Griffin Fights for More Responsible Spending at DoD

Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) led a bipartisan group of House members in sending a letter to Leon Panetta, in his first week as U.S. Secretary of Defense, urging him to ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to make reforms to be more responsible with taxpayer dollars.  Here are excerpts from the letter:

 “Our country is in a debt crisis that continues to have negative effects on our economy and, if not properly dealt with, could have devastating consequences.  DoD represents nearly 20 percent of our entire federal budget, and its reliance on an outdated and cumbersome system to manage financial records could put at risk future investment in DoD programs.  We have an obligation to limit wasteful spending to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, and without a clean financial audit of DoD’s basic functions, we are unable to assure the American taxpayers that their dollars are being spent wisely. 

 “Over the past two decades, DoD has attempted broad reforms to improve its financial management; however, the Government Accountability Office stated that efforts have not resulted in any resolution to long-standing financial management weaknesses.  There continue to be numerous federal programs and operations within DoD that are at a high-risk of vulnerability to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.”

“We solicit your thoughts on how you plan to ensure auditable financial statements by this deadline.  Our men and women in uniform and the American taxpayers deserve a Department of Defense that exercises fiscal responsibility.  We urge you to make financial auditability a top priority within the Pentagon now and for the future.”

 Griffin’s letter to Secretary Panetta is just part of his effort to ensure accountability within DoD.  In May, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision by Griffin that would establish benchmarks to ensure the DoD meets their statutory requirement to produce auditable financial statements by 2017.