oversight

DOD Joint Bases: Management Improvements Needed to Achieve Greater Efficiencies

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-11-15.

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

                United States Government Accountability Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Addressees




November 2012
                DOD JOINT BASES

                Management
                Improvements Needed
                to Achieve Greater
                Efficiencies




GAO-13-134
                                               November 2012

                                               DOD JOINT BASES
                                               Management Improvements Needed to Achieve
                                               Greater Efficiencies
Highlights of GAO-13-134, a report to
congressional addressees




Why GAO Did This Study                         What GAO Found
GAO has designated DOD support                 The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has not developed or implemented
infrastructure as an area of high risk         a plan to guide joint bases in achieving cost savings and efficiencies. The
and included one key related                   Department of Defense (DOD) originally estimated saving $2.3 billion from joint
category—installation support—as an            basing over 20 years, but in the absence of a plan to drive savings, that estimate
area for potential savings. In 2005,           has fallen by almost 90 percent. OSD also does not yet have a fully developed
DOD recommended to the Base                    method for accurately collecting information on costs, savings, and efficiencies
Realignment and Closure Commission             achieved specifically from joint basing. GAO previously reported that
combining 26 installations into 12 joint       organizational transformations such as merging components and transforming
bases to generate efficiencies and cost
                                               organizational cultures should be driven by top leadership, have implementation
savings and, in 2010, completed this
                                               goals and a timeline to show progress, and include a communication strategy.
consolidation. GAO assessed the
extent to which (1) DOD developed
                                               Although the joint bases anecdotally reported achieving some savings and
and implemented a plan to achieve              efficiencies, without an implementation plan to drive savings and a means to
cost savings and efficiencies at the           collect reliable information on the specific costs, estimated savings, and
joint bases, (2) joint base common             efficiencies from joint basing, DOD will not be able to facilitate achievement of
standards provide a common                     the goals of cost savings and efficiencies, track the extent to which these goals
framework to manage and plan for               have been achieved, or evaluate the continuation or expansion of joint basing.
installation support services, and             The joint bases implemented common standards for installation support services
(3) DOD has a process to consistently
                                               developed by OSD, and in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 reported meeting the
identify and address any
                                               standards more than 70 percent of the time. However, three factors limited the
implementation challenges. GAO
reviewed DOD policies and guidance             usefulness of the reported standards as a common tool for managing installation
on joint basing, visited 3 joint bases         support services: the lack of clarity in some standards, unclear standards that
and obtained answers to written                were not reviewed and changed in a timely manner, and data collection and
questions from the other 9, interviewed        reporting on the standards that in some cases adhered to individual service
OSD and military service officials, and        standards rather than the common standard. DOD guidance states that the
analyzed performance data on joint             purpose of the joint base common standards framework was to provide a
base support services.                         common language to serve as a basis for planning and management across the
                                               joint bases, and GAO previously reported that performance measures should be
What GAO Recommends                            clear and follow standard procedures. Without a consistent interpretation and
GAO recommends that DOD take six               reported use of the standards, OSD and the joint bases will not have reliable or
actions, such as developing a plan to          comparable data with which to assess their service support levels.
achieve cost savings, prioritizing             OSD and the joint bases have various mechanisms in place to address
review and revision of unclear common          challenges in achieving joint basing goals, such as a joint management oversight
standards, and developing a strategy
                                               structure and annual OSD-joint base review meetings, but none of these
to share solutions to common
                                               routinely facilitates communication among the joint bases to identify solutions to
challenges. DOD partially agreed with
five recommendations and did not               common challenges. The reported challenges cover a wide range of issues, from
concur with the recommendation to              different expectations among military services as to how base support services
develop a plan to achieve cost savings,        should be provided to incompatible information technology networks. However,
because it stated that such goals are          the absence of a formal method to routinely share information on common
not appropriate at this time. GAO              challenges and possible solutions, or guidance on developing and providing
continues to believe that the                  training for new personnel on how joint bases provide installation support, means
recommendations are valid as                   DOD is likely to miss opportunities to develop common solutions to common
discussed further in the report.               challenges. Federal internal control standards state that for an entity to control its
                                               operations, it must have relevant and timely communications, and information is
                                               needed throughout the agency to achieve objectives. In addition, without
View GAO-13-134. For more information,
contact Brian J. Lepore at (202) 512-4523 or   processes to identify common challenges and share information across the joint
leporeb@gao.gov.                               bases, DOD may miss opportunities for greater efficiencies and be unable to
                                               provide uniform policies across the joint bases.
                                                                                         United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                              1
                       Background                                                                   5
                       DOD Has Not Developed a Plan for Achieving Joint Basing Cost
                         Savings and Efficiencies or a Reliable Method for Tracking Costs
                         and Estimated Savings                                                      9
                       Joint Bases Report Meeting Many Common Standards, but the
                         Usefulness of the Standards as a Common Framework to
                         Manage Installation Support Services Is Limited                          14
                       OSD and Joint Bases Have Processes to Identify Joint Basing
                         Implementation Challenges, but Lack of Routine
                         Communication Limits Opportunities for Greater Efficiencies              20
                       Conclusions                                                                24
                       Recommendations for Executive Action                                       25
                       Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         27

Appendix I             Scope and Methodology                                                       35



Appendix II            BRAC Commission Recommendation on Joint Basing (Including
                       Elements of DOD’s Recommendation to the Commission)                         40



Appendix III           Joint Basing Installation Support Functional Areas                          44



Appendix IV            Comments from the Department of Defense                                     45



Appendix V             GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                       52



Related GAO Products                                                                               53



Tables
                       Table 1: Joint Bases’ Details and Implementation Phases                     7
                       Table 2: Comment Categories and Definitions                                37



                       Page i                                               GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
          Table 3: Functional Areas of Installation Support                                         44


Figures
          Figure 1: Joint Management Oversight Structure Levels and
                   Decision Chain                                                                    8
          Figure 2: Joint Bases’ Top Reported Reasons for Not Meeting
                   Common Standards                                                                 16




          Abbreviations

          BRAC                       Base Realignment and Closure
          DOD                        Department of Defense
          OSD                        Office of the Secretary of Defense




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          Page ii                                                       GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   November 15, 2012

                                   Congressional Addressees

                                   GAO has designated Department of Defense (DOD) support
                                   infrastructure as a high-risk area, and identified installation support as
                                   one key support infrastructure category where opportunities existed for
                                   savings. 1 In originally citing support infrastructure as high risk, we stated
                                   that reducing the cost of excess infrastructure activities was critical to
                                   making use of scarce resources and maintaining high levels of military
                                   capabilities. We reported that DOD believed that greater economies of
                                   scale and savings could be achieved by further consolidation and
                                   elimination of duplicate support services where military bases were
                                   located close to one another or similar functions were performed at
                                   multiple locations. However, we also noted that despite the potential for
                                   reducing base operating support costs through greater reliance on
                                   interservice-type agreements, differing service traditions and cultures and
                                   concern over losing direct control of support assets had caused
                                   commanders to resist such measures. In a subsequent recommendation
                                   submitted to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
                                   Commission, DOD proposed that the department consolidate 26 military
                                   installations into 12 joint bases to take advantage of opportunities for
                                   efficiencies arising from such consolidation and elimination of duplicate
                                   support services on bases located close to one another. DOD estimated
                                   that by taking this action it could save about $2.3 billion over a 20-year
                                   period. 2 In its justification for the recommendation, DOD noted, among
                                   other things, that because the installations either shared a common
                                   boundary or were in proximity to at least one other installation, and
                                   performed common support functions, there was a significant opportunity
                                   to reduce duplication of similar support services, which could produce
                                   savings. The BRAC Commission approved a modified version of DOD’s
                                   recommendation, which the commission found more fully reflected




                                   1
                                    GAO, High-Risk Series: Defense Infrastructure, GAO/HR-97-7 (Washington, D.C.:
                                   February 1997).
                                   2
                                       DOD, Base Closure and Realignment Report, Volume I (Washington, D.C.: May 2005).




                                   Page 1                                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
statutory selection criteria and DOD’s force structure plan. 3 Through
updates to our high-risk series reports, we have continued to monitor
DOD’s ability to achieve economies of scale and savings by consolidating
and eliminating duplicate installation support services. Our most recent
high-risk report, issued in February 2011, continued to designate DOD’s
management of its support infrastructure as an area of high risk. 4 One of
the reasons for this designation was DOD’s lack of progress in achieving
the anticipated efficiencies and cost savings objectives associated with
consolidating installation services through the joint basing initiative.

DOD’s joint basing initiative—implemented in two phases, with 5 joint
bases established in October 2009 and the remaining 7 bases
established in October 2010—created 12 joint bases from the 26
installations that were originally operated by the Army, Navy, Air Force, or
Marine Corps, combining installation support services such as airfield
operations, grounds maintenance, and custodial services. The 2005
BRAC recommendation on joint basing established which military bases
would receive installation management functions from one or more other
bases. On the basis of these realignments, the Office of the Secretary of
Defense (OSD) designated the receiving military service as the lead for
delivering installation support at each joint base, and in 2008, OSD issued
further guidance for joint basing implementation. According to this
guidance, the lead service is referred to as the supporting component and
the military services receiving the installation support are referred to as
the supported components. OSD also established a set of joint base
common standards for providing consistent delivery of installation support
services to the 12 joint bases. According to the latest DOD information,
there are 280 joint base common standards grouped into 48 functional
areas. 5 The standards cover a wide range of installation support services,



3
  The full text of the BRAC joint basing recommendation and elements of DOD’s
recommendation to the BRAC Commission (as reproduced in the commission’s report)
appear in app. II of this report. The BRAC Commission assessed all of DOD’s
recommendations against eight statutory selection criteria and DOD’s force structure plan.
4
  GAO, High-Risk Series: An Update, GAO-11-278 (Washington, D.C.: February 2011).
The High-Risk Series focuses on government operations that GAO identified as high risk
because of their greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or the
need for transformation to address economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges.
5
  These functional areas include a diverse range of functions such as airfield operations,
child and youth services, and morale, welfare, and recreation. See app. III for a full list of
these functional areas.




Page 2                                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
from establishing the acceptable waiting time for ensuring that 100
percent of eligible children are placed within the base-run child
development program to conducting a minimum of two daily airfield
checks.

In 2009, we reviewed DOD’s progress to date toward meeting the joint
basing goals of increased efficiencies and cost savings. 6 We reported that
the cost of installation support was expected to increase rather than
decrease due in part to the adoption of the new common standards,
which required higher levels of funding in some cases than the previous
standards, and because the services’ approach to implementing joint
basing would result in additional administrative costs and the loss of
some existing installation support efficiencies. As a result, in 2009 DOD
significantly reduced its estimated 20-year cost savings projection from
$2.3 billion to about $273 million. More recently, we reported in June
2012 that our analysis based on updated DOD estimates of the one-time
and recurring costs and savings from joint basing based on DOD’s fiscal
year 2011 BRAC budget submission to Congress showed that this 20-
year savings estimate had fallen to $249 million. 7

We are conducting this follow-on review under the Comptroller General’s
authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative in order to provide
updated information on DOD’s progress in achieving its joint basing
objectives. For this report, we evaluated the extent to which (1) DOD
developed and implemented a plan to achieve cost savings and
efficiencies at the joint bases and has tracked the costs, estimated
savings, and efficiencies from joint basing; (2) joint base common
standards provide a common framework to manage and plan for
installation support services at the joint bases; and (3) the joint bases or
DOD have a process in place to consistently identify and address any
implementation challenges to facilitate achievement of joint basing goals.




