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FCW : July 15, 2014
BY RICHARD E. COHEN July 15, 2014 FCW.COM 19 INKING WHAT CONGRESS' WATCHDOGS ARE When the Senate Homeland Security and Gov- ernmental Affairs Committee recently summoned Defense Department of cials to explain their nearly two-decade delay in complying with a law requiring Cabinet departments to produce audit- able nancial statements, Chairman Tom Carper left no doubt who wore the white hats. "The department s nances have been on the Government Accountability Of ce s high-risk list since 1995," the typically mild-mannered Delaware Democrat lectured top civilian managers from the Pentagon and the three largest military services. "Just last month, [GAO] released a report show- ing that the department s antiquated inventory systems, often containing incomplete and inac- curate information, have led to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases." Oklahoma s Tom Coburn, the panel s ranking Republican, ramped up the barrage against the Pentagon for its "cultural bias toward the status quo" and embraced GAO s criticism of DOD s continuing nancial management problems. Then, like a dissatis ed teacher demanding that recalcitrant students stay after school, Coburn urged the panel of Pentagon witnesses to remain at the hearing after they had nished their testimony to listen to the nal witness: a senior GAO of cial who has spearheaded reports that are critical of Pentagon operations. Conced- ing that GAO analysts "appear to be a thorn," Coburn bluntly told DOD of cials they might learn something. Carper reinforced Coburn s request while promising that the hearing would not be pleasant. MEET THE LEADERS BEHIND ALL THOSE AUDITS GAO:
June 15, 2014
July 30, 2014