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tv   Senate Hearing on Department of Defense Audit  CSPAN  November 22, 2019 8:04am-9:31am EST

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>> for 40 years c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind. created by cable 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, , your unfiltered view f government. >> deputy defense secretary david norquist testified on the full financial audit of the pentagon. he appeared before a senate armed services subcommittee. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good morning. this hearing on the subcommittee on readiness and management support will come to order. today this subcommittee meets to receive the testimony from deputy secretary of defense david norquist concerning the department of defense 2018 and 2019 audits. last year when he was serving as the dod comptroller, secretary norquist completed the first dod audit ever. soon thereafter secretary norquist was nominated and then confirm as deputy secretary of defense, withh overwhelming senate support from both sides of the aisle. he is a welcome -- wealth of knowledge on these issues and i thank you for being here today. to a lot of people, aside from a
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good friend senator perdue, who i'm hopeful will be here a little bit later, the dod audit might not come across as the most interesting topics in the world. however, ranking member kaine and i taket her oversight responsibility serious and are happy to havee this important d timely hearing. another responsively take circe is one in providing the funding needed to rebuild our military, with a specific focus on restoring readiness. conducting an audit of this magnitude is a massive undertaking, as i'm sure we will hear. in fact, until secretary norquist arrived, it had never happened. the pentagon had never completed an audit. let me repeat that. in its history the department of defense had never completed an audit. kind of remarkable. the fy '19 dod audit is one of the largest audits of any
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organization in history. over the course of this year this audit hasud required more than 1400 auditors and hundreds of duty site inspections. inspectionsrs and evaluating thousands of sample and documented items to accountt fors. the roughly $2.8 trillionn dod assets. conducting an audit of this size is nohe easy task but it's a critical function that dod must do and the results reveal issues that we all must learn from. there w is still much, much more work to be done. but it commend the secretary for undertaking this difficult but important task. as of last friday the department of defense completed its second agencywide audit, and while it did not receive an overall clean opinion come much knowledge was gained from actually doing the audit. i'm sure we'll hear more but over 24 individual audits across the different agencies, seven
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did come back clean. so why do we take the time to do an audit? in part it is to encourage a more responsible use of resources within the department and from readiness perspective, the ability to promote real change within the department. at while identifying cyber vulnerabilities in dod information technology systemsms or locating unaccounted for equipment or improving the record-keeping of personnel is not a glamorous undertaking, it does produce process improvements and technological upgrades that are long overdue. these improvements are critical. it is of the dod's responsibility that, quote, it's important to gain full value from every taxpayer dollars spent on defense, thereby earning the trust ofqu congress, unquote. that is from the 2019 national defense strategy. in other words, if dod wants congress to continue to fund the
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military in order to counter great power competition, like that from russia and china as laid out in the 2019 nds, we in the congress and the american people need to have the confidence that these dollars are being spent wisely. as chairman in all regular states, the ndsa has been preparing our military for a return to strategic competition and does represent a prime example of bipartisanship for the support of that strategy and our troops in the senate. nds explicitly states the audit as a priority towards driving a better budget discipline for the department and achieving our overall national defense goals. i hope this budget discipline starts with the audit and spreads throughout the department to all the financial processes within dod, including our procurement acquisition and contracting processes that this
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subcommittee has oversight of. i look forward to hearing about the progress, some of the successes, some of the failures, and i know my ranking member senator kaine is also interested so i will turn the dais over to him for his opening remarks. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and secretary norquist, it's good to have you. when i saw the oppressed string into the capitol this one of the pilot the pentagon audit is going to gethe the attention it deserved. apparently there's other things going on on the hillf but i do want to welcome you and thank you for youra long record of public service but also for your making sure thatnd the auditability of the dod is a top priority. the fact all federal agencies were mandated to do audits beginning in 1990 and the dod has been the last to get in line is well known, so much so that the ndaa and and i believe 201s committee said okay, you've had enough time, you have to make this happen, and i was gratified
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to be part of the committee when we finally gave the ultimatum and i'm gratified under your leadership the dod is moving to get this done. last week thehe department announced it had officially audit.the 2019 that's not surprising. ido think actually you would've found a great deal of skepticism on this committee have 2019 report said hey, everything is fine. when you start something as complex as this, if you're not finding areas to improve, failings that need to be corrected, that you lead policymakers to question the veracity or the sufficiency of the effort. but what the report last week showed is there so much more to be done to give war fighters and taxpayers what they deserve, a fully audible pentagon. we had a witness testified before the full committee recentlyta on -- blanking on wht is his name but she used the phrase efficiency for lasala, the idea of the audit should drive us to not spent on things we shouldn't, reduce spending on things we shouldn't as a way of
