DOD Activities Reoccupied Some Leased Space Vacated after Last BRAC Round GAO

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR DOD organizations reoccupied about 1.1 million square feet of leased space in the Washington, D.C., region that had been vacated following the 2005 round of base closures, offsetting some of the savings achieved through BRAC, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a new report.Thirty-one recommendations approved by the 2005 BRAC Commission called for DOD activities to relocate from leased space, particularly in the Washington area, to government-owned space in a move to save money and because existing leased facilities did not meet anti-terrorism/force protection standards. The department told the BRAC Commission it planned to vacate about 12 million square feet of leased space.GAO, however, found that 12 buildings with 27 tenants managed by the Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) are using 1.1 million square feet of leased administrative office space previously vacated by other DOD organizations as a result of BRAC 2005. To explain why the space was subsequently reoccupied, WHS officials cited several organizations with new space requirements — such as the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization — and others that needed additional space due to changes in mission requirements and the consolidation of satellite locations — including the Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Defense Health Agency.Officials also told the congressional watchdog agency that new risk-based security standards provide more flexible anti-terrorism/force protection guidelines, allowing some of the leased space that had been vacated to be reoccupied.In its comments, DOD said GAO’s finding leaves a misperception of its commitment to efficient real property management. Prudent management allows officials to consider leased space to accommodate changing demands and new missions when adequate DOD-owned space is not available, the department said.DOD also disputed GAO’s conclusion that reoccupying some of the leased space reverses savings attributed to the BRAC recommendations as those actions were taken in response to new mission needs and lease consolidation opportunities.last_img

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