BRAC Results for 2005 Reflect Wishfull Thinking

So the savings from BRAC 2005 are not what Estimates indicated due to flawed estimating. Surprise! Having participated in every BRAC planning process since 1988, I am not! The basis for estimates used are never quite what one would expect in business – and that is an effort by the DOD to be “fair”. Perhaps they should make an effort to be “Good” or “Great” vs. fair.

According to an article in Government Executive by Charles S. Clark, the Government Accountability Office reported that “the 2005 BRAC may have achieved recurring annual savings, but flawed cost estimates produced a doubling of anticipated expenses”. In that regard, a doubled expense side of the ledger is not all that new. And it usually results from “after action” changes in the ground rules. In this case the COBRA modeled results were reasonable. But the methods for new construction and cost avoidance on vacated leases was lacking. Always has been, always will be. Why should a department that can’t properly estimate costs for Military Construction Projects when they are minor by comparison, get any better at it when they are planning huge construction and relocation five years out?? Have you seen the Army “campus” in Huntsville for Army Material Command. I wish my state funded college in California had been half that beautiful. For more details on the issues with BRAC check out the article in Government Executive. Also, hold your breath and count to ten before you think of authorizing another BRAC for the massive cuts taken in DOD. They will be infrastructure rich and unit poor. So how about next time just close things you don’t need, stand down the units, and be done. No relocation, no new construction, just BCC – Base Closure Commission. If you have to relocate, move on down the list….. Just saying….

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