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interacting those resources to more mythology, to a more effective department of defense. i hope we can talk about a number of issues today. what benefits are the military forces already saying, from the audit and its findings, benefits and efficiency but it was always my hope as a mayor and governor in looking at audits to also learn some things that might improve the effectiveness of operations. i don't think it's just a number counting exercise and an exercise that should lead to saving a dollar here or a dollar there. we should also lead to greater efficiencies and effectiveness as well, so hope we can talk aboutsa benefits. how was the process of the audit over helping thehe pentagon clen up any data or accounting practices they need to be improved? what resources are being applied to the audit and other additional resources that need to be applied so can be as effective as possible moving forward? and in your opinion, secretary norquist, how long will it be
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realistically before the dod will be in position with the audits audits would be clean auditsin across all the numerous audits that are done? i look forward to working with the committee, under your leadership, with the department to make good on this promise made so long ago to the american taxpayer that every aspect of the american federal government will be subject to an audit and we wouldi learn from the audit and a process of contents improvements so we can get better at what we do. thank you. >> thank you, senator kaine. mr. secretary, thanks for being here. we look for to your opening statement and if you want to longer written statement that would be submitted for the record. >> chairman sullivan, ranking member , ranking member kaine, the establishment of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before youwr today on the department of defense financial statement audit. the three major questions about the audit i i would like to briefly address. first, why even have an audit. second, what are the results of the audit? and third, how does it benefit
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american taxpayers? the short answer on why we ought is dod is an extraordinary large and complex organization. we employ nearly 3 million servicemembers of civilians while a typical commercial airline managers between 300-16 at aircraft, the aircraft, the military services by approximately 16,000 aircraft. we managed 292 billion in inventory and more than six times the size of walmart, the world's largest retail company. financial statement audits are a proven commercial solution that uses independent auditors to effectively assess complex operations. a financial statement audit is comprehensive and it includes verifying account, location, and condition of our military equipment, property, material and supplies. it has vulnerabilities in our security system of our business systems and validates the accuracy of records and actions such as promotions and separations. in short it provides the independent feedback about dod
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leadership and congress needs. this year more than 1400 auditors conducted over 1600 site visits with the following results. consistent with last year the reported no evidence of fraud, the significant issues with the amounts they to civilian or military members and the dod cd account for the existence and completeness of major military equipment. inin addition one more organization received a clean opinion, that the fence commissary agency. now seven of the 24 what went unmodified or clean opinion this year, and of the 2377 findings in fy 2018 the department was successful in closing more than 550, or 23%, of the findings. the audit demonstrates progress but we have a lot more to do. how does the audit benefit the american taxpayer? the original primary purpose of the audit is transparency but we have seen how the audit saves money by improving inventory management, identifying
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vulnerabilities in cybersecurity, and providing better data for decision-making. so letet me give two two examp. the navy at fleet logistics center jacksonville conducted a ten week assessment and identified $81 million worth of active material, not tracked in inventory system. was the available for immediate use decreased maintenance time and filling 174 requisitions. they also limited unneutered equipment freeing of approximate 200,000 square feet, the equivalent of 4.6 acres. we always thinknk the benefits f better data and use of data analytics.fe for example, the department uses the advantage to --th advana tol to -- this to all illuminated and efficiency of providing the analyst the time and the insights been to identify 316 million and high risk funds moving them from a low priority function to better usefy of thoe before they cancel or expired. the audit is a foundational
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element of a broader landscape of business reform in the national defense strategy. we are moving forward on multiple funds, proving our enterprise buying power, consolidating i.t., realigning and reforming health care consistent with congressionalen direction, reforming how would you background investigations to make them more effective and less expensive, and eliminating duplicate and inefficient businessss systems as well as identifying efficiencies in what we like to call the fourth estate. i would bes remiss if i didn't mention the harmful impacts of the ongoing continuing resolution at a recognized recm preaching to the choir. the department and the white house have both expressed the urgent need for congress to pass the fy '20 20 authorization and appropriation bills. the cr stopgap measures are wasteful to the taxpayer. the delay storm damage repairs and damage the gains are not just make in readiness and modernization. ultimately i cr is good for the enemy, not for the men and women of the united states military.
