05.14.15

Bipartisan NDAA Amendment Seeks to Audit the Pentagon

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lee joined Congressman Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) in introducing an amendment to the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – H.R. 1735 - to advance auditability of the Pentagon.

With the passage of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, all government agencies were required to achieve audit-readiness. Twenty-five years later, the Pentagon remains unauditable.

“Unauditable is unacceptable. It has been more than two decades since the Pentagon was required to undergo an audit and the Pentagon is still reporting that full audit-readiness is years off. This amendment, which also passed last year, requires a ranked list of all departments and agencies by their audit-readiness status. This list will empower Congress to make decisions on next steps to ensure auditability of the Pentagon,” said Congresswoman Lee. “We need greater sunlight and transparency so the American people know how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent. It’s past time to end waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars in Pentagon spending.”

“As the holder of the purse, Congress has a duty to demand transparency,” Rep. Burgess said. “Our amendment will provide Congress with concrete, concise information as to how close each part of DOD is to achieving the goal. No such list currently exists and Congress to date has not required it. This amendment corrects a crucial missing puzzle piece and allows the Congress to execute a chief governmental function: oversight.”

This legislation has won the support of many advocacy groups.

"All departments of the United States Government are audited--except the Pentagon.  This is no acceptable.  If the management of the Pentagon cannot pass an audit--get new management. At a time when resources are scarce it is particularly important that we audit the Pentagon to reduce waste and the costs of mismanagement,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “All Americans who want our nation strong and secure know that step one is to ensure that all available resources are being spent wisely.  Every wasted dollar is a cut in our preparedness. An audit is the only way to begin to know how much is misspent.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.