Military spends too much on officer housing, study says

Report comes amid efforts to improve enlisted quarters

February 20, 2000|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department has been spending too much money on housing for high-ranking officers, according to the inspector general.

The Army, Navy and Air Force have repeatedly surpassed the annual spending limits imposed by Congress for the maintenance and repair of officer housing in the past three years, the inspector general said in a new report.

Even when Congress gave the services larger budgets for special repairs, they exceeded the allowed amounts, the report said. Other violations noted in the report include the repair and maintenance of residences with money set aside for other uses.

The report, released at the end of last month, comes when the Defense Department is seeking more money to improve the housing of its rank-and-file service members. Poor housing is one of the major reasons people leave the military.

The Clinton administration proposed this month increasing the Pentagon's housing budget by $3 billion over five years.

Although the amounts spent on housing for admirals and generals are small, the report said the military failed to comply with congressional instructions and department policies. Congress has been concerned about the issue since May, when the Navy and the Air Force reported improper repairs on several large homes.

Pub Date: 2/20/00

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