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the administration and i urge congress to come to agreement as quickly as possible consistent with the budget deal reached in the summer. in closing i like to thank president trump for his leadership and the duty workforce for embracing this complex and important issue and i would also like to ask congress and this committee and in particular the committee staff for your commitment to this massive undertaking and the role you played in making an annual financial statement audit a regular way of doing business. the department of defense is one of the most complex enterprises in the world. in partnership with this congress, we must continually improve our business practices in order to reduce costs and maintain our competitive edge. each of us pose -- goes into the america pac spent to be as responsible in spending their money as they were ine earning it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. secretary. let me begin just with a very basic question. i'm not sure if the answer sine you've only been in your position in the comptroller position for a a couple of year, but from the perspective why was
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the pentagon never audited? you would thinkof given what you just mentioned how important it is to the country, how large it is, how complex it is, that's exactly the kind of federal agency that you do want to audit. why was this the first time that somebody undertook this daunting task? and again i commend you for doing it. >> thanks, mr. chair me. let me clarify. the pentagon is baltimore audits. we had gao, the ig, others. they do program audits, particular subject. the difference with the financial statement is the sheer breadth and depth of it. it is an end to end audits on dramatic skill. >> what you just did twice. >> what we just did twice. that is never happened before. >> why? >> a couple reasons. one is it is an extremely hard task that would outlast anyone who started it. >> but the pentagon is used to our task. >> it is. >> it won world war ii, for
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example,. >> they did, they did. the challenge with the audit is there was an emphasis on trying to get ready for it, this is what i write a fundamentally different view from those who would come before me. they said it's too expensive to pay the auditors. let's get results right enough that we could pass the audit and then bring the auditors in. my experience at homeland security where they were under audit was that would be a major mistake. homeland security, we didn't have a choice. when i showed up the auditors were already there. i found the auditors and their feedback to be be the centerpiece of getting us to the clean opinion. so my gut is the money we paid the auditors to make sure all the other money we are spending was going to valuable things, getting feedback on whether we are being successful. so even the defense department spending money on fixing problems, they had no audit basement baseline for which to tell you where they better from one year to the next. we have fixed that in this approach. where carefully bashing those i items precisely for the purpose
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and a think that's the biggest difference is i believe the auditors are the key step in getting us to the clean opinion, that's something to bring to the end when you think you're ready. >> let me dig into that a little bit more because the audited cost a lot of money. i think the fy '19 audit cost close to $1 billion. if for doing this annually, which is your goal, correct? was eventually pay for itself in terms of, or is it already paying for itself? >> let's take that into pieces. before we started the audit, the department spending $770 million to fix problems. with the audit piece is about 195, $200 million we paid extra auditors. we know from experience of the corps of engineers that when it went from no opinion to a clean opinion their cost of the audit dropped in half. so over time that number will come down as we start to move from where they have to do detailed sampling to recall
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testing of controls. that's a level of funding that's necessary for transparency. think 200 millionon is 131% uppr budget, to our budget, to be held accountable, that's fine. we didn't have to spend certainly on to decide -- one 30th of what%. the big number is in the remediation, and the question there is canan you show what you have fixed? in the absencece of the audit is very hard. one of the things other than my prior jobs is self reporting of fixing problems isn't a reliable indicator. i was dependent upon the auditorsri confirming people ha, in fact, fixed it. one of the best things the audited show us is one organization says that fixed ten problems and auditor agrees with goaltender i have great confidenceon. and other opposition claims they fixed it and auditor agrees with him on three. i have a problem. i have some training i need to do, people in need to talk to. that's not going to get into success. youth can't wait to get to the d of the process.
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you need to auditors to get on a continual basis so we've already seen benefits and savings and return investment i had expected to see this early long before got to thefi point where i expected the cost to come down. but i can go on more but i will let you -- >> let me ask another basic question. so for those of us who are not auditors, what exactly does this entail? you are going to installations pick your people found out over all our military bases, going to supply depp owes. what exactly are theyll doing? are not counting every rifle and every tank, or are they. >> us know, they can't because the shirley with a would be involved is just a problem. with the commercial practice brings the best practices which means they will go to the highestat level of the organization and look into the databases and sayce show me everything you think you own and have innovatory. they start there and they pull samples from that.
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and followed all the way down to the installation to they went to fort wainwright, they come in with a list that's it i need to see not just a tank. i need to see this tank with this serial number that is supposed to be here. when they show up, is it in working condition? that's one of the things they test for. do you have proof of ownership? is upin where it is supposed to be? they walk through each of those and then look around the base and the fight a series of items and they go the other direction, which is here are 25 things we found on the base. show us that you at the department level have them in your system.m. it's goes one direction goes another. what you're looking for his examples of a breakdown where the summary is an equal to the parts. but that sampling process across inventory and then they do the same thing with pay. you paid seven with the segment. to have records that was promoted? qualify for hazardous duty pay? do you have the paperwork to support that? and can you produce it in a
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timely manner? that's the process they go through. it's relativelyy expensive. it's the status were healthy of. >> thank you, mr. secretary. to testifyu're here and hopefully we're all going to learn from this and possibly the pentagon aser well. senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i'm going to start with and question that is based not on the audit on durable as deputy secretary of defense,o number two, fish witn the pentagon i was about to support your nomination. ins the last day there been a number of articles that it come out and i will read a couple headlights. business insider, the army is prepared to moveat lieutenant colonel alexander vindman and his family too a safe location s necessary. reuters, army possessing impeachment witness alexander denman come your sufficient. but these are based on some initial reporting that was done by the "wall street journal." lieutenant colonel vindman is a virginian resident like you are, lieutenant colonel vindman is a
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patriotic american, like you are. i look when ask you what you think it's appropriate to attack his loyalty, his patriotism, his judgment or his character because i know how you would think about such an attack in a clue as to what you think it's okay to use the white of social media account or other white house assets to apple for such an attack because i know what to think about that but i do want ask you this. in your role as deputy secretary of defense, will you make sure that members of the military are not punished or face reprisals for cooperating with congress? >> so we take very seriously our responsibility to accurately and responsibly respond to congress. to the early part of your sins, as well as whether to personal security for not going to comment on any measures we take individual personal security but we do take itre seriously and we expect people to be responsive and truthful in their dealings with congress. >> thank you very much for that. i would urge you at this
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particular time to be very diligent and protecting members of our military if they are cooperating with congress. i think that your words delivered here should hopefully give some assurance and some conference to some who are very, very worried, and i know they are word because their films are calling my office. they are my constituents and their nervous about what might happen to them. you are getting thin that assurance publicly. it meant something too them. let me ask you something the audit. a lot of the duty programs are classified. and when we do the ndaa we are cropping with issues industry even in a close session at classified annex we have to spend anymore classified setting to figure out our own responsibilities with those. talk a little bit about how the audit approaches classified programs and how you can do in real audit any meaningful one or respecting the classified nature of the information.
