GAO: Pentagon failing to track improper contractor payments

In fiscal 2011, the Pentagon reported over $1.1 billion in improper payments, which refers to either an under- or overpayment of a contractor.

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Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), who authored the 2010 law along with Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Overnight Health Care: Novartis pulls back on drug price hikes | House Dems launch Medicare for All caucus | Trump officials pushing ahead on Medicaid work requirements Senate panel to vote next week on banning 'gag clauses' in pharmacy contracts MORE (R-Maine), said in a statement that the report was a “troubling” reminder of the problems with the Pentagon’s accounting failures.

“The Department spends about a trillion dollars annually, but officials have no idea how much of that money it loses to waste and fraud. This is simply unacceptable,” said Carper, who had requested the report with his ranking member Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe real disease: Price transparency key to saving Medicare and lowering the debt Mr. President, let markets help save Medicare Pension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands MORE (R-Okla.) and Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillHistory argues for Democratic Senate gains Polling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes MORE (D-Mo.).

Coburn said the report was more proof that the Pentagon must be audited, something that the department is currently not capable of. The Pentagon has vowed to get ready for an audit by 2017.

The GAO report faulted the Pentagon for failing to adapt key quality assurance procedures for tracking improper payments. It said the department did not develop sampling measures for estimating improper payments, maintain key documentation to support its estimates or conduct recovery audits or a required risk assessment.