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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pentagon faulted for not collecting contractor debts


The Defense Department has allowed delinquent contractors to avoid paying as much as $209 million owed the government, according to a letter released on Monday by four senators.


The bipartisan group, whose members serve on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asked the Pentagon for a current inventory of contractor accounts receivable and pending contractor debt in dollar amounts from fiscal 2005 through fiscal 2010.

"In these times of ever shrinking budgets, a soaring deficit and disturbingly high levels of wasteful spending across the federal government, the Department of Defense must do all it can to get its fiscal house in order," said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, in the letter to Teresa McKay, director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. "The department's poor bookkeeping can mean that delinquent contractors who owe the government money might actually still be receiving payments from the government."

The senators based their charges of poor financial management on a July 15 Defense inspector general report titled "Defense Finance and Accounting Service Needs More Effective Controls Over Managing Contractor Debt."


-Charles S. Clark, GovExec.com
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