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>> the challenge we had at the beginning was how to deal with classified information in the budgetet it's either redacted or in documents that often redacted or otherwise just protected. we talk with gao wants to summarize the department to look at what and the concern was if you do that here, if we have redactions computer classified annexes, , you won't be able too a cover what audit. what we look for how to do this in in a way we can keep it unclassified. i'd like to tip my hat to group called vasa. they are they counting standards group for the federal government because we had to go to them and say we need you all to get a secured eclipse because we have to have conversations with you that are classified and just to give us the accounting standards on how to treat classified information. so they did. that was one of the process we went to. they got clearance. the issue as classified guidance that allows us for example, when nasa's going to clean the pain they went and said with question mark satellites.
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do we expense or depreciate? will have those things that classified and go to them and they in the clinches will be up to say here's how you should handle it in the classified answer that allows us to present the data iny an unclassified report. our auditors have security clinches went up to the highest level. there's nothing that's classified that is excluded from the scope of the audit. >> actually. let me ask you this. in the public like this i think we would like to get some success stories. it's less about the findings or the agencies that pass, but do of things thates you learned in the audit process that you have already been able to direct toward this efficiency for the faculty construct that the duty witness talk about recently at a hearing? >> we have. let me walk through a couple of examples and the people of his i can go on extensively on this issue, but let me pick the isse
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of inventory and i would use a need as an example. the auditors went down and pulled samples and test them backwards. with the navy started discovering his warehouses and stores associate items that it never been loaded into the inventory system. you open up and you find spare parts. the spare parts are not where somebody who is trying to order them can get to them so the navy, and i will give credit to vice admiral dixon smith because he was taken aggressive in this, and we travel to some the spaces and say open that up, open data. they started and he found enough concerns he said -- take 100%. even at the basis they visit, five or six, they found $167 $167 billion worth of usable supplies that when they put them into the system addressed unneeded -- i met the mets can things that were on back order, other items that now can be put back into the system. again, you have the part but if somebody doesn't know it's
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there, it rotates with in the new and doesn't know that's what it is stored and more portly from the department, the tartlet does not so the base doesn't see it. you are at. each one of those is an immediate and direct savings to the taxpayer. >> my time is expired but others may want to get -- >> i have a list. >> senator johnson. >> thank you, mr.r. chairman. mr. secretary,, thank you for being and thank you for the letter october 15 regarding the audit test with 100%. tell me briefly if you would call how important are those audit test like that? i assume there's a going? >> these are the core of what the auditor does. when the poll samples from above and they come down to a base they are not testing of the on the base but they've a list of what you're looking for. it's 60 of the places they should up, it was 100% accuracy. everything they look for that base had and so essential but because as read some of them in
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your state. that's incredibly valuable and one of the things i've heard when i talked to the auditors is the importance of the local leadership. when they show up in the command of the base meets them and walks them around, they can quickly see their like liveip a good result because that leadership has control and oversight of the process. now, we have other places where the samples are not there's a to get to undergoing. this will get solved at the local level and then fixing the systems thatit lie between whati could at the local level and what we recorded at the department white level. tremendous -- one of the reasons i sent the flesh at his, we don't want use a sticks. people can give kudos to those who deserve it and that will help drive this process forward. >> as the process goes forward those leaders at the various locations will get the word menu to participate and cooperate and i want everybody. >> it's also an evaluation form. senior officers and civil
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servants, they had the oddest part of the performance evaluation. >> i want to move to an area where senator kaine kind attached on.n. are usually with the antideficiency act? >> i am. >> i'm struggling it with a couple of things. on the one hand, i hear testimony and we've talked to my office and i just applaud your efforts so much engine emphasize the responsibility of taking seriously your responsibility to report to congress. on the other hand, i'm'm also seeing this administration continually thwarting congress' oversight capabilities. you are not producing witnesses. they are not producingng documents. just because bill particularly like the subject matter of the particular hearing, that is particularly going on in house. recently i read a report where omb counsel has stated that as a legislative branch of government the gao when they report deficiencies or violations of
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the antideficiencyis act, that e administration, the executive branch agencies, have no obligation to report that back to congress. it just seems to me that there is a concerted effort with the administration to just basically take those things that they don't want to report and just ignore the article one branch of the constitution. i'm really concerned about that. have you seen omb counsel opinion? if so, i'd like to hear your thoughts about that and whether or not that squares with what you said earlier about your ability and your earnest honest efforts to report to congress. >> i haven't seen that opinion at a don't know whether it's a matter of law there, crack, but i knoww it's a matter of practie when i've had to sign out of one of those, it went to everybody, it went to the president, the white house, the leader of the house and the senate, it went jointly gao. in. practicece i know when we havent antideficiency act violation, the notification is a broad
