DoD CFOs to Congress: If you’d like a clean audit, stop reorganizing us

The Obama administration has already voiced its objections to the major reshuffling of DoD’s organizational chart the Senate proposed in its version of this year’s Defense authorization bill, complaining that the plans were drawn up “without careful study and consideration.” But several of the department’s top financial officials said last week that the Senate plan is directly at odds with one of Congress’ top priorities:  getting DoD to pass an audit.

Their argument, in essence, is that it’s taken the better part of seven years to get the department’s current bureaucratic structure in sync and working together toward auditability, and moving the puzzle pieces around just one year before the audit deadline would be unhelpful.

In particular, Mike McCord, DoD’s undersecretary for comptroller matters and its chief financial officer, objected to a provision that would move the sprawling Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) out from under his control and place it under a brand new undersecretary for management in February 2017, just a few months before the department hopes to submit fully-auditable financial statements for the first time in its history.

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