DoD Obstructs Congress

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and ranking member Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) are requesting government auditors, when reviewing the Base Realignment and Closure Commission process, to ensure that the Department of Defense used accurate information before making its recommendations.

In a letter to Government Accountability Office Comptroller General David Walker, the two senators, whose states contain military bases slated for closure, also expressed dismay that DoD has not provided Congress with all the information used by the Defense Secretary to make his recommendations, as required by law.

"DoD's failure to disclose this information to Congress obstructs the ability of congress to undertake a substantive review of the Secretary's recommendations, a process that is expressly contemplated by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act," the senators wrote, in a letter dated May 25, 2005. "DoD has been on notice of the need to disclose such data since the current base closure round was authorized, and has no excuse for the delay in releasing the data."

In their letter, the senators outlined nine issues they believe GAO must review in detail. Among them are ensuring that:

"The GAO can help us know, quite bluntly, if the facts back up the Defense Department's decisions, and, if not, why not?" the senators stated in conclusion.