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spread. >> and and i appreciate that. i think this is new and so i may follow up with you because i think this is changing a practice that has been, a practice across administrations, including this administration, but now we have, apparently counsel who expressed a new version of that. i may follow up to get a chance to look at that guidance to see how it might affect the department of defense and your obligations to report. if i have time, not sure -- my time is not going here. you mentioned the navy, he found that $81 billion of material i think at the jackson naval air station where it just read the inventory and you ableu to do some things. how important is that? what are the lessons you can learn and take away from that particular episode where there was like $280 billion that was just really unaccounted for, ,
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$81 million when he founded immediately got to use. little concerned to congress that 281 million bucks at one place cannot be accounted for. tell me a little bit about what you're trying to implement and how have lessons are learned from that. >> this is the value of inventory but our concern is, over time people buy inventory, if they store it without putting it into the system, they may know it's there but the successoris may not the departmt doesn't know it's there. it's inefficient. it's an inefficient way to use taxpayer resources. the value of the audit is that's a problem and auditors will come up everyry year and expose it because it audit requires if we have it cynicism and it is properly recorded. that'sca why it goes boom, can u count for much of an can you cover everything you have? this is found before readiness and for making sure make the best use of taxpayers money. we think there's a connection between this and some of the challenges of cr, which is all
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of this tends to be the type of supplies you order at year-end and so the more we can limited, the more we have discipline over when you buy, you logged into the system.o you make sure it is properly recorded. the discipline, this is where to the value of the audit, they come every year. it's not enough to clean out your office once. the coming next year, the year after. you have to make this a habit. >> are you satisfied the systems in place arer adequate, which s a question of plugging them in as opposed to when you'd upgrade this is? >> will need to upgrade the system. some of the comments i got, one of them said as you feel your new system, which are more compliant and more effective, you need to make better use of technology. a lot of people are doing this manually filling out paper forms of others. if thett tablets with a good jut do it more directly, they could barcode scans all of those,, reduces the labor and that increases compliance. what we're looking for is people stop doing it because they didn't have labor and is too
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hard, that the automation solution speed set up. >> i will follow up with a written russianshl regarding the omb guidance. thank you, mr. chairman,. >> considering how long it took for the dod do undergo an audit, thank you very much for expressing your firm belief that audits are very important. as you noted, auditors conducted a number of site visits, 600 site visits, and two of these visits were performed at joint base pearl harbor-hickam and the marine corps base hawaii, both of these came back 100%. thank you for also noting how important it is that the local leadership buys in and cooperates with the audit. so i do wantde to give a shout t to the folks at joint base pearl harbor and speed is excellent. thank you foror doing that. >> thank you. one of the areas that were
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pointed out in the most recent audit were newly identified high risk areas involving privatized housing programs and i won't go into my questions related to those but i soon you're going to be undergoing those things you need to do to bring those programs up to snuff, because there's a lot of concern about military housing. >> absolutely. >> cindy mccainsn touched on this of the matter recently regarding the threats to alexander vindman and also your deputy secretary assistant secretary of defense laura cooper who i don't know if she's only testified but she certainly will be testifying, and not to mention the constant efforts to out the whistleblower and basically the whistleblower feeling very threatened by everything that's going on. doing everything you can to make sure to colonel
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vindman and ms. cooper remaining sacred what steps have you taken to send a clear message to dod staff that their identity, , thr jobs and safety will be protected if they come forward to report abuse or misconduct? >> this is something that we have as a matter of practice on all sorts of things. we have iq reports, gao reports. this is part of the culture, how we come when people come for we expect to beis honest and truthl in their dealings and we expect them to be taken care of in doing so. we look for and i juleps if there's an issue of reprisal and we also look for the security. again as i mentioned i'm not going to the measures we take but if we think there's a security issue we deal with it and it with local authorities. these are the types of things that occur in different forms and we provide the same standard and approach across -- i think it's in a signal we stand as i we do with organizations. >> in this in private it's very
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important for the dod from the top to say the whistleblowers who, from dodod or anyone who participates in appropriate proceedings, that they will be safe. i think it's reallyat important for the message to be quite obvious and put out there. and i hope that's what you will do. october 22, the day before ms. cooper was scheduled to testify before the house and the deposition, you signed a letter to her lawyer prohibiting her from participating in the impeachment inquiry. after deposition she was asked whether she was concerned about the repercussions against her at dod for testifyingmp under subpoena after receiving your letter, she stated goal, this is a challenging environment and for civil servant who is trying to fulfill obligations, this is a challenge, this is challenge in both respects. this is quoting ms. cooper in light of house resolution 660
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whichpe lays out the procedure r public impeachment hearings, what you refrain from prohibiting any of the dod official from cooperating with congress going forward? >> so i i did not prohibit or t he did was i forwarded her to her lawyer information we receive from the white house that expressed their views about the impeachment process. one of the challenges we wouldn't be able to send a lawyer with it. to have that available information, but we understand each of individuals are making their own decision on how speedy even if you are just forwarding a letter that came out of your department but came from -- i forget where it emanated, but for you to send it, it does create a chilling effect. i think, are you intending to continueit to forward these kins of letters from thehe white houe or from any other -- >> i don't know of any other individuals being called. i would've felt it inappropriate for her to not be aware of this information and so that's why we shared it.