6
  GAO, Defense Infrastructure: DOD Needs to Periodically Review Support Standards and
Costs at Joint Bases and Better Inform Congress of Facility Sustainment Funding Uses,
GAO-09-336 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 30, 2009).
7
  GAO, Military Base Realignments and Closures: Updated Costs and Savings Estimates
from BRAC 2005, GAO-12-709R (Washington, D.C.: June 29, 2012). These figures are
expressed in 2005 dollars to facilitate comparison with the original 20-year savings
estimates developed in 2005.




Page 3                                                    GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
To address these objectives overall, we analyzed DOD guidance and
data relating to joint basing. We also selected a nonprobability sample of
3 of the 12 joint bases to visit based on several criteria. Among these
criteria, we ensured that we would visit one base where each of the three
military departments was the supporting component and therefore had
the lead for ensuring that the joint base common standards were met, and
that we visited at least one joint base implemented in each of the two
implementation phases. We interviewed OSD officials in addition to
officials at the 3 joint bases we visited. For the remaining 9 joint bases,
we obtained written answers to our questions pertaining to these
objectives.

To assess the extent to which DOD developed and implemented a plan to
achieve cost savings and efficiencies at the joint bases and tracked the
cost effects of joint basing, we analyzed relevant DOD guidance as well
as our prior findings on key practices and steps used by organizations to
successfully implement organizational mergers and transformations. We
also interviewed OSD and joint base officials, and obtained answers to
written questions, to determine the extent to which there was a plan in
place to achieve cost savings and efficiencies, and the extent to which
OSD or the joint bases measured and tracked costs, estimated savings,
and efficiencies achieved as a result of joint basing.

To evaluate the extent to which joint base common standards have
provided a common framework for defining installation support services
and are used to manage and plan for those services at the joint bases,
we reviewed DOD’s policy and guidance on the joint base common
standards as well as federal internal controls and data reliability
standards. We obtained joint base performance reporting on the common
standards from fiscal years 2010 through 2011 and conducted a content
analysis of these data to determine the degree of achievement of the
standards and to identify reported challenges to the joint bases’ ability to
meet the standards. We analyzed OSD’s processes for reviewing and
changing the standards by reviewing OSD guidance, and interviewed or
obtained written answers to our questions from OSD and joint base
officials about how they addressed reported problems with the standards.
Although we identified some problems with the joint base common
standards, which we discuss in this report, we found the data on the joint
base common standards to be sufficiently reliable for the purposes of
reporting on the number of standards the joint bases reported as having
met or not met and the content of the comments accompanying the
standards reporting.



Page 4                                              GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                        To assess OSD’s process for identifying and addressing implementation
                        challenges, we reviewed DOD policy and guidance for joint base
                        oversight and management, as well as federal internal control standards.
                        We then identified how OSD uses its formal joint base management
                        structure, joint base common standards reporting, and formal review
                        meetings between joint base commanders and OSD to obtain information
                        on challenges faced at the joint bases. We analyzed performance
                        reporting comments, DOD documentation that identified and
                        demonstrated how OSD addressed these challenges, and DOD guidance
                        on established procedures to resolve issues. We also interviewed or
                        obtained written answers to questions from OSD, military service, and
                        joint base officials in order to determine how OSD and the military
                        services resolved issues with the joint bases through informal methods,
                        such as newsletters and direct communications.

                        We conducted this performance audit from August 2011 to November
                        2012 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
                        standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to
                        obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for
                        our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe
                        that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
                        and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We discuss our scope
                        and methodology in more detail in appendix I.



Background
Implementation of the   DOD noted in its recommendation to the 2005 BRAC Commission that all
Joint Bases and         military installations employ personnel to perform common functions in
Management              support of installation facilities and personnel and that all installations
                        execute these functions using similar or nearly similar processes. DOD’s
Responsibilities        justification for the recommendation stated that this, along with the
                        proximity of the bases in question, allowed for significant opportunity to
                        reduce duplication and costs by consolidating the installations.
                        Specifically, DOD stated that savings in personnel and facilities costs
                        could be realized by, among other things

                        •   reducing duplication of efforts,
                        •   paring unnecessary management personnel,
                        •   achieving greater efficiencies through economies of scale,
                        •   consolidating and optimizing existing and future service contract
                            requirements,


                        Page 5                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
•   establishing a single space management authority that could achieve
    greater utilization of facilities, and
•   reducing the number of base support vehicles and equipment
    consistent with the size of the combined facilities.

As a result, the BRAC Commission approved a modified version of DOD’s
recommendation, and recommended combining 26 installations that were
close to one another into 12 joint bases.

In its January 2008 joint basing implementation guidance, OSD
established a schedule dividing the joint bases into two implementation
phases and required that the installations complete a memorandum of
agreement that would describe how the military components would work
together at each joint base. 8 Each agreement was required to outline,
among other things,

•   how the installations were to fully implement the 2005 BRAC joint
    basing recommendation and
•   how the supporting component was to deliver installation support
    services to the other military components at the base—called
    supported components—in accordance with the joint base common
    standards.

Table 1 identifies the location, implementation phase, and supporting
military service at each of the joint bases.




8
 Phase I bases had a September 30, 2008 milestone for developing and signing a
memorandum of agreement and an October 31, 2009, milestone for full implementation.
Phase II bases had a September 30, 2009 milestone for signing a memorandum of
agreement and an October 31, 2010, milestone for full implementation. According to DOD,
phase I full implementation was achieved on October 1, 2009, and phase II full
implementation was achieved on October 1, 2010.




Page 6                                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Table 1: Joint Bases’ Details and Implementation Phases

Joint base                                 Location               Phase   Supporting service      Supported service
McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst                      New Jersey             I       Air Force               Army, Navy
Little Creek-Fort Story                    Virginia               I       Navy                    Army
Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington      Maryland               I       Air Force               Navy
Myer-Henderson Hall                        Virginia               I       Army                    Marine Corps
Marianas                                   Guam                   I       Navy                    Air Force
Lewis-McChord                              Washington             II      Army                    Air Force
Charleston                                 South Carolina         II      Air Force               Navy
Langley-Eustis                             Virginia               II      Air Force               Army
Pearl Harbor-Hickam                        Hawaii                 II      Navy                    Air Force
Elmendorf-Richardson                       Alaska                 II      Air Force               Army
San Antonio                                Texas                  II      Air Force               Army
Anacostia-Bolling                          District of Columbia   II      Navy                    Air Force
                                        Source: OSD.



                                        The 2008 joint basing implementation guidance designated the Under
                                        Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics as the
                                        official within OSD responsible for establishing overarching guidance,
                                        procedures, and policy and for providing oversight for implementation of
                                        the joint basing guidance. Within the Office of the Under Secretary of
                                        Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, the lead office for
                                        DOD’s installations and facilities is the Office of the Deputy Under
                                        Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment), which conducts
                                        oversight of and provides guidance to the joint bases.


Joint Base Common                       OSD’s 2008 guidance on implementing joint basing established a set of
Standards                               installation support functional areas and provided for the creation of a set
                                        of joint base common standards to define the level of service expected to
                                        be provided at each joint base and in order to ensure consistent delivery
                                        of installation support services. As of April 2012, there were 280 joint
                                        base common standards grouped into 48 functional areas, such as the
                                        standard that 90 percent of law enforcement investigations be completed
                                        within 30 days, which falls under the security services functional area
                                        (see app. III for a complete list of these functional areas). Each joint base
                                        can seek approval to have deviations from the common standards, which
                                        would be outlined in its memorandum of agreement. One-third of the joint
                                        bases told us they had approved deviations from certain common
                                        standards. OSD officials stated that they have changed the joint base



                                        Page 7                                                 GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                                       common standards over time to clarify or better align them with how the
                                       services are providing installation support services.


Joint Management                       The Joint Management Oversight Structure was established as a
Oversight Structure                    mechanism to provide for six levels of performance review and dispute
                                       resolution as part of managing implementation of the joint bases. Issues
                                       raised at the joint bases are first addressed at the lowest level of the
                                       structure, the local Joint Base Partnership Council, which includes
                                       officials from the supported and supporting services on each joint base. If
                                       issues are not resolved there, they are raised to higher levels of
                                       command, such as the Senior Installation Management Group, which
                                       includes the service installation commands, such as Commander, Navy
                                       Installations Command, and the Army Chief of Staff Installation
                                       Management Command. If the issues remain unresolved, they can go up
                                       through the service Vice Chiefs of Staff and finally on to OSD. See figure
                                       1 for the oversight structure and decision chain.

Figure 1: Joint Management Oversight Structure Levels and Decision Chain




                                       a
                                        Comprises Commander, Naval Installations Command, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for
                                       Installation Management (Army), Office of the Air Force Civil Engineer, and Headquarters Marine
                                       Corps, Installations Department, Facilities and Services Division.




                                       Page 8                                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                            DOD’s recommendation to the 2005 BRAC Commission noted anticipated
DOD Has Not                 cost savings and efficiencies to be gained from joint basing, but OSD has
Developed a Plan for        not developed an implementation plan to guide joint bases in their efforts
                            to achieve these cost savings and efficiencies. Furthermore, DOD does
Achieving Joint             not have a reliable method of collecting information on the net costs or
Basing Cost Savings         estimated savings, and efficiencies, specifically resulting from joint basing
and Efficiencies or a       and excluding other influences on the bases’ budgets. Without a plan to
                            guide and encourage joint bases to pursue cost savings and efficiencies
Reliable Method for         and without a method to track joint basing-specific costs, savings, and
Tracking Costs and          efficiencies, DOD will likely miss opportunities for cost savings and
                            continue to be unaware of the extent to which joint bases have been able
Estimated Savings           to meet the objectives laid out in the 2005 BRAC recommendation on
                            joint basing.


DOD Has Not Developed a     Officials in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense
Plan to Guide Joint Bases   (Installations and Environment) said they did not have a plan in place to
toward Achieving Cost       guide the efforts to achieve cost savings and efficiencies at the joint
                            bases because joint basing is a relatively new initiative and they are still
Savings and Efficiencies    resolving implementation issues. DOD’s 2005 joint basing
                            recommendation estimated a 20-year savings of $2.3 billion, with
                            $601 million in savings by the end of the implementation period in fiscal
                            year 2011. However, the 20-year savings estimate has now decreased by
                            nearly 90 percent, to $249 million. 9

                            We have previously reported that successful organizational
                            transformations—such as merging components and transforming
                            organizational cultures—in both the public and private sector, involve
                            several key practices, including ensuring that top leadership drives the
                            transformation, setting implementation goals and a timeline to show
                            progress from day one, and establishing a communication strategy to
                            create shared expectations and report related progress. 10




                            9
                                These figures are in 2005 dollars to facilitate comparison.
                            10
                              GAO, Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and
                            Organizational Transformations, GAO-03-669 (Washington, D.C.: July 2, 2003), and
                            Highlights of a GAO Forum: Mergers and Transformation: Lessons Learned for a
                            Department of Homeland Security and Other Federal Agencies, GAO-03-293SP
                            (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 14, 2002).




