Ayotte supports Pentagon audit bill
WASHINGTON _ U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte announced Friday she is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at requiring the Department of Defense to undergo a financial audit.
The “Audit the Pentagon Act,” introduced this week by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-OK, and Joe Manchin, D-WV, “includes incentives and enforcement mechanisms to encourage the Pentagon to achieve audit readiness,” according to a statement from Ayotte’s office.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan investigative news organization, under the bill, military branches that fail to meet a 2017 deadline to complete audits of their expenditures would have the development of weapons systems blocked before reaching the production and deployment stage.
The Center said the bill would also reward agencies for meeting deadlines by giving them more control over their own budgets, including the ability to shift between $30 million and $60 million annually between accounts to pay for more weapons procurement, operations and maintenance, research or personnel, all without congressional approval.
“With our $16 trillion national debt, we must scrutinize spending at every federal agency _ including the Pentagon,” Ayotte said. “Every wasted defense dollar is a dollar we deprive our warfighters who protect our country.
“Furthermore, if defense sequestration cuts take effect in January, it will be even more critical for the Department of Defense to have reliable financial data.”
According to Ayotte’s office, since arriving in the Senate, she “has pushed for an expedited and full audit of the Pentagon, believing that to distinguish between necessary defense budget cuts and cuts that would harm our troops and damage military readiness, the Defense Department must have reliable financial data and effective business processes and systems in place.”
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