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>> but you can understand why speedy i understand. i understand the objection. if you don't send a company to do seneca what youou do? we try to set the right tone in the letter. >> so in the letter you said where just forwarding this? >> i will check the language but we try to be clear about the nature of it. we tried to bedi very professiol and factual in the way we handle these. >> cannot ask one more question? i have noo idea what my time is, and during his a nomination. i asked sector as per with you commit to reinstating the role of place for undocumented family members of active-duty service members -- secretary esper -- he said he would go look into it for sure. we are still waiting for some response on this issue but we did receive a response from acting undersecretary of defense for personnelel and readiness, . james stewart, who deferred comment on the program to the departmentss of homeland securiy but committed to working closely with dhs on the future on the
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policy. you can understand why active-duty service numbers would be very concerned if the administration is going head, department of homeland security is going ahead and deporting undocumented members, even as they are serving our country. i'd like to know what steps dod has taken to courtney with dhs as referred to in this letter from james stewart on this issue, whether dod has urged dhs to reinstate this program, not to depart undocumented family members of active-duty personnel. >> let me take that with for the record. i don't know the answer to your question. >> well, i hope you get the message that we certainly don't want active-duty servicemembers families to be deported. that is that a good thing and a program should be reinstated. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chair. this is a really important hearing, i think for all of us,
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and secretary norquist, thank you for appearing today and testifying on this often overlooked topic. senator sullivan and and i were having a discussion yesterday and we're just so thrilled actually test some result be put in front of us. you've done really what your predecessors haven't been able to do or did not do at the pentagon, which is makingg the audit a priority. we've had passed comptrollers and chief financial officers at the pentagon of both political parties, , the wind and dined, drag your feet on this issue and found every last excuse under the sun not to get it done. so we have had pentagon hands were on and on and on here on the hill for decades. so again thanks are doing our job and getting this audit done and not delaying it further. despite the disclaimer of opinion from the last two years, with much further along in this progress toward a clean opinion and i just wanted to make that
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statement and thank you very much for your leadership on this topic.e now, the national defense strategy makes it clear that united states has a a very distinct challenge to maintain its supremacy in the global arena, and this has implications on homeland defense, overseas operations, and the vibrancy of a free and open society. so before we dive into these strategic goals, it's good to take a step back and maybe do a bit of housekeeping. what i'd like you to explain, mr. secretary, in addition to fiscal responsible how do you think the audits audit findings actually fit into then nds and benefit, benefits are operational and/or mission capabilities? why do we need to do this? >> absolutely. nds has three lines of every, enhancing the fellow, working with alis and the third is
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reform in the way we define, operate from efficiency. the reason for that is too full. we can see the same deficit numbers everyone else can't and we understand thehe fiscal limis with which the department it's operate. the second is we have a responsibility regardless of what level of funding we received to make sure we're using it with a maximum benefit to lavalle the group that includes both driving inefficiencies out of our business process -- locality -- cutting low priority and moving to high party. some of things are not bad things but just not as essential as others and so what the author is helping us do is not only identify those inefficiencies where individual systems have been built that don't talk to each other. you get to the point where the data once and associate the system there's a lot of labor savings and cost the come up and we operate. versus manual entries and transfers where they create data errors. the other part of the national defense shared is you go through
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this, is you are trying to improve readiness that gets to the issue of the spare parts. panic if the spare parts into people's hands, can he get through dapl maintenance that's? the last part is data analytics. what the private the private so do is use terms, a dod, cloud, what a joy to call them but able to manipulate incredibly large sums of data. at dod with tens of billions of transactions. when we get audited they goes back to find congress appropriate or nine years ago because those funds are still available. the ability to organize those in the data set, to search them come to track them, to be able to find errors, that allows us to adopt some of the best practices from the private sector on inventory and other things you can't do when you don't trust your baby. i think those types of reforms, we can adopt private sector best practices and unless we get the quality of the data have so we can rely on it. >> and thank you. kind of a long that quality versus quantity issue, they dod
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has closed 22% of the notice of findings and recommendations on the fiscal year '18 audit, but the number has actually increased. and so should we interpret that as the system is working, or should we be worried that we are not making enough progress? >> the first answer is the system is working. there were 204 auditors this year than last year. one of the things we took as a lesson learned from my time at homeland was we set of these contracts come normally an auditor when you think about past they stop working. they say you have a disclaimer. we are done. we worked with ig was been a tremendous help, and the contracts basically safekeep auditing even if you think we will fail, we want as many pubs as you can find. the thing until it looked inside the building is when auditors find 1300 additional findings, those were always there. the more clearly that identify them, sooner we can make sure
