The government's Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to review a Pentagon plan to move thousands of Defense Department finance and accounting jobs.
Issued by the Pentagon in May, the proposal would have consolidated 26 finance and accounting offices into three locations in Indianapolis, Denver and Columbus, Ohio. Commission analysts told officials that the Pentagon had only analyzed costs and savings for the one option, and the nine commissioners asked for the ability to consider more scenarios and wanted to know the reasons why three offices in those three particular cities would be considered optimal. Many of the offices that would be closed are located in areas already hardhit by past base closures.
Under the law establishing the commission, a simple majority of the nine-member panel is needed to remove any of the 23 finance and accounting sites recommended for closure from the list. But at least seven votes would be needed to close or substantially shrink bases not included on the Pentagon's original list.
In a July 1 letter, the commission asked the Pentagon to defend 12 major recommendations in the most recent BRAC report, among them the consolidation of the offices. The panel will hold a final series of votes in late August, before sending its recommendations to President Bush by Sept. 8.
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