The Reagan administration has rejected a federal advisory committee's recommendation that a government corporation be created to run the national defense stockpile.
According to sources, the National Strategic Materials and Minerals Program Advisory Committee, set up in 1984 by then-Interior Secretary William P. Clark, sent secret recommendations to the National Security Council in November, calling for the establishment of the corporation.
The committee's proposal was first publicly revealed in a February speech by J. Wayne Kulig, an assistant commissioner of the General Services Administration for stockpile management. In March, Robert N. Broadbent, assistant interior secretary for water and science, talked briefly about the idea before the House Interior and Insular Affairs subcommittee on mining and natural resources.
But officials in the Office of Management and Budget, who have reviewed the idea, advised the panel that it is inappropriate, Steven R. Tupper, an OMB spokesman, said. "The president would lose control over the $11 billion in assets we have in the stockpile if they were given to a quasi-governmental unit," he said. "That recommendation is moot, the issue is dead."
The GSA now manages the stockpile. Critics in Congress and the private sector have contended that the GSA has tended to "buy high and sell low" when adding or removing certain raw materials from the stockpile.