. Some
                                          examples of the living quarters and gang latrines in old style barracks and
                                          aboard ship are shown in figure 3.




                                          Page 32                                           GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                                        Appendix II: Photographs of Old and New
                                        Style Barracks and Quarters Aboard Navy
                                        Ships




Figure 3: Typical Living Quarters and Gang Latrines in Old Style Barracks and Aboard Ship




                                        In contrast, we observed several newly constructed barracks that provided
                                        living quarters using the 1+1 barracks design standard. Some examples of
                                        the bedrooms, shared baths, and shared kitchenettes are shown in
                                        figure 4.



                                        Page 33                                             GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                                         Appendix II: Photographs of Old and New
                                         Style Barracks and Quarters Aboard Navy
                                         Ships




Figure 4: Typical Living Quarters in New Style Barracks




                                         Page 34                                   GAO-03-602 Military Housing
               Appendix III: Details on Cost Differences in
Appendix III: Details on Cost Differences in
               Barracks Built with Residential and
               Traditional Construction Practices


Barracks Built with Residential and
Traditional Construction Practices
               Compared to traditional steel frame, concrete, and cement block
               construction, Army analyses show that use of residential construction can
               reduce typical barracks construction costs by 23 percent or more. Army
               analyses also indicate that a barrack’s total costs over its lifetime—i.e.,
               initial construction costs and annual operations and maintenance costs—
               would be less if constructed with residential practices. The lower “life-
               cycle costs” from use of residential construction practices results not only
               from the lower initial construction costs, but also from comparable
               operations and maintenance costs for many building components
               regardless of the type of construction practices used—traditional or
               residential. Use of residential construction practices to build barracks
               could also reduce renovation costs and result in additional cost reductions
               in labor construction costs.

               Army officials noted that actual differences in barracks operations and
               maintenance costs are dependent on the particular building designs. In
               general, however, the officials stated that there should be no significant
               operations and maintenance cost differences with use of either traditional
               or residential construction practices in many architectural features, such
               as exterior and interior finishes, electrical and plumbing systems, doors
               and hardware, and windows. For other building components, such as roofs
               and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, operations and
               maintenance costs could be lower with traditional construction. But,
               because of the lower initial construction costs, use of residential
               construction practices for such components could still result in lower
               costs over the life of the barracks. For example, the roof system for many
               traditionally constructed barracks consists of metal and concrete that
               would normally last for the entire life of the barracks. When using
               residential construction practices, the barracks roof system would
               normally consist of heavy-duty shingles that would require replacement
               during the life of the barracks. Yet, Army analyses show that a shingle roof
               system would have lower life-cycle costs than a metal and concrete roof
               system because of its lower initial construction costs.

               Army officials also noted that use of residential construction practices for
               barracks would result in buildings that could be renovated at lower costs
               than traditionally constructed barracks. They stated that many military
               buildings, including barracks, become functionally obsolete in 25 years or
               less because of changed missions or design standards, such as the change
               in the barracks design standard in 1995 from multi-person to private
               sleeping rooms. The costs to renovate and reconfigure a traditionally
               constructed barracks with masonry interior walls would normally be



               Page 35                                            GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Appendix III: Details on Cost Differences in
Barracks Built with Residential and
Traditional Construction Practices




greater than the costs to renovate and reconfigure a barracks built with
residential construction practices using wood frame and sheetrock walls.

According to Army officials, use of residential construction practices to
build barracks could result in additional reductions in construction labor
costs. Federal statutes, commonly referred to as the Davis-Bacon Act and
related legislation, require that workers on most government construction
projects be paid according to the prevailing local wage rates as determined
by the Department of Labor. However, there are different prevailing local
wage rate scales depending on the type of construction being performed.
Traditionally, barracks construction has been considered commercial
construction and the commercial wage rate scale has been used for these
projects. In contrast, military family housing construction has been
considered residential construction and the residential wage rate scale has
been used for these projects. According to Army officials, the residential
wage rate scale is normally 5 to 30 percent less than the commercial wage
rate scale. Thus, using residential construction practices in a low-rise
(three stories or less) barracks construction project and application of the
residential, instead of commercial, wage rate scale, could result in
additional reductions in barracks construction costs.




Page 36                                           GAO-03-602 Military Housing
             Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
Appendix IV: Comments from the
             of Defense



Department of Defense




             Page 37                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 38                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
           Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
           of Defense




(350215)
           Page 39                                     GAO-03-602 Military Housing
                         The General Accounting Office, the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of
GAO’s Mission            Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities
                         and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal
                         government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds;
                         evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses,
                         recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed
                         oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government
                         is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.


                         The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no cost is
Obtaining Copies of      through the Internet. GAO’s Web site (www.gao.gov) contains abstracts and full-
GAO Reports and          text files of current reports and testimony and an expanding archive of older
                         products. The Web site features a search engine to help you locate documents
Testimony                using key words and phrases. You can print these documents in their entirety,
                         including charts and other graphics.
                         Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and
                         correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as “Today’s Reports,” on its Web site
                         daily. The list contains links to the full-text document files. To have GAO e-mail
                         this list to you every afternoon, go to www.gao.gov and select “Subscribe to daily
                         E-mail alert for newly released products” under the GAO Reports heading.


Order by Mail or Phone   The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 each. A
                         check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent of Documents.
                         GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a
                         single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders should be sent to:
                         U.S. General Accounting Office
                         441 G Street NW, Room LM
                         Washington, D.C. 20548
                         To order by Phone:     Voice:    (202) 512-6000
                                                TDD:      (202) 512-2537
                                                Fax:      (202) 512-6061


                         Contact:
To Report Fraud,
                         Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm
Waste, and Abuse in      E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
Federal Programs         Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470


                         Jeff Nelligan, Managing Director, NelliganJ@gao.gov (202) 512-4800
Public Affairs           U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149
                         Washington, D.C. 20548