Defense

September 17, 2012

Leaders to committee: Air Force on track for 2014 auditability deadline

Leaders from each armed service and the Defense Department testified Sept. 14 to the House Armed Services Committee about the DOD’s efforts to become auditable by 2014.

The original auditable date was 2017, but Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta accelerated that goal in late 2011 by setting a DOD-wide 2014 deadline for audit readiness.

“We remain fully committed to meeting our audit goals, and we’re reasonably confident that we will meet those goals and the timeframes that have been established by us,” said Robert Hale, undersecretary of defense (comptroller).

“The Air Force is faithfully committed to maintaining the public’s trust in our stewardship of taxpayer dollars and developing a culture that values efficiency in resource stewardship,” said Marilyn Thomas, Air Force principal deputy assistant secretary for financial management and comptroller. “Due to the commitment of leadership and to the dedication of professionals across the Air Force, we have made significant progress today.”

Hale said meeting these goals is important for many factors, but the most important reason is to maintain public confidence.

“I don’t think we’ll ever convince the American public, and I don’t think we’ll convince Congress, that we’re good stewards of their funds unless we can pass an audit test,” said Hale.

He pointed out that he was cautiously optimistic, knowing that each service faces several challenges to meet the auditability deadline.

The Air Force still faces challenges including the need to improve legacy systems in order to achieve the accelerated timeline, educating Airmen on how they contribute to audit readiness, and building the skills and experience required to achieve and maintain audit readiness in all resource management specialties, Thomas said.

Another hurdle facing all the services, Hale said, is the difficulties involved in getting a beginning balance for DOD programs such as aircraft and ship acquisitions, which have been ongoing for more than a few years.

“Some of these transactions and beginning balances can go back ten years or more,” said Hale. The plan moving forward is to begin with this year’s current resources and build better documentation going forward. But he emphasized the fact that even though DOD financial statements have not been audited in the past, “we still know where we’re spending taxpayer dollars. If that weren’t the case, you’d see massive problems with missed payments and mission failures.”

Texas Rep. Michael Conaway asked Hale and the service members to convey the committee’s heartfelt thanks to all the people out there doing the “heavy-lifting” to get the DOD auditable.

“I, for one, know how hard it is (and) how difficult it is,” said Conaway. He said the scope of this project is “simply stunning once you begin to look at it.”

“Thank you so very much for what you have done already, and (we’re) looking forward to success of getting this thing done,” said the representative.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OĆ­Shea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika

AOC integral to Red Flag 14-3 operations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika Members of the Air and Space Operations Center work during Red Flag 14-3 operations July 22, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Armed with personnel from intelligence and communicati...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>