DoD requires its components to collect and maintain information about real property assets but its central database contains inaccurate and incomplete information, GAO has said.
The report was done in response to congressional concern about management of the DoD portfolio which includes some 568,000 facilities valued at some $1 trillion, plus 27.2 million acres of land.
GAO said that DoD components do not consistently record when they acquire, change or dispose of real property, nor correct discrepancies when they identify them. GAO reviewed records of 120 facilities with identified discrepancies in fiscal year 2015 and found that half of those discrepancies remained two years later.
“DoD’s efforts to prepare for an upcoming financial audit have helped identify issues and improve accuracy of some data. However, if DoD does not require the military services to fully monitor recording processes and implement corrective actions to resolve data discrepancies, the department will continue to have incomplete and inaccurate real property data and unreliable information,” the report said.
Issues GAO identified included unfilled positions, the lack of a department-wide approach to improving data, and the absence of a plan to complete an effort to improve access to data. With improvements, DoD “may miss the opportunity to reasonably ensure that the information needed for effective decision making by DoD, Congress, and other federal agencies is available to meet real property accountability and reporting objectives.”