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with corrective action plan to address them. i expect the first couple of years will find more, keep closing them, get better and more efficient. i certain point they want been able too fully go to those numbers but i see this is exactly what we are paying them for an but hope we would get out of them. >> my time is expiring, site just want to say again, thanks for your leadership on this issue. it is such a bureaucratic beast in trying too sort through that, boil it down. you've been able to take this on and we had congress would do appreciate your efforts, so thank you very much, mr. secretary. thank you, mr. chairman,. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you. i would add my appreciation to what you've heard from my colleagues about the work you are doing. you talked about the list of examples of successes that you only uncovered as a result of the audit. at some point would be helpful for us to get more of that list so that we can share that with others and let people know
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what's been successful today about the audit. i want to go back to your early comments about the cr in preaching to the choir about the cr, because i do agree you are preaching to the choir but i also think that doesn't seem to be a universal appreciation in congress and in the administration for what the impact continuing resolution for the remainder of this year would be. are you concerned that might trigger the budget caps so it would take us back into sequestration? can you talk about what the impacts are that yourn see if we are not able to get appropriations bills through? >> let me take them first, the cr and then i'll go to sequestration. the cr is designed destructive if it is designed to get you not to do.
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the first thing says is no new starts. if we have ammunition that would like to buy more, all agreed you need more, we get to october and use let's not start buying digit. let's wait and place that order. research technology, artificial intelligence or hypersonic missiles. republicans, democrats allan agreed let's give the chinese three more months had started let's make it harder for our people to keep up by letting the strike at. the last part is you have got families in training that are constantly get disrupted because we may believe there's a deal at the top line but they don't know what that means. in good physical since they with all the money, l.a. united states can minimize what they're going to do and then sometime in december or in previous years march we hands hand them all tt money and say now due in six months. they can't get back there october can exercise.we they can't recover the timeless and we start having the challenges with inventory and others.ex
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it is a misuse of taxpayers money to manage it in this way. the sequestration is worse because it's a catastrophic at the animate everything. again they don't know what you're going there so they have to be very cautious about how they spend money. you would have problems making payroll under sequestration. take it away and make it even deeper cutting of emails and and then you have completely lost readiness for you and your ship maintenance in the district and they know the importance of the ships come in on time, the maintenance happening on time, he can't recover. the facility can't take twice as many ships the next year. if a bill commitment on your time you've lost it. this is something we need to avoid come something when you can minimize if at all possible. >> thank you. i certainly agree 100%. i want to ask about another issue that's outside of thehe audit but he goes to your current role. and that is, you are aware i'm sure there aret' a number of
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virtually all military facilities have an issue with pfas chemicals. secretary esper to his credit appointed a task force the day he got sworn into a dress that on military installation. my understanding is the navy is very close to a breakthrough on finding a replacement for the element in firefighting foam that would be equally effective. can you give us an update on that, and if not, can you take that for the record? >> let me take the particular question of how close they are. i know this is very, very important that we been researching alternatives. we spent $22 million and we will continue. we need to protect arms servicemembers when they're in -- we need one that is apartment is safe so we'll get you the answer as harvesting. this is a high priority. secretary esper has a task force working on it if it's something we're getting to that solution is ultimately the right, best place to end up. >> thank you.
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finally, in june the department released new standard for defense contractors called the cybersecurity maturity model certification,n, and i appreciae the need for this program to ensure that is substituted in place for our contractors, but can you talk about the extent to which the defense is working with those contractors? because one of the things we heard from some of the businesses that we work with is that they are very concerned about the timeframe within which they have to comply with the standards, and also with the assistance for the big folks it's not an issue as much as for some of thehe smaller people who subcontract or who work with defense who don't have the capacity and the assistance that
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they need in order to comply. can you talk about what's happening on that? >> for those who are not the the issues we have with volvos and her supply chain in the business we deal with. other countries tend to attack their networks to try and extract important data. we have a set of standards, and much like financial statement audit they would hire from to come in and check the controls and be able to verify the quality. part of the intent of this is to recognize that the larger firms will have an easier time. we need to work with the small businesses. in some cases when we you have requirements of firm has to skip their able to hire a firm, to have access to so they can work with folks who can set up a network that meets compliance. if you have small firm you don't try to go to a network. you subscribe to one that is certified, now you know you can count on it and that firm provided to youur as part of thr i.t. services. this is something that i know the cio and under-secretary will work for close with the small business community.
