December 30, 2005
Half a billion here, half a billion there, and soon you’re talking real money:
The Army cannot account for $68 million in parts and tools shipped to contractors for repairs in 2004 because it does not demand receipts, congressional auditors said yesterday.
“Although the [Defense Department] policy requires the military services to confirm receipt of all assets shipped to contractors, the Army is not consistently recording shipment receipts in its inventory management systems,” the Government Accountability Office said in a 34-page report.
In earlier audits, the GAO found a similar lack of basic accounting oversight with Navy and Air Force parts and tool shipments.
… The GAO said an additional $481.7 million in unclassified items shipped for repair – about 42 percent – could not be reconciled with shipping records.
Discrepancies were also found in records for 37 percent, or about $8.1 million in shipments, of classified parts and tools.
So let me see, that leaves a total of $558 million, er, “irreconciled” (read: gone without trace). And all because the military doesn’t demand receipts? Even my local coffee stand demands receipts. And it’s not as if the military doesn’t have any history here.
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