Key Issues > Duplication & Cost Savings > GAO's Action Tracker > Department of Defense Commissaries
defense icon, source: [West Covina, California] Progressive Management, 2008

Defense: Department of Defense Commissaries

By managing its commissaries more efficiently, the Department of Defense could position itself to better achieve its cost savings target of $2 billion.

Action:

As DOD assesses potential cost savings under the Defense Resale Business Optimization Board or through other cost savings initiatives identified, the Secretary of Defense, with assistance as necessary from the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Commissary Agency, the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Chief Executive Officer of the Navy Exchange Service Command, and the Marine Corps Exchange, should develop a plan with assumptions, a methodology, cost estimates, and specific time frames for achieving alternative reductions to appropriations, to support DOD’s efforts to ensure that DOD’s cost savings target is feasible and accurate.

Progress:

No executive action taken. As of August 2017, DOD had not taken action to develop a plan with assumptions, a methodology, cost estimates, and specific time frames for achieving alternative reductions to appropriations, as GAO recommended in November 2016. Developing such a plan would support DOD's efforts to ensure that DOD's cost savings target is feasible and accurate. 

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense

Action:

To improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs related to product management and services that support commissary operations, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Commissary Agency to develop a plan with objectives, goals, and timeframes on how it will improve efficiency in product management, such as offering products based on store sales or customer demand.

Progress:

As of August 2017, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) had started to implement the Category Performance Improvement process, which could help improve efficiencies by offering products based on store sales and customer demand, as GAO recommended in March 2017. In addition, DeCA began offering commissary brand items, which improved efficiencies in inventory and stocking products. By making these improvements, DeCA could improve operational efficiencies. However, DeCA is in the early stages of implementing these actions and it is unclear to what extent these efficiencies have helped reduce costs related to product management.  

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense

Action:

To improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs related to product management and services that support commissary operations, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Commissary Agency to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses to guide decisions on implementing the most cost-effective option as stocking and custodial services contracts are renewed, and on choosing product distribution options.

Progress:

No executive action taken. As of August 2017, the Defense Commissary Agency had not taken action to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses to guide decisions on implementing the most cost-effective option as stocking and custodial services contracts are renewed, and on choosing product distribution options, as GAO recommended in March 2017.  

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense
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    • Brian J. Lepore
    • Director, Defense Capabilities and Management
    • leporeb@gao.gov
    • (202) 512-4523