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Air Force Changes Housing Policy

October 25, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Air Force said Monday it no longer will use money earmarked for day-to-day military operations to repair and renovate two 1930s-era homes at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

The decision was prompted by an Air Force Audit Agency report that questioned the need for _ and method of payment for _ some renovation work last year on the 10,846-square-foot Carlton House, home of the academy superintendent, as well as future work planned for Carlton and the 11,553-square-foot Otis House, which serves as the residence of the academy’s commandant of cadets.

``Renovations and modifications to the Carlton House did not always appear warranted,″ the audit said, citing as an example work done last year on its restaurant-style kitchen.

The audit also questioned the propriety of using Air Force operations and maintenance funds to pay for the work instead of money earmarked for housing repairs. If housing repair funds had been used, the work would have been subject to review by Congress. Several members of Congress said it appeared the Air Force had intended to avoid congressional scrutiny.

The auditors faulted the Air Force for not monitoring such spending closely enough.

The Air Force previously had defended the renovations as necessary to maintain historic homes that are also used heavily for public functions. The audit was requested by Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters.

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