Sen. Carper: Auditing Deficiencies Make It Nearly ‘Impossible’ To Know How DOD Spends Its Money

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) today sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — who’s been battling against military spending cuts — urging him to address DOD’s arcane auditing system as part of the process of scaling down the Pentagon’s bloated budget, which has nearly doubled in the last decade. Carper listed off a series of easily identifiable savings from waste and abuse, including $720 million in late fees for shipping container leases, billions in cost overruns for weapons systems, and at least $200 million in delinquent debts owed. “DOD’s finances have been on GAO’s high-risk list since 1995,” Carper noted, adding, “in part due to pervasive management deficiencies that would never be tolerated in a private sector business and, in fact, aren’t tolerated even in most federal agencies.” Carper said that “these deficiencies make it difficult, if not impossible, to know for certain how and when the DOD spends its money.”