                            Page 9                                                            GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                            •   Ensuring top leadership drives the transformation. DOD
                                leadership has not provided clear direction to joint basing officials on
                                achieving the cost savings and efficiency goals of joint basing. Some
                                joint basing officials told us they perceived a lack of direction from
                                OSD about the joint basing initiative and more specifically about
                                whether the purpose of joint basing is to meet the joint base common
                                standards for installation support or to achieve cost savings and
                                efficiencies. These two goals may not always be in harmony since
                                meeting some joint standards requires a higher level of service, which
                                can increase costs rather than save money.
                            •   Setting implementation goals and a timeline to show progress.
                                One of DOD’s stated objectives for joint basing was to save money;
                                however, it did not establish quantifiable and measurable objectives
                                for how to achieve cost savings or efficiencies through joint basing,
                                nor did it establish a timeline to achieve such goals. Such methods for
                                achieving cost savings or efficiencies could include, for example,
                                reducing duplication of efforts, paring unnecessary management
                                personnel, consolidating and optimizing service contract
                                requirements, and reducing the number of base support vehicles and
                                equipment, among other things noted in DOD’s recommendation to
                                the 2005 BRAC Commission.
                            •   Establish a communication strategy. DOD has not established a
                                communication strategy that provides information to meet the needs
                                of joint basing officials on how to achieve the joint basing goals of cost
                                savings and efficiencies. Some joint base officials told us that they
                                desire additional guidance about how to achieve cost savings and
                                efficiencies.

DOD Has Developed a         In addition to not having an implementation plan, DOD does not yet have
Method of Identifying       a fully developed method for accurately gathering information on costs,
Costs and Efficiencies on   estimated savings, and efficiencies achieved specifically as a
                            consequence of joint basing, and as a result it does not have an estimate
Joint Bases, but This       of the extent to which joint basing has realized actual cost savings. OSD
Method Cannot Yet           has developed a data collection tool, called the Cost and Performance
Accurately Isolate the      Visibility Framework, through which the joint bases report installation
Effects of Joint Basing     support performance data, including annually reporting on funds obligated
                            to provide base support services, and officials involved in management
                            and oversight of the joint bases can use this information to improve joint
                            base management. In addition, OSD can measure these data against the
                            level of funding the military services expect they would have had to
                            obligate for installation support on the joint bases if no savings resulted
                            from joint basing—what DOD refers to as the Cost and Performance
                            Visibility Framework baseline. However, because of inconsistencies in the



                            Page 10                                              GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
way the joint bases reported data through the framework to date, and
because the data reported through the framework do not exclude costs
and savings that are not specific to joint basing, OSD is not yet able to
accurately isolate the effects of joint basing on the cost of providing
support services. 11 In addition, comparing support service obligations to
the Cost and Performance Visibility Framework baselines does not show
whether overall savings were achieved as a result of joint basing since
the new support service standards themselves are a part of the joint
basing initiative. Measuring against these baselines therefore does not
provide a true picture of savings resulting from joint basing.

The Cost Performance and Visibility Framework is a web-based
application managed by OSD which allows joint bases to report on their
performance against the joint base common standards quarterly and to
report on the funds obligated and manpower employed to meet the
common standards annually. Various levels of the joint basing Joint
Management Oversight Structure use the framework as a management
tool to review and assess performance of the joint base common
standards by category, service, and base, including comparing
performance of the standards to the funds obligated and manpower
employed to meet particular categories of standards. For example,
officials can compare the funds obligated on housing on a particular joint
base with the extent to which that joint base met the common standards
related to housing, as well as the baseline, or anticipated cost of meeting
those common standards. OSD officials told us that they use these data
to identify categories of joint base common standards where the bases
are performing especially well or poorly, and can compare this
performance to the funds obligated relative to achievement of the
standards, as well as to the baseline—the level of funding the military
services anticipated they would need to obligate to meet the standards.
This information provides an initial insight and a basis for further
discussion at the working level with officials involved in joint base
management and oversight. Through further discussion, the officials said
they were able to identify the reasons why joint bases may be performing



11
  In a June 2012 report on military base realignments and closures, we reported that DOD
projects net annual recurring savings of $32 million from joint basing based on a
methodology that was used during the development of the original recommendations to
the BRAC Commission. See GAO-12-709R. As noted previously, this report examined the
extent which DOD has tracked the actual costs, estimated savings, and efficiencies
achieved from joint basing.




Page 11                                                    GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
well or underperforming in particular areas relative to the funds obligated
and the baseline. In turn, this allows the officials to make adjustments in
funding, learn from the experiences of particular joint bases in providing
support services, and improve joint base management going forward.

For fiscal year 2011, the first year all of the joint bases had completed
implementation, the joint bases reported through the Cost and
Performance Visibility Framework obligating a total of about $4.3 billion
on support services. The military services also created baselines against
which to measure these funding levels. According to these service-
developed baselines the 12 joint bases’ installation services were
expected to cost $5.1 billion in fiscal year 2011, as compared with the
framework-reported actual cost of about $4.3 billion, for a reported
savings of $800 million less than the baseline. However, this difference
between the reported baselines and the installation support funding levels
on the joint bases does not accurately reflect savings arising from joint
basing for several reasons. First, these baselines were calculated using
actual obligations in fiscal year 2008, when the joint bases were
standalone bases, and were adjusted to include increases in personnel
needed to meet the new joint base common standards and other
expected changes, such as utility rate changes. This effectively inflated
the baselines beyond what was actually obligated prior to joint basing.
Therefore, while the adjusted baselines are meant to represent the
projected costs to operate the newly established joint bases, they
overstate the actual cost to operate the bases as compared to when they
were standalone bases. As a result, these are not true baselines against
which a valid comparison can be made of the cost to operate joint bases
compared with standalone bases. Moreover, DOD officials noted that the
adjusted baselines and the reported obligations did not always exclude
one-time expenditures unrelated to the cost of providing support services,
such as military construction projects, which impairs the reliability of
comparisons using the obligations data. Finally, the framework does not
identify when costs, savings, or efficiencies occurred specifically as a
result of joint basing, as opposed to other actions such as military service-
wide budget cuts. Therefore, the absence of a comparison with the funds
obligated for support services on the installations prior to becoming joint
bases, reliability problems in the data, and the inability to isolate joint-
basing specific costs, savings, and efficiencies, limits the use of the
framework as a definitive tool to identify the overall effects on cost of the
joint basing initiative.

OSD officials said that they expect to correct the data reliability problems
by the end of fiscal year 2012, and as joint basing continues these


Page 12                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
officials believe it will be possible to compare each year’s obligations at
the joint bases against prior years’ obligations and therefore gain insight
into the extent that savings and efficiencies are achieved. However, DOD
officials also acknowledged that other factors have affected and will
continue to affect funding levels at the joint bases, including budget-
driven reductions by the military services that do not necessarily
represent savings or efficiencies specifically from joint basing, and as a
result, OSD may not be able to determine joint basing-specific costs and
estimated savings even with its improved data collection.

We found that the individual joint bases do not systematically track cost
savings and efficiencies achieved as a result of joint basing. However,
some joint bases have achieved efficiencies through consolidating service
contracts, combining departments, and reducing administrative overhead,
and identified anecdotal examples of such efficiencies, including the
following.

•   Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Base officials told us that by
    combining telephone services under the existing Air Force contract,
    call rates were substantially reduced, and that they have saved about
    $100,000 annually as a result. Additionally, the officials said that
    consolidating nine maintenance support contracts into one has
    produced $1.3 million in annual savings.
•   Joint Base Charleston. Base officials stated that information
    technology network upgrades resulted in improved high-speed access
    and annual savings of $747,000. Additionally, these officials told us
    that they consolidated multiple contracts for chaplains, resulting in
    $55,000 in annual savings.
•   Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Base officials told us that they have
    realized efficiencies and cost savings through consolidating some
    offices in their Morale, Welfare & Recreation Departments. Through
    this effort, they saved about $400,000 in fiscal year 2011 and expect
    those savings to increase in subsequent years.

Conversely, some joint basing officials have told us that the joint basing
initiative may be increasing rather than cutting costs because in some
cases the new joint base common standards require a higher level of
support than was previously provided by service-specific standards. As
previously noted, we reported in 2009 that the new joint base common




Page 13                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                         standards required the services to fund installation support at higher-than-
                         previous levels. 12

                         Even with the achievement of some efficiencies, the joint bases lack clear
                         direction and impetus to identify and execute cost-saving measures
                         because OSD has not established an implementation plan with
                         measurable goals to track progress toward meeting the cost savings and
                         efficiencies goals that it recommended to the 2005 BRAC Commission. In
                         the absence of such a plan, opportunities for savings and efficiencies are
                         likely to be missed. In addition, without a reliable method to collect data
                         on costs or estimated savings resulting specifically from joint basing,
                         DOD cannot identify the net savings, if any, associated with joint basing.
                         As a result, DOD will likely remain unable to quantify the effects of the
                         joint basing initiative and unable to evaluate whether to continue or
                         expand joint basing.


                         In fiscal years 2010 and 2011 the joint bases reported meeting the
Joint Bases Report       common standards more than 70 percent of the time. However, the lack
Meeting Many             of clarity in some standards, the fact that unclear standards are not
                         always reviewed and changed in a timely manner, and the fact that the
Common Standards,        data collection and reporting on the standards in some cases adhere to
but the Usefulness of    individual service standards rather than the common standard hinders the
the Standards as a       effectiveness of the standards as a common framework for managing
                         installation support services. Without a consistent interpretation and
Common Framework         reported use of the standards, the joint bases will not have reliable and
to Manage Installation   comparable data with which to assess their service support levels, and
                         OSD cannot be assured of receiving reliable and comparable data on the
Support Services Is      level of support services the joint bases are providing.
Limited

Meeting the Common       According to OSD guidance, DOD developed the standards to provide
Standards                common output or performance-level standards for installation support,
                         and to establish a common language for each base support function on
                         the joint bases. 13 These common standards provide a common


                         12
                              GAO-09-336.
                         13
                            Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics,
                         Modification to the Joint Basing Implementation Guidance (July 1, 2010).




                         Page 14                                                       GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
framework to manage and plan for installation support services. In
quarterly reporting from 2010 and 2011 using the joint basing Cost and
Performance Visibility Framework, the joint bases and various offices
within the joint bases reported on whether they met the established
common standards or whether the standard was either not applicable to
them or not reported by them. In eight quarters of reporting, the 12 joint
bases and various offices within the joint bases submitted over 53,000
reports on standards. Our analysis showed that 74 percent of these
reports stated that the joint base or office met the standard, and 10
percent of the time the joint base or office did not meet standard. 14 The
other 16 percent of the time the joint bases or office reported that the
standard was either not applicable to the particular joint base or office, or
that the joint base or office did not report on the standard.

