Due to budget constraints in fiscal year 2013 (FY 13), certain maintenance services may be reduced or cut at commands throughout Naval District Washington. Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) released a facilities services message Aug. 29 outlining these service level reductions. In it, CNIC explained what Navy shore installations and their tenant commands in NDW may need to enforce in order to comply with the FY 13 budget.
"The services that are expected to change are in the areas of custodial, grounds maintenance, pest control and street sweeping," said Capt. Ken Branch, NDW regional engineer and commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington. "Custodial will see reductions in restroom cleaning frequency, elimination of desk-side [trash] pickup and reduced floor care frequencies. Grounds maintenance will see larger changes in grass heights between cuttings, minimal irrigation to inhibit growth, but enough to prevent loss. Some areas may be allowed to return to a 'natural' state."
Branch added that high-sanitation areas will still receive preventative treatment, and control of nuisance pests will be in response to customer complaints. These actions, he explained, will be cost avoidance measures in the long run.
"Approximately $1.2 million in costs will be avoided in order to offset an equal amount of reduced funding for these services," said Branch.
Branch also said that these changes will have some impact on the employees of NDW.
"Personnel working within the NDW area of responsibility will see slight changes of appearance outside their spaces due to the changes in grounds keeping, while those personnel whose services are provided by CNIC will see other minimal change inside due to the longer frequencies between cleanings and a need to take their desk-side waste container to a central collection point."
Some facilities and installations are exempt to the changes, such as child care facilities, for sanitation reasons, while joint bases, some educational institutions and non-Navy tenants are exempt because of their separate funding sources.
"Joint Base funding is defined by DoD Supplemental Guidance for Implementing and Operating a Joint Base and DoDI 4001.01B and is not subject to change solely by the Navy," explained Branch. "Advanced education review board institutions like the U.S. Naval Academy operate under a separate agreement with CNIC and are funded accordingly. Child development centers are mandated to operate at janitorial service levels that are more stringent than a typical administrative office space and will continue to be supported at that level to maintain their certification."
While the changes will affect some personnel in NDW, it is hoped that the impact upon them will be minimal.
"It's going to be a change for some people," said Cmdr. Thomas McLemore, Naval Support Activity Washington public works officer. "But it's really about setting up the expectation as to what people will have to do themselves. The question becomes, 'How do you get creative with the funding available while still providing the best service?' And to that I say we will do everything we can to make the base good."
Though personnel are expected to do their part in promoting efficiency and maximizing effectiveness of resources, the reduction in contract work will not result in a transfer of these duties to Sailors and civilian personnel.
"The military personnel inside our area of responsibility are assigned here with their own missions to accomplish," said Branch. "It is important that these personnel remain focused on their mission to support their command."
These changes are set to start taking place in October, although specific timelines and details will be subject to the actual dates that contracts can be efficiently changed, and those will be announced at a later date.