• Industry Expresses Interest in Operating Commissaries

    Industry Expresses Interest in Operating Commissaries0

    Pentagon officials are mulling the next steps in their exploration of whether the operation of military groceries could be privatized, after a number of companies expressed interest in taking over some or all aspects of the commissary system. “We have a significant response. It’s enough of a response that we think that a real evaluation of what we’ve got is needed, but it’s going to be a thoughtful and considered process,” Peter Levine, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told the Military Times. “The thing we need to do is assess the information we’ve gotten, determine whether it’s enough to proceed to the next step,” Levine said. The next step presumably would be a formal request for proposals for a possible contract, according to the story …

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  • Exchanges Propose Running Commissary System

    Exchanges Propose Running Commissary System0

    The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has proposed placing management of military groceries under its control as a way to streamline operations and slash the $1.4 billion federal subsidy supporting commissaries. Commercial grocery retailers would operate commissaries at larger installations under contract with AAFES, while the exchanges would directly operate smaller commissaries, including those overseas …

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  • Senate Votes to Stop Commissary Privatization Pilot

    Senate Votes to Stop Commissary Privatization Pilot1

    The Senate on Tuesday voted 70-26 to remove language from the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill allowing the Defense Department to privatize commissaries at five major installations until a study to assess the costs and benefits of privatization is completed. The amendment rekindles a similar effort on the Senate floor last year to postpone the launch of a pilot privatization initiative at military grocery stores …

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  • Commissary System Unlikely to Achieve ‘Budget Neutrality,’ DOD Finds

    Commissary System Unlikely to Achieve ‘Budget Neutrality,’ DOD Finds0

    There is no way to operate military grocery stores while preserving the commissary savings benefit for military families without a significant taxpayer subsidy, according to a Pentagon report submitted to Congress. DOD concluded that it could eliminate only a small piece of the $1.4 billion annual subsidy provided by Congress to operate the commissary system. Congress requested the report to identify ways to achieve “budget neutrality” for the commissary and exchange systems by Oct. 1, 2018, without trimming commissary and exchange benefits, reported Military Times. The department believes it could achieve only $300 million in annual savings beginning Oct. 1, 2018 …

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  • Pentagon Takes First Step in Commissary Privatization

    Pentagon Takes First Step in Commissary Privatization0

    The Defense Department shortly will issue a request for information from companies with the capability to take over the operation of all or part of the military commissary system. This initial step by DOD to better assess the feasibility of privatizing commissaries comes at the request of Congress. “This is a request for information only. It is important to emphasize that NO decision has been made to privatize commissaries and the department is NOT soliciting actual proposals for privatization,” said DOD spokesman Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson …

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  • Authorization Bill Would Expand Testing of New Commissary Pricing Policy

    Authorization Bill Would Expand Testing of New Commissary Pricing Policy1

    Military grocery stores would introduce variable pricing and private label products in an effort to slash the federal subsidy supporting commissaries, under the portion of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill marked up by the House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee on Wednesday. The two changes are intended to increase commissaries’ profit margin, but the legislation aims to protect the commissary benefit for military families, which has been estimated at providing shoppers up to a 30 percent savings. DOD already had been planning on testing these new options this summer, as it had been authorized in last year’s defense policy bill …

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