The functional areas of standards the joint bases most frequently reported
not meeting, according to our analysis of the joint base performance
reporting data, included the following.

•   Information technology services and management. This includes
    such areas as telephone services and video teleconference.
•   Facilities sustainment. This includes certain building restoration,
    modernization, and maintenance.
•   Command management. This includes such areas as postal
    services and records administration services.
•   Emergency management. This includes such areas as emergency
    notification and emergency training.
•   Base support vehicles and equipment. This includes shuttle bus
    services, and vehicle and equipment maintenance.

Based on our analysis of the reasons joint base officials reported to OSD
for not meeting standards, we found that the joint bases reported a range
of reasons for not meeting a given standard, such as a lack of personnel
or resources, as well as the inability to meet the standard because of
contract-related resourcing issues. For example, the joint base may have


14
   For most of this period, joint bases and offices within the joint bases had the option of
reporting on a given standard as “not reported.” This option ended with the June 2011
update to OSD’s handbook for joint base common standards reporting, which stated that
the option was made available only for the implementation phase of the joint bases. As a
result, the joint bases must now report on all of the standards. Various offices within the
joint bases also report on standards, although each of these offices only reports on certain
standards relating to that office’s activities.




Page 15                                                       GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                                      a contract in place for providing multimedia services, but the contract
                                      does not provide for video production, and therefore the base chooses
                                      not to meet the common standard because it would be too costly to
                                      modify the contract or let an additional contract. The most common
                                      reasons joint bases reported as to why the standard was not met, as
                                      determined by our analysis, are shown in figure 2.

Figure 2: Joint Bases’ Top Reported Reasons for Not Meeting Common Standards




Usefulness of the                     In addition to the ability of the joint bases to meet the standards, joint
Standards                             base officials and our analysis of the comments in the common standard
                                      reporting system identified three main issues affecting the joint bases’
                                      ability to interpret and report on base support services, regardless of



                                      Page 16                                            GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                            whether the standards are met. These are (1) the standards are in some
                            cases unclear, (2) the standards are not reviewed and changed in a
                            timely manner when clarity issues arise, and (3) data in some cases are
                            still collected in a service-specific manner that does not correspond to the
                            common standard, or the bases are reporting according to a service-
                            specific rather than a joint standard.

Some Common Standards Are   According to joint base officials, the joint base common standards in
Unclear                     some cases are not measurable or clear. We have previously reported
                            that key attributes of successful performance measures include a
                            measurable target and clarity. 15 Having a measurable target in a
                            performance measure ensures the ability to determine if performance is
                            meeting expectations. Clarity of a performance measure means that the
                            measure is clearly stated and the name and definition are consistent with
                            the methodology used to calculate it, so that data are not confusing and
                            misleading to the users of the data. Joint basing officials provided many
                            examples of standards that lack clarity and therefore cause uncertainty in
                            how the standards should be reported, including the following:

                            •    One common standard requires that 100 percent of installations meet
                                 a DOD requirement for at least annual exercise testing of mass
                                 warning and notification systems. However, according to officials at
                                 Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington (in Maryland),
                                 there are many modes of emergency management notification and
                                 many ways to test these modes. As a result, they are unsure about
                                 how to adequately answer this common standard and therefore report
                                 it as not met.
                            •    One common standard relating to awards and decorations to
                                 recognize individual and unit achievements states that 90 percent of
                                 awards should be posted to personnel records in accordance with
                                 service-specific timeliness standards. However, the standard is not
                                 clear because, according to joint base officials, not all of the services
                                 have applicable timeliness standards. According to comments
                                 accompanying common standard reporting from officials at Joint Base
                                 San Antonio and Joint Region Marianas, no service standard defines


                            15
                              Key attributes of successful performance measures were applied in GAO, Tax
                            Administration: IRS Needs to Further Refine Its Tax Filing Season Performance
                            Measures, GAO-03-143 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 22, 2002), and according to this report,
                            these attributes were based largely on previously established criteria found in prior GAO
                            reports, review of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, and other
                            performance literature.




                            Page 17                                                      GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                               when a posting is late, and therefore they consider this standard to
                               always be met, regardless of when awards are posted.
                          •    One common standard requires that 60 percent of certain service
                               vehicles be repaired within 24 hours. However, officials at Joint Base
                               McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst said the standard was unclear because it
                               does not take into account the priority of the vehicle. Therefore, for the
                               purposes of the standard, a vehicle that is essential to accomplishing
                               the base’s mission would need to be fixed within the same time frame
                               as a non-mission-essential shuttle bus that transports personnel
                               around the base.
                          •    One common standard related to investigations and crime prevention
                               requires joint bases to maintain 7 days’ processing time for law
                               enforcement information to meet legal and command requirements for
                               adjudication and action. However, according to officials at Joint Base
                               McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, this standard does not specify whether the
                               timeline is in calendar or business days. In the absence of
                               clarification, the joint base has marked the standard as met.

Changing Unclear Common   According to GAO’s Standards for Internal Control in the Federal
Standards                 Government, information should be recorded and communicated to
                          management and others within a time frame that enables them to carry
                          out their responsibilities. 16 However, according to officials at several joint
                          bases, the OSD process to review and clarify standards does not update
                          standards in a time frame to allow joint bases to accurately report each
                          quarter on those standards that are unclear. OSD conducts a review of
                          selected functional areas each year. As an example, for its most recent
                          review for fiscal year 2012, conducted in February 2012, OSD selected
                          the facility operations, facility investment, and information technology
                          services management as the functional areas for review. Changes made
                          to these standards took effect in April 2012. Joint base officials stated that
                          since OSD selects certain functional areas to review each year and does
                          not review standards outside those particular functional areas, standards
                          in those functional areas that are not selected are not reviewed and
                          clarified even though clarification in those areas may be necessary. OSD
                          officials told us that in their most recent review, they used input from the
                          joint bases, military services, and functional area experts within OSD to
                          determine which functional areas of standards to review, among other
                          inputs, such as which of the standards bases were most frequently not


                          16
                            GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1
                          (Washington, D.C.: November 1999).




                          Page 18                                                         GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                            meeting. However, since OSD does not necessarily select all those
                            standards to which joint bases have requested clarification and only
                            reviews standards for possible updating once a year, changes to the
                            standards are not implemented in time for the next quarterly reporting
                            cycle and joint base officials in some cases are required to continue
                            collecting data on and reporting on standards that they have difficulty
                            interpreting.

Continued Use of Service-   The joint bases do not always report on the common standards in ways
Specific Data Collection    that produce similar results because in some cases they are using
Methods and Reporting       service-specific data collection methods that are unable to provide
                            information on whether the joint standard is being met, and in some cases
                            they are reporting on service-specific performance measures rather than
                            the joint standard. We have previously reported that to achieve reliability
                            in performance reporting, measurements must apply standard procedures
                            for collecting data or calculating results so that they are likely to produce
                            the same results if applied repeatedly to the same situation. 17 The
                            following are instances when joint bases may rely on data that do not
                            support reporting on the joint base common standard or where joint bases
                            are adhering to an individual service standard rather than the common
                            standard.

                            •    One common standard states that joint bases should maintain a clean
                                 and healthy environment by cleaning certain restrooms three times a
                                 week, and should sweep and mop floors, vacuum carpets, remove
                                 trash, and clean walk-off mats once a week; buff floors monthly; and
                                 maintain/strip floors and shampoo carpets annually. Officials at Joint
                                 Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst reported not meeting the common
                                 standard because the Air Mobility Command method for data
                                 collection differs from the information needed to report on the
                                 common standard. Therefore, the joint base could be meeting the
                                 standard, but officials do not know because they are not collecting the
                                 data required to identify whether they are doing so.
                            •    One common standard related to technical drawings requires that 98
                                 percent of requests for location data result in no incidents of
                                 misidentified data. Officials at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam



                            17
                              Key attributes of successful performance measures were applied in GAO-03-143, and
                            according to this report, these attributes were based largely on previously established
                            criteria found in prior GAO reports, review of the Government Performance and Results
                            Act of 1993, and other performance literature.




                            Page 19                                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                            reported not meeting the common standard, stating that they were not
                            tracking this metric because the Air Force did not independently
                            require it and they were therefore unable to know whether they met
                            the metric.
                        •   One common standard requires that 100 percent of joint bases hold
                            emergency management working group meetings quarterly. Joint
                            Base San Antonio officials reported not meeting the common standard
                            because the base is instead holding semiannual emergency
                            management working group meetings, which officials said is in
                            accordance with Air Force policy.

                        Because some of the standards are not clear and are not reviewed and
                        changed in a timely fashion and in some cases the joint bases use
                        service-specific data and standards rather than the joint standard, the
                        common standards do not provide OSD and the joint bases with a
                        common tool to ensure that the joint bases are interpreting and reporting
                        on the standards consistently. As a result, it is not clear to what extent the
                        joint bases are achieving the intent of the common standards, even
                        though the joint bases report meeting the standards the majority of the
                        time. Without a consistent interpretation and reported use of the
                        standards, the joint bases will not have reliable and comparable data with
                        which to assess their service support levels, and OSD cannot be assured
                        of receiving reliable and comparable data on the level of support services
                        the joint bases are providing.


                        OSD and the joint bases have various mechanisms in place to address
OSD and Joint Bases     challenges in achieving joint basing goals, but these mechanisms do not
Have Processes to       routinely facilitate the identification of common challenges among the joint
                        bases or the development of common solutions to these challenges.
Identify Joint Basing   Specifically, we found that the joint bases do not have a formal method of
Implementation          routinely sharing information among the joint bases on identified
Challenges, but Lack    challenges and potential solutions or guidance on developing and
                        providing training for new joint base personnel on how the joint bases
of Routine              provide installation support services. Without processes to identify
Communication           common challenges and share information across the joint bases, and
                        guidance on delivering consistent training to new personnel, DOD will
Limits Opportunities    likely miss opportunities to efficiently develop common solutions to
for Greater             common challenges and to reduce duplicating efforts to provide training
                        to new personnel.
Efficiencies



                        Page 20                                              GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Mechanisms to Address      OSD and the joint bases have several mechanisms in place to address
Support Service            challenges in consolidating installation support services at the joint bases.
Consolidation Challenges   These include a multi-level management structure for the joint bases,
                           annual review meetings, performance reporting, newsletters, and informal
                           communications, as follows.

