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Military missteps helped swell 2005 BRAC costs by 67 percent

The relocation of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to Fort Belvoir, Va., cost $1.1 billion more than estimated because planners failed to include costs for essential support facilities, IT equipment and furnishings.

A review of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure found that the estimated cost of $21 billion to implement the program had ballooned to $35 billion by the end of fiscal 2011, The Washington Post reported.

The Government Accountability Office's review attributed most of the cost overruns to errors in planning and calculation. Examples cited by the Post include:

The consolidation of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency locations to Fort Belvoir, Va., which grew from $1.1 billion to $2.6 billion, largely because "the NGA did not foresee that it would need essential support facilities, including a new technology center and data-storage warehouse of 200,000 square feet" and did not include costs for information technology equipment and software or furnishings for the new buildings.

The relocation of the Military Academy Preparatory School, which ran 449 percent over initial cost estimates after officials decided to add facilities including three NCAA sports fields and a dining facility that seats 300.

A typo in a request for a storage facility at Georgia’s Warner Robins Strategic Distribution Platform -- the request was for 20,000 feet instead of 200,000 -- that caused the project to cost $347 million more than estimated.

The Pentagon is seeking another round of base closures in fiscal 2013, but lawmakers have vehemently opposed the plan.

The GAO report noted that the 2005 BRAC closures have generated an average savings of $4 billion a year.

Source: The Washington Post
 

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