Guam – The U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO] has released yet another study on Guam readiness for the military buildup and it concludes that more work is needed to upgrade the island’s infrastructure, despite the downsized buildup plan.
“Some investments have been made to improve Guam’s public infrastructure” states the report, “but many deficiencies and regulatory compliance issues continue to exist.”
Among the report’s conclusions are that “the reliability, capacity, and age of much of the public infrastructure—especially the island’s utilities—indicate a need for additional upgrades to meet current and future demands related to the realignment..”
The GAO notes that the Guam Waterworks Authority is facing “issues complying with federal regulations” and it points out that other public service sectors, “such as the fire and police departments, are experiencing staffing and other shortages that affect their ability to serve Guam’s current population.”
The report notes that historically, the Department of Defense has only provided technical assistance and planning support for communities effected by military basing decisions. But the GAO says “in the case of Guam … some challenges related to limited government revenues and debt capacity has been identified as affecting” Guam’s ability to pay for upgrades on its own.
The GAO recommends that DoD “revalidate public infrastructure needs on Guam based on the revised realignment size and ensure best practices are used to develop future cost estimates.”