Panel will try to fix DoD financial management

Wednesday - 7/13/2011, 7:33am EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

Taking a similar approach to the one it used to try to fix the Defense Department's acquisition process, the House Armed Services Committee now is focusing on the Pentagon's financial management problems.

The committee announced yesterday Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rob Andrews (D-NJ) will once again lead a panel to make recommendations to fix DoD long-standing problems in tracking its money.

Conway and Andrews also led the acquisition reform effort, which ended with the passage of the IMPROVE Act in 2010 as part of the 2011 DoD Authorization Act. The law attempts to address long-standing acquisition problems in DoD, including the acquisition workforce, military financial management, expanding the number of vendors who do business with DoD and ensuring against waste, fraud and abuse.

DoD has never received a clean audit and the Government Accountability Office found in December the weaknesses in the military's financial management have been "pervasive and longstanding," and improvements are needed in two areas: budget information and mission-critical assets.

DoD accounts for about half of all federal acquisition spending and has a budget of $708 billion in 2011.

Conaway and Andrews will look at several issues:

  • The extent to which financial management systems deliver timely, reliable, and useful information for decision making and reporting;
  • The ability of DoD to identify efficiencies and waste utilizing financial management systems;
  • The proficiency of financial management personnel in financial and budgetary accounting in order to manage defense resources;
  • The effectiveness of the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) plan.

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