WASHINGTON, DC (June 2, 2022) — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the non-partisan, independent arm of the U.S. Congress, today released its report examining the U.S. Air Force’s process and methodology for identifying the preferred location of the U.S. Space Command headquarters.

GAO assessed the Air Force’s process against 21 Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) best practices, which are grouped into four characteristics of a high-quality AOA process—comprehensive, well-documented, unbiased, and credible. GAO found that the Air Force’s process did not substantially meet 3 of these 4 characteristics, leading to significant shortfalls in its transparency and credibility.

Air Force officials told GAO they did not use the AOA best practices because the practices were not required or relevant to basing decisions. However, GAO believes that the AOA best practices are relevant and, if effectively implemented, can help substantiate such basing decisions, increase transparency, and avoid the presence or appearance of bias.

For questions, please contact Elizabeth Field, Director of Defense Capabilities and Management for GAO, at FieldE1@gao.gov or 202-512-2775 , or Chuck Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs for GAO, at YoungC1@gao.gov or 202-512-3823.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.