WASHINGTON, DC– Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman today issued a subpoena to obtain additional documents from the Department of Defense related to the base closure process. The Department has been slow to release this information, which is vital for communities challenging closures before the BRAC Commission. Federal law requires DOD to release all documents related to the base closure process.
While some information has been released and declassified, the pace at which the information has been released has been far too slow. “DOD has had more than two years to prepare for this process,” said the Senators. “The law is clear about the Department’s obligations, and further foot-dragging cannot be tolerated. It is unfair to the affected communities that need this information to prepare their case,” the Senators added. The Senators pointed out field hearings in Missouri and Utah have been postponed due to the Department’s failure to produce documents. In addition, field hearings are scheduled in Alaska next week and in New England one month from today.
Senators Collins and Lieberman further said, “After our repeated requests, the Department of Defense over the weekend released more information related to its base closure and realignment list. Department officials informed us that they are in the process of declassifying additional information that was previously made available only in classified form, which is of no use in public hearings. While we were hopeful that this release of information was a sign that the Department is finally complying with our request as well as federal law, the reality is that BRAC field hearings are quickly approaching. Yet, communities that support bases still do not have access to much of the vital information they need to prepare for these important hearings.”
“The Department of Defense has failed to comply with its statutory obligations to release all BRAC-related documentation. It is crucial to the integrity of the BRAC process that the Department make available these documents immediately,” added the Senators.