Champion of Change

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DOD Needs to Improve Business Processes to Ensure Patron Benefits and Achieve Operational Efficiencies

Defense Commissaries:

DOD Needs to Improve Business Processes to Ensure Patron Benefits and Achieve Operational Efficiencies

GAO-17-80: Published: Mar 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2017.

Full Report Link:  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-80

Commissary changes are coming but won’t hurt the benefit, official says

Defense officials will make changes to the commissary system, but any change must meet two criteria: it must sustain the commissary benefit, and it must save money, said the official leading efforts to find taxpayer savings in the department’s resale operations.

Sen Inhofe visits Altus AFB commissary, privatization in the works

ALTUS AFB, OK (KSWO) –U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe visited the commissary at Altus Air Force Base to meet with families and employees Friday, May 13, a day after an act to start privatizing commissaries passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Defense Spending Bill Clears Committee with Key Pro-Worker Provisions

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Next year’s Defense spending bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee with many pro-worker provisions endorsed by the American Federation of Government Employees, including an amendment to reverse steep cuts in travel expenses for civilian employees who spend months away from home supporting our warfighters.

Commissary hours would be cut under draft budget proposal

If last year is any indication, lawmakers may not be receptive to suggestions about cutting the commissary budget to such a severe degree. In their fiscal 2015 budget request, DoD proposed cutting $200 million in DeCA funding, the first phase of a proposed three-year plan to slash the DeCA budget by $1 billion. In the end, lawmakers restored that $200 million to the budget.

Commissary privatization test in Senate defense bill

Lawmakers have taken a first step toward privatizing commissaries, approving legislation that would require a pilot program to test the concept of private companies operating at least five commissaries at large installations.

“Pentagon Budget Proposal to Slash Subsidies to DECA Commissaries”

Grocery stores for military families, also called commissaries, will be able to offer fewer savings over the next three years as the Department of Defense would slash most of the taxpayer subsidies that prop up these stores, according to the plan released Monday.

“DoD seeks plan to shut all U.S. commissaries”

Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan to close all U.S. commissaries — about three-fourths of its stores, according to a resale community source familiar with details of a meeting with representatives of the Joint Staff and Pentagon comptroller’s office.

“DoD Requests Plan to Close Stateside Commissaries”

Tasked by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to find ways to preserve force readiness amid sharply falling budgets, his comptroller and the Joint Staff have asked the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) for a plan to close all stateside base grocery stores, say military resale community sources.

“Pentagon Proposes Plan to Gut Commissary’s Budget”

The Defense Department is discussing a $1 billion cut over the next three years to the commissary’s budget in a move that could lead to a widespread closure of stores, Pentagon and industry officials said.

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“Congressional Budget Office recommends consolidation of commissaries and exchanges”

If a recent debate over U.S. military commissaries is any indication, the future of the government-subsidized grocery stores is an emotional issue. Many leaped to the commissaries’ defense this week, and some worried their Commissary was effectively getting ready to hold a going-out-of-business sale. You can fault some of the coverage, that may have overly simplified a complex and nuanced issue. The Military Times reported on “a budget-cutting plan to shut down commissaries.” Government Executive reported on projected savings “if the services did away with their own grocery stores.” And, mea culpa, Coupons in the News reported that “the government could save billions by shutting down military-run commissaries.”

“Lobbyists oppose commissary proposal”

As congressional inaction on the debt crisis deepens the threat of indiscriminate axe-wielding on defense programs next January, advocates for base grocery stores hope to hang a “hands off” sign on military commissaries and their $1.3 billion annual appropriation.

“Backlash on commissary closure plan exemplifies DOD’s dilemma”

Motion sensors and razor-wire coils ring the ammunition depot on this vast Marine Corps base. Sentries stand watch in the lobby of the headquarters complex. Military police officers patrol the barracks every few hours. But no building here boasts the defenses of the giant, government-run supermarket, whose bright, wide aisles are stocked with seemingly every brand of every food product available in America — Heinz ketchup, Oscar Mayer bacon, Lay’s chips — all sold at close to wholesale prices.

“Commissaries to Run as Business, Not Benefit”

Behind the plan to slash taxpayer support of commissaries is a concept Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his senior advisors have embraced that base grocery stores should operate as a business and not a benefit.

This shift is candidly revealed in budget documents released Tuesday and in a legislative packet for implementing the funding cuts drafted by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).

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