                           •   The Joint Management Oversight Structure. According to DOD
                               guidance, challenges at the joint bases in consolidating installation
                               support services should be addressed at the lowest possible level of
                               the Joint Management Oversight Structure—the local joint base
                               partnership council. Most problems are addressed between command
                               components at an individual joint base, or by intermediate service
                               commands, such as the Army’s Installation Management Command,
                               according to joint base officials.
                           •   Annual management review meetings between OSD and the joint
                               bases. As part of its management of the joint bases, OSD holds an
                               annual meeting each February in which joint base commanders brief
                               OSD on the status of the bases’ consolidation and any challenges that
                               the bases may or may not have been able to address.
                           •   Joint base common standards performance reporting. The joint
                               bases report on a quarterly basis on whether they met the common
                               standards. As part of this reporting, the bases can provide comments
                               identifying challenges they faced in meeting particular standards.
                           •   Joint base newsletters. OSD publishes a monthly newsletter about
                               and for the joint bases. This newsletter highlights changes to joint
                               basing processes, common challenges, lessons learned, and policy
                               issues affecting joint bases. For example, the March 2011 newsletter
                               noted that Joint Base San Antonio had combined the best practices of
                               the various military services in consolidating motorcycle safety
                               training.
                           •   Informal communications. Joint base officials told us that they
                               sometimes communicate implementation challenges directly to OSD
                               officials by e-mail or telephone in order to request assistance or
                               guidance.

Wide-ranging               In meetings and written responses, joint base officials reported facing a
Implementation             variety of challenges in implementing joint basing as well as implementing
Challenges                 the specific common standards. These challenges cover a wide range of
                           issues, from differing expectations among the military services about how
                           particular base support services should be provided to the incompatibility
                           of information technology systems. The following examples illustrate the
                           range of problems joint bases have faced.




                           Page 21                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
•   Differences in how the military services conduct snow removal have
    led to unexpected effort or cost for some supported components. Joint
    Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst officials told us that when the Air Force
    took over providing the support for the joint base, Army and Navy
    personnel were surprised when they had to shovel the sidewalk
    around their buildings because previously this service was provided
    by the base. By contrast, the officials said that the Air Force removes
    snow from roads and parking lots on base but not from sidewalks and
    building paths. The officials told us they had to spend additional
    money to contract for snow removal on sidewalks or use their own
    personnel to remove the snow, which diminished productivity of
    mission functions. While there is no joint base common standard
    specifically on snow removal, there is one on pavement clearance,
    which includes snow and ice removal, which states that joint bases
    should have an installation pavement clearance plan developed in
    accordance with best practices of the military components to meet
    safety and mission needs. Notes accompanying the standard state
    that each joint base defines its own best practices.
•   Services had different expectations for maintenance of building
    components such as alarm systems and fire extinguishers. For
    example, Navy officials on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst told us
    that previously, the Navy installed security systems and replaced fire
    extinguishers as part of base support services. However, following
    joint basing and the installation becoming part of an Air Force-
    supported base, the Air Force did not provide these services and
    expected building occupants to fund these services themselves.
•   Some supported components and tenant organizations are
    experiencing changed expectations and increased costs under the
    joint base structure, in part because of differences in the way the
    military services budget and pay for installation support. For example,
    officials of a Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam tenant told us that their
    costs rose significantly following the transition to the joint base in
    order to cover expenses, such as telephone service, not previously
    required under the tenant’s own budget. In addition, the tenant
    officials stated that the different service standards under the Navy had
    raised their expenses.
•   The variety of incompatible information technology networks and other
    systems among the services inhibits communication and requires
    additional effort. For example, the absence of common information
    technology and communications networks hampered communications
    and information sharing between joint base occupants, and the bases
    expended significant efforts transitioning data from one service
    system to another.




Page 22                                            GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                  Officials at a number of joint bases stated that they believe the individual
                  efforts and relationships developed between the components and
                  commands at the joint bases have facilitated consolidation of installation
                  support services and resolution of implementation challenges. However, a
                  number of joint base officials noted that there was no systematic process
                  in place to identify and resolve common challenges and share information
                  with new base personnel.


Limited Routine   OSD and the joint bases have some methods to address challenges in
Communication     consolidating support services, but the absence of a method for routinely
                  communicating among the joint bases limits opportunities to jointly
                  identify common challenges to joint basing implementation and share
                  best practices and lessons learned in order to develop common solutions
                  to those challenges. Because problems are first identified and addressed
                  at the lowest level of the Joint Management Oversight Structure, which
                  only includes officials from a given joint base, other joint bases do not
                  become aware of these problems or the associated solutions. If joint
                  bases are not informed of problems at other joint bases, then they cannot
                  work together and collectively elevate issues to OSD for the purposes of
                  identifying best practices and disseminating them to the joint bases. One
                  joint base official noted that the information contained in the newsletters
                  does not represent formal guidance. In addition, some joint base officials
                  said that the annual program management reviews conducted by OSD
                  are not sufficient to respond to day-to-day challenges faced at the joint
                  bases. Joint base officials told us that in some cases they have obtained
                  needed guidance through informal contacts with OSD. However, they
                  noted that a formal, routine method of sharing information received from
                  these sources would help to ensure consistent performance across the
                  joint bases. Without such guidance and a mechanism to routinely share
                  lessons learned across the joint bases, opportunities will be missed to
                  work together to resolve common challenges and reduce duplication of
                  effort, and the potential that joint bases may be implementing policies
                  inconsistently will increase.

                  In addition, OSD has not provided guidance to the joint bases on
                  developing training materials to be used to inform incoming personnel
                  about the specifics of how installation services are provided on joint
                  bases. Such guidance is needed since joint base standards may differ
                  from standards and approaches used on standalone bases. Some
                  components, such as the Air Force Wing Command at Joint Base Pearl
                  Harbor-Hickam, developed their own briefings or training courses to
                  provide information on the process of requesting and receiving installation


                  Page 23                                            GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
              support services and how the process is different from that of other Air
              Force bases. Some joint base officials stated that educating personnel
              about joint base-specific processes requires a great deal of effort.
              Because of the lack of OSD guidance on providing common training
              materials, the joint bases have in some cases developed their own
              materials, which can result in duplication of efforts and inconsistencies
              across the joint bases.

              DOD recommended consolidation of installations into joint bases to the
              2005 BRAC Commission to, among other things, reduce duplication of
              management and installation support services, resulting in potential
              efficiencies and cost savings. GAO’s Standards for Internal Control in the
              Federal Government states that the policies, procedures, techniques, and
              mechanisms that enforce management’s directives are an integral part of
              an entity’s planning, implementing, reviewing, and accountability for
              stewardship of government resources and achieving effective results. It
              also states that for an entity to run and control its operations, the entity
              must have relevant, reliable, and timely communications relating to
              internal events, and that information is needed throughout the agency to
              achieve all of its objectives. 18 Without a means of identifying common
              challenges and sharing best practices and lessons learned in order to
              identify common solutions, DOD is likely to miss opportunities to
              efficiently resolve joint base challenges using common methods. In
              addition, without sharing guidance for new personnel, some joint bases
              will duplicate efforts to solve problems previously encountered elsewhere
              and be unable to provide uniform policies across joint bases.


              Since 2008, OSD has consolidated installations in proximity into joint
Conclusions   bases and established common standards for delivering installation
              support services at these bases. As DOD stated in its recommendation to
              the 2005 BRAC Commission, DOD anticipated that this effort represented
              a significant opportunity to reduce duplication of effort and achieve
              efficiencies and cost savings across the 12 joint bases. However, to date
              OSD has not developed and implemented a plan to guide the joint bases
              in achieving cost savings and efficiencies. OSD has developed and
              implemented a framework for collecting and reporting data on
              performance of joint base common standards and the funds spent and



              18
                   GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1.




              Page 24                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                      manpower used to meet those standards. However, OSD has not yet
                      developed this framework to the point where it can isolate the costs,
                      savings, and efficiencies resulting specifically from joint basing, excluding
                      non-joint basing actions and using reliable data. Without this information,
                      OSD is not in a position to know to what extent DOD has made progress
                      toward achieving the joint basing objectives, and will be unable to
                      evaluate whether to continue or expand joint basing. Additionally, a lack
                      of specificity and clarity within the joint base common standards, the long
                      process to review and adjust the standards, and the absence of
                      consistently reported data hinder the standards’ effectiveness as a
                      common framework or tool for managing support services. Without a
                      consistent interpretation and reported use of the standards, OSD and the
                      joint bases cannot ensure that they are receiving reliable and comparable
                      data on the level of support services provided, and as a result will not
                      have information necessary to make informed resource allocation
                      decisions so that joint base services are delivered consistently. While
                      OSD and the joint bases can identify challenges in implementing the joint
                      bases, OSD has no common strategy to ensure that the joint bases
                      routinely share information with each other on best practices and lessons
                      learned in order to resolve common challenges. Finally, OSD has not
                      provided guidance to ensure that bases provide consistent information to
                      new joint base personnel to better inform them as to procedures for
                      obtaining support services on joint bases. Without taking further steps to
                      address these issues, DOD will likely miss opportunities to achieve cost
                      savings and efficiencies, provide consistent levels of support services,
                      and to work together to resolve common challenges and reduce
                      duplication of effort across the joint bases.


                      To enable DOD to achieve cost savings and efficiencies and to track its
Recommendations for   progress toward achieving these goals, we recommend that the Secretary
Executive Action      of Defense direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations
                      and Environment) to take the following two actions:

                      Develop and implement a plan that provides measurable goals linked to
                      achieving savings and efficiencies at the joint bases and provide
                      guidance to the joint bases that directs them to identify opportunities for
                      cost savings and efficiencies. DOD should at a minimum consider the
                      items identified in its recommendation to the 2005 BRAC Commission as
                      areas for possible savings and efficiencies, including

                      •   paring unnecessary management personnel,
                      •   consolidating and optimizing contract requirements,


                      Page 25                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
•   establishing a single space management authority to achieve greater
    utilization of facilities, and
•   reducing the number of base support vehicles and equipment.

Continue to develop and refine the Cost Performance and Visibility
Framework in order to
• eliminate data reliability problems,
• facilitate comparisons of joint basing costs with the cost of operating
   the separate installations prior to implementing joint basing, and
• identify and isolate the costs and savings resulting from actions and
   initiatives specifically resulting from joint basing and excluding DOD-
   or service-wide actions and initiatives.

To improve DOD’s ability to provide a common framework for the
management and planning of support services at the joint bases, we
recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Deputy Under
Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to take the following
two actions:

•   Direct the joint bases to compile a list of those common standards in
    all functional areas needing clarification and the reasons why they
    need to be clarified, including those standards still being provided or
    reported on according to service-specific standards rather than the
    common standard.

•   Amend the OSD joint standards review process to prioritize review
    and revision of those standards most in need of clarification within this
    list.

To increase opportunities for the joint bases to obtain greater efficiencies
in developing common solutions to common challenges and reduce
duplication of efforts, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct
the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to
take the following two actions:

•   Develop a common strategy to expand routine communication
    between the joint bases, and between the joint bases and OSD, to
    encourage joint resolution of common challenges and sharing of best
    practices and lessons learned.

•   Develop guidance to ensure all the joint bases develop and provide
    training materials to incoming personnel on how installation services
    are provided on joint bases.



Page 26                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                     In its comments on a draft of this report, DOD stated that it does not
Agency Comments      agree that at this point in the joint bases’ development that the
and Our Evaluation   department should establish savings targets because they would be
                     premature and arbitrary. DOD partially concurred with the remainder of
                     our recommendations; however, in most instances, DOD did not identify
                     what, if any, actions the department plans to take to implement the
                     recommendations. DOD’s comments are reprinted in their entirety in
                     appendix IV.



