Senators press DoD for info on contractor overpayments

Monday - 8/15/2011, 4:27pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

A bipartisan group of senators is urging the Defense Department to release information on contractor overpayments after the department's Inspector General found deficiencies in DoD's debt collection practices.

DoD has more than $200 million in outstanding debt from contractors. As of mid-2009, defense contractors owed the department $3.1 billion in debt, found the IG report, published on July 15.

The IG stated some debts were not properly recorded, missing tax identification numbers or supporting documentation.

In a time of budget cutbacks, it is crucial for DoD to "get its fiscal house in order," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management.

Carper is one of four senators who signed a letter today requesting the Defense Accounting and Finance Service release debt collection records, including overpayments to contractors, for fiscal years 2005 to 2010.

"In light of the current budget crisis, we simply cannot afford to let hundreds of millions of dollars owed to the federal government go unpaid because of poor financial management practices at DoD," said Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass), ranking member of the subcommittee, in a statement.

"Adding insult to injury, the department's poor bookkeeping can mean that delinquent contractors who owe the government money might actually still be receiving payments from the government," Carper said.

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) also signed the letter.

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