Defense

Dem senator seeks analysis of Pentagon waste report

A Democratic member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is calling on the Pentagon to develop a cost-savings plan following allegations that it tried to hide a study that identified $125 billion in waste.

“I believe a close examination of the report’s findings will yield actionable proposals that the Senate Armed Services Committee may consider next year,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) wrote in a letter Monday to Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work. “I request a detailed analysis of the report to better understand its findings and work with DOD to be more efficient and save money.”

At issue is a January 2015 study by the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board that found $134 billion per year was spent on back-office jobs and recommended a plan that would save the Pentagon $125 billion over five years. 

{mosads}The study was allegedly buried after Pentagon leaders feared it would undercut their message that the department was starved for funding, according to a Washington Post article last week.

The Obama administration has denied the accusation, highlighting that Defense News reported on the study when it was released and saying that contrary to the Post’s story, it was never removed from the board’s website.

Still, the Post report set off calls from lawmakers for hearings, including a Thursday letter from 31 bipartisan members of the House Oversight Committee demanding answers.

In her letter, Shaheen said she was disappointed in the allegations given the testimony she’s heard from the Pentagon on its budget constraints.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have heard from our military leaders about the challenging fiscal environment our military endures with increased global threats, readiness shortfalls, force structure reductions and the need to modernize equipment,” she said.

“In light of these budgetary challenges, I am disappointed that the Pentagon would hide information about opportunities to save money, but I am hopeful that we can work together to determine additional ways to save money that could fund critical military needs or reduce the deficit.”

An analysis of the report could find savings to be used for readiness or modernization, she said.

“I believe it is in our best interest to find savings throughout DOD,” she wrote, “and develop an actionable plan to invest these funds in critical areas such as readiness and modernization.”

Tags Jeanne Shaheen

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