                     DOD did not concur with our first recommendation, to develop and
                     implement a plan to provide measurable goals linked to achieving savings
                     and efficiencies at the joint bases and provide guidance to the joint bases
                     directing them to identify the savings and efficiencies. In its comments,
                     DOD said such targets would restrict the authority of local commanders to
                     manage the merger of the formerly standalone bases into joint bases.
                     DOD also stated that while savings targets may be appropriate in the
                     future, imposing savings goals would restrict the authority of the joint
                     base commanders and burden them while implementing new
                     organizational structures, which would unnecessarily risk negative
                     impacts to mission support when operational effectiveness of the bases is
                     paramount. Moreover, DOD stated that the department should continue
                     its approach of being patient with obtaining savings and efficiencies at
                     joint bases because this approach is working. DOD cited two cost-savings
                     examples through personnel cuts achieved in fiscal years 2012 and 2013:
                     the Air Force reduced civilian positions for all the joint bases for which it is
                     the lead, and the Navy chose to not fill all of its civilian vacancies. Finally,
                     DOD stated that the creation of the joint bases from separate installations
                     is equivalent to the mergers of corporations with very different financial
                     systems, management structures, operating procedures, and cultural
                     differences. DOD has decided it is important to empower each joint base
                     commander to design, implement, and adapt cost efficient and effective
                     approaches to their unique situations while adopting new and cross-
                     cutting business practices, thereby making them incubators of innovation.
                     Therefore, DOD has decided to allow for an extended transition period
                     and defer near-term savings.

                     We acknowledge that establishing joint basing is a complex undertaking,
                     but DOD’s current position of taking a patient approach and deliberately
                     deferring near-term savings contradicts the position it took when
                     requesting the BRAC Commission to approve its joint basing
                     recommendation. Specifically, in its justification to the Commission



                     Page 27                                               GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
(published in our report as appendix II), DOD stated that joint basing
would produce savings exceeding the cost of implementation
immediately. Moreover, as our report clearly points out, DOD projected
20-year net present value savings of over $2.3 billion although the current
20-year net present value savings estimate is now about $249 million—a
decrease of about 90 percent. DOD also asserted that it is achieving
savings, as shown by the Air Force and Navy manpower reductions at the
joint bases. However, these cuts were not the result of a purposeful effort
to pare unnecessary management personnel due to the implementation
of joint basing. Air Force and Navy documents and interviews with
officials from these services indicate that the joint bases’ memoranda of
agreement show increases in budget and civilian manpower required as a
result of joint basing. Any reductions in civilian positions at the joint bases
through attrition or leaving unfilled positions open are attributable to
general service-wide initiatives and reductions and not joint basing
efficiencies. 19 The Secretary of Defense’s justification to the BRAC
Commission requesting approval of the joint basing recommendation
stated that “there is a significant opportunity to reduce duplication of
efforts with resulting reductions of overall manpower and facilities
requirements capable of generating savings.” We continue to believe that
DOD’s justification for joint basing—the realization of savings—is
attainable by developing guidance and encouraging appropriate
practices, goals, and time frames. Therefore, we continue to believe our
recommendation is warranted.



DOD partially concurred with our second recommendation, to continue to
develop and refine the Cost Performance and Visibility Framework in
order to (1) eliminate data reliability problems, (2) facilitate comparisons
of joint basing costs with the cost of operating the separate installations
prior to implementing joint basing, and (3) identify and isolate the costs
and savings resulting from actions and initiatives specifically resulting
from joint basing and excluding DOD or service-wide actions and
initiatives. DOD stated that its Cost Performance and Visibility Framework
already provides a method to collect quarterly data on performance
towards the Common Output Level Standards, annual data on personnel



19
   For a more detailed discussion of this point, see our comments regarding the second
recommendation on DOD’s ability to isolate the effects of joint basing from other DOD initiatives or
budget cuts.




Page 28                                                               GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
assigned, and funds obligated for each joint base. However, DOD also
acknowledged that there were inconsistencies in the current data
captured in the Framework and that DOD is working through and
improving its data reliability. DOD stated that it invested considerable
effort to clarify this data and expected to have sufficient data to begin
assessing joint base efficiencies by the end of fiscal year 2012. It stated
that then it would be able to compare the current fiscal year financial and
performance data to the baseline and previous year’s obligations. DOD
also stated that it could perform an additional analysis to compare the
joint bases’ baseline data with the costs of operating the separate
installations prior to implementing joint basing because this information is
included in annex U of each joint base’s memorandum of agreement.
However, DOD also acknowledged that this comparison still would not be
able to identify cost savings resulting solely from joint basing and
asserted that it is impractical to isolate and distinguish joint basing cost
savings from the savings that result from DOD- or service-wide actions
using the data contained in its Framework. Furthermore, DOD pointed out
that it did not believe that accounting systems are designed to track
savings, rather they are designed to track expenses and disbursements,
which DOD stated in its comments is what we concluded in a 1997
report. 20

We also see that the Cost Performance and Visibility Framework
represents a good start on development of a system to measure joint
basing performance. However, as it was being used at the time of our
review, and as we clearly state in the report, it was not adequate to
reliably identify any savings. First, DOD’s proposed analysis of
comparing current operating costs to the baseline would not result in an
accurate assessment of savings from the joint bases because DOD has
included in the baseline the higher costs of implementing the higher joint
basing standards, such as expected increases in personnel and higher
utility rates. The baseline would not accurately reflect the cost of the
standalone bases prior to the joint basing initiative. Therefore, while this
analysis might show some bases spending less than the inflated baseline,
it would not show if they are spending less than what they spent as
standalone bases. Second, DOD’s proposed analysis to compare the
current cost of joint basing documented in its framework to the cost of
standalone bases as captured in annex U of the memoranda of


20
  Military Bases: Lessons Learned From Prior Base Closure Rounds. GAO/NSIAD-97-
151. Washington, D.C.: July 25, 1997.




Page 29                                                GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
agreement as currently planned would also produce inaccurate results.
As DOD stated, this analysis would not be able to isolate any savings
specific to joint basing since some savings have been made that are not
directly attributable to joint basing such as the general service personnel
reductions. Third, the memoranda of agreement annexes U do not
consistently and clearly show the costs of operations of each base prior to
joint basing and the respective transfers of funds between the services,
rendering them unreliable for this analysis. Finally, we agree with DOD’s
statement that our 1997 report concluded that the department’s
accounting systems are not designed to track savings. However, it is for
this reason that we also concluded in our 1997 report that “the absence of
efforts to update projected savings indicates the need for additional
guidance and emphasis from DOD on accumulating and updating savings
data on a comprehensive and consistent basis,” and we so recommended
it then. As we believed in 1997 and continue to believe, DOD needs to
improve its ability to update savings from BRAC recommendations.
Refinements to the Cost Performance and Visibility Framework would
position the department to effectively measure savings from joint basing,
and therefore the need for our recommendation remains.

DOD partially concurred with our third and fourth recommendations—to
compile a comprehensive list of common standards needing clarification
and to prioritize the review and potentially revise those standards within
that list, respectively—and stated that there is already a quarterly
feedback process on the joint base common standards and an annual
review process that incorporates input from the joint bases. Specifically,
DOD stated that standards may need changing as priorities change and
missions evolve, but that the current process strikes an appropriate
balance between the analytical burden of repeated reviews with the need
for clarity and refinement. DOD also stated that it believes that reviewing
all the standards simultaneously does not allow for the depth of analysis
required to make sound decisions. DOD suggested that GAO should
conduct a qualitative assessment of the standards because our findings
on the need to revise its process for reviewing and clarifying its standards
appear to be based on an anecdotal assessment.

While we agree with DOD that the standards need to be continually
reviewed and adjusted as priorities and missions change, we found ample
evidence that the individuals that report on the joint bases’ ability to meet
the current standards believe some of the standards need clarification
now, and that in many instances, these officials believe it is unclear what
some of the standards are measuring. It is important to note that nothing
in our recommendation requires DOD to review all the standards



Page 30                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
simultaneously. To the contrary, our recommendation specifically states
that DOD should compile a list of standards needing clarification. In fact,
because DOD has not issued any guidance to prioritize the standards,
joint bases continue to report on and provide resources toward reporting
on all the standards whether they are problematic or not. Lastly, DOD
stated that they believed our evidence was based on an anecdotal
assessment. We disagree. We conducted a comprehensive qualitative
review of over 59,359 comments entered into the Cost Performance and
Visibility Framework from fiscal years 2009 through 2011 and categorized
them into broad themes of issues raised by the bases in reference to the
Common Output Level Standards. As shown in figure 2 of our report, the
need for clarity of the Common Output Level Standards was raised over
200 times by the joint bases during this timeframe. However, because
DOD’s data is not adequate to permit us to specifically identify what types
of clarification problems were being encountered by the bases, we
supplemented our analyses with follow-up interviews to provide anecdotal
examples that added some context to our analyses and described a few
of the types of problems encountered. Moreover, our data suggested that
DOD’s quarterly process had proven ineffective at addressing the need
for clarification and review of problematic standards since some
standards continue to be problematic despite the quarterly reviews which
DOD asserts are working. For these reasons, we continue to believe that
improvements are needed in DOD’s current process for reviewing and
clarifying the common standards to address the bases reported concerns.

DOD partially concurred with our fifth recommendation, to develop a
common strategy that expands routine communication between the joint
bases, and between the joint bases and OSD, to encourage joint
resolution of common challenges and sharing of best practices and
lessons learned. DOD stated that it believed there are already
mechanisms in place to facilitate routine communication between the joint
bases, as well as between OSD and the joint bases, and that it is
increasing those opportunities. DOD listed the various opportunities it has
for sharing joint basing information, all of which we are aware:

•   The military services have routine communication with the joint bases
    and are the lead to encourage joint resolution of common challenges
    and sharing of best practices.
•   DOD chairs a working group twice a month where headquarters
    service representatives offer information and ideas generated during
    internal service meetings with joint bases.
•   Best practices from the bases are shared in a periodic newsletter.




Page 31                                            GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
•   OSD and the military services conduct joint base site visits each year
    to capture any opportunities for improvement and hosts an annual
    management review meeting each year with the joint base
    commanders.
While we recognize that DOD has facilitated communication of lessons
learned and best practices, as we note in our report, because different
services have the lead role in providing support services at different joint
bases, best practices are not necessarily shared with all the bases across
the services. DOD’s joint basing policy states that problems at the joint
bases should be identified and addressed at the lowest possible level,
which can include only officials at any given joint base. Thus, the majority
of these issues may not be elevated to the working group but may still
occur at multiple joint bases leading to duplication of effort in resolving
common problems experienced in multiple locations. Moreover, those
issues that are not elevated to the working group may never be relayed to
other joint bases since there is no explicit policy or process in place to do
so. The newsletters, which we discuss in our report, only convey a limited
number of best practices, and exclude problems and solutions identified
in the course of implementing joint basing. Additionally, contributions to
the newsletters are not required and are not always comprehensive.
Moreover, the contributions tend to highlight best practices which are
good but exclude unsolved challenges, which if shared, could result in the
bases jointly resolving problems or elevating them when needed to more
senior leadership. As a result, some joint base officials told us that they
found the newsletters to be of limited usefulness. For these reasons, we
continue to believe that the joint bases could benefit from routine
communication that allows them to commonly and routinely share
identified challenges and possible solutions, rather than having such
communication occur only sporadically or be filtered through the higher
levels of the oversight structure put in place by OSD.

