Ernst, Grassley Lead DOD Letter Calling for Long-Overdue Clean Audit of Department

“Twenty-five years later, DOD is the only agency yet to comply. This inability to account for expenditures does a disservice to the American taxpayer and threatens our national security.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a bipartisan group of senators including Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling for the Department of Defense (DOD) to comply with mandatory audits, which are long-overdue by the department.  

The senators highlighted that twenty-five years after the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990 was enacted, “the DOD is the only agency yet to comply. This inability to account for expenditures does a disservice to the American taxpayer and threatens our national security.”

The bipartisan group emphasized that “At a time when military readiness and modernization require continued investments, DOD must reassure Congress and the American people that those investments will be properly managed. Clean audits inherently provide controls that guard against fraud, waste and abuse. They also enable more efficient and effective spending on critical programs and bring the Department in compliance with federal law.”

The Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act reinforced the 1990 CFO Act and set a September 30, 2017, audit compliance deadline for the Department of Defense. The senators said a critical step toward meeting the deadline is fixing the “inadequate accounting systems that appear to make obtaining a clean audit unachievable.”

Click here to view the letter. The full text of the letter is as follows:

 

April 7, 2017

 

The Honorable James Mattis

Secretary of Defense

Department of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301

 

Dear Secretary Mattis:

 

We write to direct your attention to the long overdue and failing Department of Defense (DOD) audit effort.  The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 mandated that all federal departments produce unqualified annual financial statements by 1992.  Twenty-five years later, DOD is the only agency yet to comply.  This inability to account for expenditures does a disservice to the American taxpayer and threatens our national security.

At a time when military readiness and modernization require continued investments, DOD must reassure Congress and the American people that those investments will be properly managed.  Clean audits inherently provide controls that guard against fraud, waste and abuse. They also enable more efficient and effective spending on critical programs and bring the Department in compliance with federal law.  During your confirmation hearing, you committed to running a more efficient and transparent Department and to cooperate with Congress. This gives us confidence that you will succeed where your predecessors have failed.

The September 30, 2017, deadline for audit compliance, established by the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, is rapidly approaching. We request the Department of Defense work diligently to fix the inadequate accounting systems that appear to make obtaining a clean audit unachievable, and that you are appropriately prepared to present a clean audit to the American people.

 

Sincerely,

                                               

Charles E. Grassley                                                            Joni K. Ernst

United States Senator                                                         United States Senator

 

Elizabeth Warren                                                                 Richard Blumenthal 

United States Senator                                                         United States Senator

 

Ron Johnson                                                                      Ted Cruz

United States Senator                                                         United States Senator

 

Deb Fischer                                                                         Mazie K. Hirono 

United States Senator                                                         United States Senator