|Grassley asks Panetta for high-level intervention against wasteful spending|
|News Releases - Business, Economy & Finance|
|Written by Grassley Press|
|Tuesday, 06 March 2012 07:51|
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Grassley seeks top-level review and action against defense spending waste
WASHINGTON -- Senator Chuck Grassley today presented Defense Secretary Leon Panetta 16 audit reports that uncovered egregious waste and misconduct at the Department of Defense and called for accountability and the recovery of wasted money.
With $500 billion in controversial defense budget cuts proposed by the Obama administration, Grassley said the waste identified in the reports is the perfect place for the Pentagon to begin its belt-tightening campaign.
“If I had two words to characterize what I found in those 16 reports, they would be ‘scandalous’ and ‘disgraceful,’” Grassley said in a letter he gave directly to Panetta during a hearing on Tuesday of the Senate Budget Committee.
Grassley urged the Secretary to prevent the findings and recommendations in the reports from being buried in the Pentagon bureaucracy.
The Budget Committee hearing focused on the President’s defense budget request for the next fiscal year. Eight of the audit reports highlighted by Grassley pertain to contract-related issues. The other eight zero in on wasteful stimulus-bill funded projects.
“The officials who are responsible for what happened must be held accountable and improper payments need to be recovered,” he said. “Until there are meaningful consequences and real penalties for such gross waste and misconduct, the culture of the organizations involved will never change. Unabated waste of the taxpayers’ money will continue.”
Grassley noted that the reports themselves cost $100 million a year to produce for the Secretary of Defense and Congress, so if the reports are ignored, the Secretary and members of Congress become party to the waste exposed.
The detailed letter from Grassley to Panetta can be seen here.
The reports identified in Grassley’s letter concerning contracts involve purchases made through the Department of Energy, spare parts pricing practices; Defense Finance and Accounting Services procedures; body armor effectiveness; the Afghan National Police Training Program; and fuel contracts in Korea.
The eight stimulus-funded projects described in Grassley’s letter involve a solar lighting project a the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia; a wind turbine project at Fort Wainwright; Air Force projects on energy efficiency; photovoltaic projects at Navy and Marine Corps bases; a geothermal energy development project at the Naval Air Station in Falon, Nebraska; and a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning project at Naval Support Activity in Norfolk, Virginia.
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