DOD partially concurred with our sixth recommendation, to develop
guidance that would ensure all joint bases develop and provide training
materials to incoming joint base personnel. DOD stated that the
department will ensure each of the services is providing training materials
to incoming personnel; however, joint base commanders need flexibility to
tailor training to the needs of their installation. We agree that the
commander of each joint base needs the flexibility to provide joint base-
specific training. The intent of our recommendation is that in addition to
establishing a requirement that joint bases develop training guidance and
ensure training occurs at each base, OSD’s guidance should encourage
the sharing of training materials across bases to reduce duplication of
effort, promote commonality where appropriate, and provide a means of


Page 32                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
potentially sharing best practices. Our recommendation was not intended
to require standardized training at each location. Therefore, we continue
to believe that OSD-level guidance for joint bases to develop and provide
training to incoming personnel is necessary to help the joint bases
facilitate the provision of services on the bases and may provide a way to
reduce duplication of effort and more effectively share information.



We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
committees; the Secretary of Defense; the Deputy Under Secretary of
Defense (Installations and Environment); the Secretaries of the Army,
Navy, and Air Force and the Commandant of the Marine Corps; the
Director, Office of Management and Budget; and other interested parties.
In addition, the report is available at no charge on the GAO website at
http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
me at (202) 512-4523 or leporeb@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices
of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last
page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to this report
are listed in appendix V.




Brian J. Lepore
Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 33                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
List of Addressees

The Honorable Carl Levin
Chairman
The Honorable John McCain
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman
Chairman
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate

The Honorable Claire McCaskill
Chairman
Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight
Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs
United States Senate

The Honorable Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Chairman
The Honorable Adam Smith
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
House of Representatives




Page 34                                       GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




             In order to assess the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD)
             developed and implemented a plan to achieve cost savings and
             efficiencies at the joint bases and tracked the costs, savings, and
             efficiencies resulting from joint basing, we analyzed DOD guidance
             related to joint base implementation, specifically looking for any measures
             or reporting processes on efficiencies and cost savings. We also
             reviewed our prior findings on key practices and implementation steps for
             mergers and organizational transformations. 1 We interviewed DOD
             officials at the service headquarters and the Office of the Secretary of
             Defense (OSD) to obtain information about cost savings, joint basing
             budget data, and guidance related to cost savings and efficiencies. We
             also interviewed joint basing officials at three joint bases and obtained
             answers to written questions from the remaining nine joint bases that we
             did not visit in person to obtain information on actual cost savings and
             efficiencies achieved and guidance and communication related to cost
             savings and efficiencies. We selected a nonprobability sample of three
             site visit locations based the following factors: (1) we chose to visit one
             base where each military department (Army, Air Force and Navy) had the
             lead responsibility for providing installation support, (2) we considered
             geographic diversity, (3) we chose to visit at least one base that we did
             not visit for our 2009 joint basing report, (4) we selected at least one joint
             base from each of the two phases of joint base implementation, and
             (5) we chose joint bases where the installations that had been combined
             into the joint base were directly adjacent to each other. Based on these
             factors, we chose to visit Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Joint Base
             Lewis-McChord, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

             To evaluate the extent to which joint base common standards have
             provided a common framework for defining and reporting installation
             support services, we reviewed DOD policy and guidance related to the
             common standards; the standards themselves, including both functional
             areas and specific standards; and federal internal control standards and




             1
               GAO, Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and
             Organizational Transformations, GAO-03-669 (Washington, D.C.: July 2, 2003), and
             Highlights of a GAO Forum: Mergers and Transformation: Lessons Learned for a
             Department of Homeland Security and Other Federal Agencies, GAO-03-293SP
             (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 14, 2002).




             Page 35                                                   GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




key elements of successful performance measures. 2 We obtained and
reviewed the joint bases’ reporting on the joint base common standards
for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. To determine the degree to which the
standards were achieved, we analyzed the data to determine how many
standards were met, not met, or determined to be not applicable. We
conducted a content analysis of the comments accompanying the
standards reporting from fiscal years 2010 to 2011 to identifying concerns
regarding the various standards. In conducting this content analysis, we
reviewed comments accompanying all reported standards, including
those reported as met, not met, and not applicable. Using this analysis,
we identified the most frequent reasons the joint bases provided for not
meeting the standards, as well as challenges the joint bases faced in
implementing and reporting on various standards. To conduct the content
analysis, two analysts individually coded all comments accompanying the
standards reporting into one of the 17 categories listed in table 2. After
the comments were coded, a third analyst adjudicated any differences
between the coding of the first two analysts.




2
  Key attributes of successful performance measures were applied in GAO, Tax
Administration: IRS Needs to Further Refine Its Tax Filing Season Performance
Measures, GAO-03-143 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 22, 2002), and according to this report,
these attributes were based largely on previously established criteria found in prior GAO
reports, review of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, and other
performance literature; GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government,
GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999).




Page 36                                                      GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
                                             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




Table 2: Comment Categories and Definitions

Comment category                                 Category definition
Subcategory: does not meet
1. Cannot meet.                                  The comment stated that the base or office would not be able to meet the common
                                                 standard even with additional resources.
2. Does not meet due to personnel.               The comment stated that the base or office did not meet the common standard due to
                                                 lack of availability of military or civilian personnel.
3. Does not meet due to resources.               The comment stated the base or office did not meet the common standard due to the
                                                 lack of necessary facilities, equipment, or funding.
4. Does not meet due to failure to report.       The comment stated the base or office did not measure the common standard or did
                                                 not have sufficient data to determine if the standard was met.
5. Does not meet due to contract-related         The comment stated the current contract does not include functions necessary to meet
resourcing issues.                               the common standard or that there was no contract in place to provide the service.
6. Does not meet, corrective actions being       The comment stated that the standard was not met, but provided information on how
taken.                                           they would achieve it and an estimated achievement date.
7. Does not meet, following different            The comment stated the common standard was not met because they were following
standard.                                        a different service standard or best practice.
                         a
8. Fell short of standard.                       A specific reason was not identified in the comment as to why the common standard
                                                 was not met.
Subcategory: meets
9. Meets per subject matter expert.              The comment stated that a subject matter expert determined that the standard was
                                                 met.
10. Meets but with concerns.                     The comment stated the base or office met the standard but only as a result of
                                                 additional manpower or resources.
Subcategory: comments that applied to both meets and does not meet
11. Function not required/met during time        The comment stated the base was not required to provide the function, could have
frame.                                           provided the function but it was not requested.
12. No comment.                                  No comment was provided.
                                   b
13. Need standard clarification.                 The comment stated the base or office believed the standard should be changed or
                                                 clarified for better measurement.
Subcategory: data discrepancies
14. Should be marked as meets.                   The common standard was marked as does not meet; however, the comment
                                                 indicated the standard was met.
15. Should be marked as does not meet.           The common standard was marked as meets or not applicable when the comment
                                                 provided stated they did not meet the standard.
16. Should be marked as not applicable.          The common standard was marked as meets or does not meet, but it is not a service
                                                 that the base or office provides.
17. Comment does not agree with status           Analysts could not determine how the comment should be categorized.
designation.
                                             Source: GAO analysis.
                                             a
                                              We did not include the category “fell short of standard” in our list of the most common reasons joint
                                             bases reported for not meeting a common standard (see fig. 2 in this report) because this category of
                                             comment did not include an explanation of why the standard was not met.




                                             Page 37                                                              GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




b
 Although this category of comment accompanied standards that were reported as both meets and
does not meet, it was one of the top eight categories of comments associated with standards reported
as not being met (see fig. 2 in this report).


To assess the reliability of the common standards reporting, we analyzed
the process by which joint bases review the standards and OSD reviews
and changes them. To do this, we analyzed the comments accompanying
the joint base standards reporting to identify problems raised by joint
bases with the clarity of the common standards. We also obtained
information on the clarity and usefulness of the joint base common
standards and the reporting process through site visits to the three joint
bases and answers to written questions from the other nine bases. In
addition, we analyzed the reliability of the common standards reporting
data for completeness and accuracy. As discussed in this report, we
identified problems with the clarity of some standards and the consistency
of the way in which the standards are reported. However, we found the
data to be sufficiently reliable for the purposes of reporting the number of
standards joint bases identified as being met or not met. We also found
the data to be sufficiently reliable for the purposes of reporting on the
results of our analysis of the comments accompanying the standards
reporting.

To evaluate OSD’s process for identifying and addressing implementation
challenges, we reviewed DOD policy and guidance for joint base
oversight and management as well as federal standards for internal
control. Through interviews with OSD officials, select joint base officials,
and answers we obtained to our written questions to joint bases, we
identified how OSD and joint bases used the formal joint base
management structure, joint base common standards reporting, and
formal review meetings between joint base commanders and OSD to
obtain information on challenges faced at the joint bases. To identify
challenges faced by the joint bases, we analyzed comments
accompanying the joint bases’ reporting on common standards and
interviewed officials at the three joint bases we visited and obtained
answers to written questions from the other nine joint bases regarding the
types of challenges they faced in implementing joint basing. To determine
the extent to which OSD and joint bases were able to address common
challenges, we interviewed joint base officials and reviewed their answers
to our written questions.

We conducted this performance audit from August 2011 to November
2012 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to
obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for


Page 38                                                             GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe
that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
and conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 39                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix II: BRAC Commission Recommendation
               Appendix II: BRAC Commission
               Recommendation on Joint Basing (Including
               Elements of DOD’s Recommendation to the

on Joint Basing (Including Elements of DOD’s
               Commission)



Recommendation to the Commission)




               Page 40                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix II: BRAC Commission
Recommendation on Joint Basing (Including
Elements of DOD’s Recommendation to the
Commission)




Page 41                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix II: BRAC Commission
Recommendation on Joint Basing (Including
Elements of DOD’s Recommendation to the
Commission)




Page 42                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix II: BRAC Commission
Recommendation on Joint Basing (Including
Elements of DOD’s Recommendation to the
Commission)




Page 43                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix III: Joint Basing Installation
                                           Appendix III: Joint Basing Installation Support
                                           Functional Areas



Support Functional Areas

                                           The joint base common standards developed by the DOD for use by the
                                           joint bases in managing and reporting on installation support services are
                                           grouped into 48 functional areas of installation support. Table 3 shows the
                                           48 functional areas.

