Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the “Audit the Pentagon Act of 2013” last week for increased transparency and accountability in the defense budget. Lee said her legislation will cut the budget of any Federal agency by five percent if it does not receive an independent audit for the previous year.
She wants to exempt and protect veterans’ benefits, military personnel accounts and the Defense Health Program from any cuts.
“The American people want some basic measure of accountability in the way the Pentagon spends tax dollars,” said Congresswoman Lee. “The Department of Defense’s refusal to provide an audit is a recipe for financial disaster. As the daughter of a veteran, I grew up believing in the power and patriotism of the U.S. military, but being patriotic does not mean blindly accepting bloated Pentagon spending.”
Lee said, “It is time to finally do away with this culture of unlimited spending and absence of accountability at the Pentagon. Especially as our economy is rebounding from the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, this lack of fiscal transparency in the Department of Defense’s budget is unacceptable; we need to turn the billions of waste, fraud, and abuse into investments in job creation. ”
Lee said a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the Pentagon was impossible to audit, and highlighted its significant problems with financial management. The GAO reported that the Pentagon was not consistently able to “control costs; ensure basic accountability; anticipate future costs; measure performance, maintain funds control; and prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse.”
For additional information, contact Lee on Face book and Twitter @RepBarbaraLee. To learn more about GAO report visit lee.house.gov.