Coburn to military chiefs: Clean up your financial books

The Marine Corps and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have had success with financial management reform in recent years, Coburn wrote.

Yet, there is ample resistance within the military for taking such steps, he said.

“For decades, the mission of the Department of Defense to comply with basic financial standards has been viewed as a waste of scarce resources, even more so during a time of war,” states the letter.

This culture means there is little quality financial information or auditable data, Coburn said. And it means Pentagon budget writers and program managers are unable to perform important “buy-versus-lease” and other financial analyses, he added.

Coburn was a member of President Obama’s fiscal commission that called for $100 billion in Pentagon cuts. He told the chiefs he will continue to urge “a budget-freeze of all base budget non-military personnel accounts at the Defense Department until it complies with the law regarding auditable financial statements.”