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US Military Spends More Than $4Bln Per Year Transferring Personnel

© AFP 2023 / STAFF / The Pentagon building in Washington, DC
The Pentagon building in Washington, DC - Sputnik International
A Government Accountability Office report reveals that the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion per year just moving service personnel to new locations and jobs around the world.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Defense spends more than $4 billion per year just moving service personnel to new locations and jobs around the world, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.

"In fiscal year 2014, [Department of Defense] obligated $4.3 billion for approximately 650,000 service member permanent change of station (PCS) moves," the report, issued on Wednesday, stated.

The Department has experienced an overall increase in permanent change of station per-move costs since 2001, the report continued.

"GAO's analysis of [Department of Defense] budget data shows that average PCS per-move costs, after accounting for inflation, increased by 28 percent from fiscal years 2001 to 2014," it said.

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The problem has been made worse as the US armed forces have failed to accurately report the moving costs in sufficient detail to the Department of Defense, the GAO found.

"GAO's review of the services' annual budget materials found that the services have not reported complete and consistent PCS data, thereby limiting the extent to which [Department of Defense] can identify and evaluate changes occurring within the PCS program," the report said.

The GAO noted that the armed services did not completely or consistently report budget data on non-temporary storage costs, temporary lodging expenses, or tour extension payments.

However, the Department of Defense was also responsible for surveying the program inadequately, the report added.

"[The Department of Defense] does not periodically evaluate whether the PCS program is efficiently supporting requirements to relocate personnel," it said.

The Department is therefore not in a position to identify and evaluate changes that may be occurring over time in PCS per-move costs, or to take steps to manage and control cost growth, the GAO concluded.

PCS involves moving military personnel to new locations and is a key tool used by the military services to fill assignments both in the United States and overseas, the report acknowledged.

The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends the taxpayers’ money.

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