Table 3: Functional Areas of Installation Support

Airfield operations                                       Child and youth programs
Command management                                        Installation public affairs
Legal support                                             Financial management
Management analysis                                       Procurement operations
Installation safety                                       Installation chaplain ministries
Installation history and museums                          Laundry and dry cleaning
Food services                                             Custodial services
Emergency management                                      Environmental compliance
Environmental conservation                                Environmental pollution prevention
Environmental restoration                                 Facilities demolition
Facilities new footprint                                  Facilities restoration and modernization
Facilities sustainment                                    Family housing services
Fire protection and emergency services                    Grounds maintenance and landscaping
Information technology services management                Lodging
Military and family support programs                      Military personnel services
Morale, welfare, and recreation                           Pavement clearance services
Pest control services                                     Port services
Readiness engineering services                            Real property management and engineering services
Real property leases                                      Refuse collection and disposal
Installation law enforcement operations                   Installation physical security protection and services
Installation protection support                           Small arms range management
Supply storage and distribution (SSD-munitions)           Supply storage and distribution (non-munitions)/logistics services
Base support vehicles and equipment                       Installation movement
Unaccompanied personnel housing services                  Utilities
                                           Source: DOD.




                                           Page 44                                                         GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix IV: Comments from the
             Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
             of Defense



Department of Defense




             Page 45                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 46                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 47                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




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Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




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Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




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Appendix IV: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 51                                     GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Appendix V: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Appendix V: GAO Contact and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Brian J. Lepore, (202) 512-4523 or leporeb@gao.gov
GAO Contact
                  In addition to the contact named above, Laura Durland, Assistant
Staff             Director; Jameal Addison; Grace Coleman; Chaneé Gaskin; Simon
Acknowledgments   Hirschfeld; Gina Hoffman; Charles Perdue; Michael Silver; and Michael
                  Willems made key contributions to this report.




                  Page 52                                         GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Related GAO Products
             Related GAO Products




             Military Base Realignments and Closures: Key Factors Contributing to
             BRAC 2005 Results. GAO-12-513T. Washington, D.C.: March 8, 2012.

             Excess Facilities: DOD Needs More Complete Information and a Strategy
             to Guide Its Future Disposal Efforts. GAO-11-814. Washington, D.C.:
             September 19, 2011.

             Military Base Realignments and Closures: Review of the Iowa and Milan
             Army Ammunition Plants. GAO-11-488R. Washington. D.C.: April 1,
             2011.

             GAO’s 2011 High-Risk Series: An Update. GAO-11-394T. Washington,
             D.C.: February 17, 2011.

             High-Risk Series: An Update. GAO-11-278. Washington, D.C.: February
             2011.

             Defense Infrastructure: High-Level Federal Interagency Coordination Is
             Warranted to Address Transportation Needs beyond the Scope of the
             Defense Access Roads Program. GAO-11-165. Washington, D.C.:
             January 26, 2011.

             Military Base Realignments and Closures: DOD Is Taking Steps to
             Mitigate Challenges but Is Not Fully Reporting Some Additional Costs.
             GAO-10-725R. Washington, D.C.: July 21, 2010.

             Defense Infrastructure: Army Needs to Improve Its Facility Planning
             Systems to Better Support Installations Experiencing Significant Growth.
             GAO-10-602. Washington, D.C.: June 24, 2010.

             Military Base Realignments and Closures: Estimated Costs Have
             Increased While Savings Estimates Have Decreased Since Fiscal Year
             2009. GAO-10-98R. Washington, D.C.: November 13, 2009.

             Military Base Realignments and Closures: Transportation Impact of
             Personnel Increases Will Be Significant, but Long-Term Costs Are
             Uncertain and Direct Federal Support Is Limited. GAO-09-750.
             Washington, D.C.: September 9, 2009.

             Military Base Realignments and Closures: DOD Needs to Update Savings
             Estimates and Continue to Address Challenges in Consolidating Supply-
             Related Functions at Depot Maintenance Locations. GAO-09-703.
             Washington, D.C.: July 9, 2009.


             Page 53                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Related GAO Products




Defense Infrastructure: DOD Needs to Periodically Review Support
Standards and Costs at Joint Bases and Better Inform Congress of
Facility Sustainment Funding Uses. GAO-09-336. Washington, D.C.:
March 30, 2009.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: DOD Faces Challenges in
Implementing Recommendations on Time and Is Not Consistently
Updating Savings Estimates. GAO-09-217. Washington, D.C.:
January 30, 2009.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Army Is Developing Plans to
Transfer Functions from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to Aberdeen
Proving Ground, Maryland, but Challenges Remain. GAO-08-1010R.
Washington, D.C.: August 13, 2008.

Defense Infrastructure: High-Level Leadership Needed to Help
Communities Address Challenges Caused by DOD-Related Growth.
GAO-08-665. Washington, D.C.: June 17, 2008.

Defense Infrastructure: DOD Funding for Infrastructure and Road
Improvements Surrounding Growth Installations. GAO-08-602R.
Washington, D.C.: April 1, 2008.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Higher Costs and Lower
Savings Projected for Implementing Two Key Supply-Related BRAC
Recommendations. GAO-08-315. Washington, D.C.: March 5, 2008.

Defense Infrastructure: Realignment of Air Force Special Operations
Command Units to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. GAO-08-244R.
Washington, D.C.: January 18, 2008.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Estimated Costs Have
Increased and Estimated Savings Have Decreased. GAO-08-341T.
Washington, D.C.: December 12, 2007.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Cost Estimates Have
Increased and Are Likely to Continue to Evolve. GAO-08-159.
Washington, D.C.: December 11, 2007.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Impact of Terminating,
Relocating, or Outsourcing the Services of the Armed Forces Institute of
Pathology. GAO-08-20. Washington, D.C.: November 9, 2007.



Page 54                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Related GAO Products




Military Base Realignments and Closures: Transfer of Supply, Storage,
and Distribution Functions from Military Services to Defense Logistics
Agency. GAO-08-121R. Washington, D.C.: October 26, 2007.

Defense Infrastructure: Challenges Increase Risks for Providing Timely
Infrastructure Support for Army Installations Expecting Substantial
Personnel Growth. GAO-07-1007. Washington, D.C.: September 13,
2007.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Plan Needed to Monitor
Challenges for Completing More Than 100 Armed Forces Reserve
Centers. GAO-07-1040. Washington, D.C.: September 13, 2007.

Military Base Realignments and Closures: Observations Related to the
2005 Round. GAO-07-1203R. Washington, D.C.: September 6, 2007.

Military Base Closures: Projected Savings from Fleet Readiness Centers
Are Likely Overstated and Actions Needed to Track Actual Savings and
Overcome Certain Challenges. GAO-07-304. Washington, D.C.: June 29,
2007.

Military Base Closures: Management Strategy Needed to Mitigate
Challenges and Improve Communication to Help Ensure Timely
Implementation of Air National Guard Recommendations. GAO-07-641.
Washington, D.C.: May 16, 2007.

Military Base Closures: Opportunities Exist to Improve Environmental
Cleanup Cost Reporting and to Expedite Transfer of Unneeded Property.
GAO-07-166. Washington, D.C.: January 30, 2007.

Military Bases: Observations on DOD’s 2005 Base Realignment and
Closure Selection Process and Recommendations. GAO-05-905.
Washington, D.C.: July 18, 2005.

Military Bases: Analysis of DOD’s 2005 Selection Process and
Recommendations for Base Closures and Realignments. GAO-05-785.
Washington, D.C.: July 1, 2005.

Military Base Closures: Observations on Prior and Current BRAC
Rounds. GAO-05-614. Washington, D.C.: May 3, 2005.

Military Base Closures: Updated Status of Prior Base Realignments and
Closures. GAO-05-138. Washington, D.C.: January 13, 2005.


Page 55                                          GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
Related GAO Products




Military Base Closures: Assessment of DOD’s 2004 Report on the Need
for a Base Realignment and Closure Round. GAO-04-760. Washington,
D.C.: May 17, 2004.

Military Base Closures: Observations on Preparations for the Upcoming
Base Realignment and Closure Round. GAO-04-558T. Washington, D.C.:
March 25, 2004.

Defense Infrastructure: Long-term Challenges in Managing the Military
Construction Program. GAO-04-288. Washington, D.C.: February 24,
2004.

Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and
Organizational Transformations. GAO-03-669. Washington, D.C.: July 2,
2003.

Military Base Closures: Better Planning Needed for Future Reserve
Enclaves. GAO-03-723. Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2003.

Defense Infrastructure: Changes in Funding Priorities and Management
Processes Needed to Improve Condition and Reduce Costs of Guard and
Reserve Facilities. GAO-03-516. Washington, D.C.: May 15, 2003.

Defense Infrastructure: Changes in Funding Priorities and Strategic
Planning Needed to Improve the Condition of Military Facilities.
GAO-03-274. Washington, D.C.: February 19, 2003.

Defense Infrastructure: Greater Management Emphasis Needed to
Increase the Services’ Use of Expanded Leasing Authority. GAO-02-475.
Washington, D.C.: June 6, 2002.

Military Base Closures: Progress in Completing Actions from Prior
Realignments and Closures. GAO-02-433. Washington, D.C.: April 5,
2002.

Military Base Closures: Overview of Economic Recovery, Property
Transfer, and Environmental Cleanup. GAO-01-1054T. Washington, D.C.:
August 28, 2001.

Military Base Closures: DOD’s Updated Net Savings Estimate Remains
Substantial. GAO-01-971. Washington, D.C.: July 31, 2001.




Page 56                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
           Related GAO Products




           Military Base Closures: Lack of Data Inhibits Cost-Effectiveness of
           Analyses of Privatization-in Place Initiatives. GAO/NSIAD-00-23.
           Washington, D.C.: December 20, 1999.

           Military Bases: Status of Prior Base Realignment and Closure Rounds.
           GAO/NSIAD-99-36. Washington, D.C.: December 11, 1998.

           Military Bases: Review of DOD’s 1998 Report on Base Realignment and
           Closure. GAO/NSIAD-99-17. Washington, D.C.: November 13, 1998.

           Navy Depot Maintenance: Privatizing Louisville Operations in Place Is Not
           Cost-Effective. GAO/NSIAD-97-52. Washington, D.C.: July 31, 1997.

           Military Bases: Lessons Learned From Prior Base Closure Rounds.
           GAO/NSIAD-97-151. Washington, D.C.: July 25, 1997.

           Military Base Closures: Reducing High Costs of Environmental Cleanup
           Requires Difficult Choices. GAO/NSIAD-96-172. Washington, D.C.:
           September 5, 1996.

           Military Bases: Closure and Realignment Savings Are Significant, but Not
           Easily Quantified. GAO/NSIAD-96-67. Washington, D.C.: April 8, 1996.

           Military Bases: Analysis of DOD’s 1995 Process and Recommendations
           for Closure and Realignment. GAO/NSIAD-95-133. Washington, D.C.:
           April 14, 1995.

           Military Bases: Analysis of DOD’s Recommendations and Selection
           Process for Closures and Realignments. GAO/NSIAD-93-173.
           Washington, D.C.: April 15, 1993.

           Military Bases: Observations on the Analyses Supporting Proposed
           Closures and Realignments. GAO/NSIAD-91-224. Washington, D.C.:
           May 15, 1991.

           Military Bases: An Analysis of the Commission’s Realignment and
           Closure Recommendations. GAO/NSIAD-90-42. Washington, D.C.:
           November 29, 1989.




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           Page 57                                           GAO-13-134 DOD Joint Bases
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