November 15, the Pentagon announced that it completed its fourth consecutive
annual audit, and received a fourth consecutive failing opinion.
Pentagon paints merely conducting the audit as a success, despite the fact that
it’s been a requirement under the law for the last 30 years for agencies to
conduct - and pass - an annual audit.
Department points to other signs of progress, such as the downgrading of one
material weakness, and the closure of some 450 adverse findings.
the fact remains that the DOD is unable to accurately account for the billions
of taxpayer dollars it spends each year.
for the DOD is crucial to our national security.
and women who volunteer to wear the uniform and defend our country deserve to
be well-paid and well-equipped.
light of the rising threats around the globe, it is more crucial than ever that
not one dollar is lost to fraud, waste or abuse.
key underlying problem to the continued failed audits is the financial
management systems used by the military departments.
DOD uses hundreds of different systems that are outdated and unable to
communicate with each other.
cannot generate reliable transaction data, and are not auditable.
are inadequate internal controls in financial management systems, presenting an
environment ripe for waste and fraud.
internal controls at the transaction level, military leaders can’t know how
much things cost.
tried to work with leaders at the department on this for years.
time and again, I’ve been disappointed.
Defense Department’s inability or unwillingness to make necessary and overdue
changes is unacceptable.
filed an amendment to the NDAA this year to address the root cause of the
Pentagon’s failed audits.
underlying bill provides for an independent commission tasked with examining
the budgeting and planning processes at the Pentagon.
amendment will require that commission to also make recommendations on bringing
the financial management systems up to snuff.
DOD will never be able to get a clean audit opinion while these systems remain
unfixed, and the DOD has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to deploy
an accounting system capable of capturing payment transactions and generating
glad that my amendment has been included in the substitute amendment and urge
my colleagues to support this effort through to final passage to finally make real
progress toward getting to a clean opinion.
accountability and military readiness are not mutually exclusive.
not an either/or scenario.
a clean bill of fiscal health would strengthen military readiness and boost
support for necessary increases to defense spending in Congress and among the