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Senators Propose Pentagon Audit Legislation

Nine senators are proposing a bill that aims to create incentives and accountability standards for auditing the Defense Department, Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va) office announced Thursday.

Manchin, Tom Coburn (Okla.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are cosponsors of the Audit the Pentagon Act.

According to Manchin, the Pentagon has never fully complied with several financial management laws.

“When the Pentagon can’t tell Congress, or itself, how it is spending money good programs face cuts along with wasteful programs, which is the situation in which we find ourselves today under sequestration,” Coburn said in a release.

This bill would grant the Pentagon more authority to reprogram funds without congressional approval, but notification would still be required.

The Pentagon will also be required tell Congress which financial reports are obsolete, according to Manchin’s office.

The proposed legislation would install three accountability mechanisms, including transferring of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to the Treasury if the Pentagon fails an audit.

A chief management officer would be hired to oversee the Pentagon’s financial and IT issues.

The third accountability mechanism would freeze new weapon systems at the research and development phase until the Pentagon passes an audit.

Systems can progress if the Pentagon justifies them as filling an urgent national security need, Manchin’s office said.

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2 comments

  1. This article fails to mention the almost unbelievable fact that THE PENTAGON HAS NOT BEEN AUDITED BY OMB FOR OVER 10 YEARS. Think about it. If this were the situation for Social Security or Medicare, i.e. that no one knows where the money is going or how much is going where, both Dems and Repubs would be yammering from dawn until dusk, and then some.

    The Pentagon is a sacred cow which is bleeding the country into poverty. The Congress doesn’t need another bill to demand an audit of the Pentagon.

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