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we need them to get up to standards of the don't want this to be a barrier to entry. >> we do want to lose all of the innovations that of income out of this. >> that's where a lot of the innovations coming out of, you're absolutely right. >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. secretary, along similar lines but a little different question. focusing on the purchase of unsecured commercial items, and back in august i hit send a letter to you highlighting the threat that was posed by commercial office shelf computers and other types of electronic equipment, specifically those that have been made in communist china and those that present the cybersecurity risks.av and so i i appreciate the letter that you sent back in reply which discussed the ways init which the department is addressing those types of perhaps maybe to give us a quick update on the progress that the department has
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made in that area. >> one of the challenges you have in buying, particularly electronics, is one thing to say this is a large chinese made products and it should be in the system. then you start buying of the once and discovering components that were made with the company aat provided you as u.s.-based company but all ofana sudden the componentnt inside. this is what the department has to dohe careful analysis. we look at the threat intelligence, after supply chains, we test the products, in some cases we do penetration testing but we need to understand the supply chains come to understand where the places where we can afford to have them bring in those types of parts because it creates a vulnerability and working with thosec firms directly on, in soe places you can approve it if you take out the middleman of the case yet understand that vendor is assuming parts that includes pieces. somemi of pieces are not at ris, others are andey that's what we have to work closely and that the process we putting in both
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in cooperation between our cio and under-secretary for acquisition. >> is the department still urges equipment that could be manufactured in areas of concern? >> let me take that for the record so i know how far along we are. >> wonderful. thank you very much, mr. chair. >> thank you. mr. secretary,, as a sediment opening comments i want to try to get your opinion about when might be reasonable to expect as we work so the process of these annual audits and then engage in corrective activities, when might it be reasonable for the committee to expect the department would have completely clean set of audits? >> here's the trajectory you should expect. we have 24 organization. i would expect expect every year to see moving forward. another when getting a clean opinion, people moving to modify. within five or so years i would expect you to see the majority of them with a clean opinion. the department will not get a clean opinion and to the very last one falls. in homeland to continue to get a
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clean opinion. five of those were waiting onth the coast guard. i don't know scattered clean opinion and was five years after several years it was just coast guard property, everything else is okay. you will start to see the number comes after i found it helpful by the way because in the ranks the coast guard used to give it as an open question when they were the one left out as to why are you holding it up, that will focus at once attention but you'll see that over time. you will see different parts get to a clean opinion. .. >> the attorney for laura cooper. there was a reference to the letter. the letter is a page and a half
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long and the paragraph is penultimate one, this letter informs you and ms. cooper of the administrative-wide direction that executive personnel cannot, quote, participate in the impeachment inquiry under these circumstances, closed quote. i'd like to introduce these to the record and i'll have follow-up qfr about this letter. >> without objection. >> mr. secretary, let me ask a couple of other questions. you mentioned that certain base commanders were very open and well into work. did you run into some obstinance or resistance from other commanders and is there a correlation between that and maybe not scoring so well? or was the word out from the leadership and the pentagon to make sure there was good cooperation? >> i think it's gotten better from year to year. the auditors gave me the feedback and they said the more engaged, the more likely you are to see the results. it's a question of them
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focusing on the items and process and what they need to be accountable for. here is the big surprise for the audit. one of the concerns we had going in, from those of you advocating for audit and those of us pushing it, the paper work drill, you come and audit me and you're checking a bunch of papers, whether my bills match my invoices. this is an admin drill. the issue over inventory, things that had directly to do with readiness this, quickly turned around the views of the military, to understand this wasn't about paper work, this was about readiness, about being able to do their mission so i never ended up getting the pushback i was afraid i was going to see and that everyone-- until you started it, everyone assumed was going to be the natural outcome of the audit. i think we've seen a change, a level of emphasis, some places are stronger than others and we'll continue to see it grow. >> let me ask related to that topic, some of the media, which i'm glad they covered it, but not surprisingly the headlines
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were a little alarming, there was a rioters-- reuters piece, pentagon gets failing audit and bloomberg piece yesterday, i think, headline air force's inventory listed wrong sites for 79 nuclear missile. so misidentification of 79 active minutemen two nuclear armed missiles, almost a fifth of the fleet. that's pretty alarming. can you talk to some of these headlines and particularly the one with regard to 79, quote, missing nuclear missiles? >> so these types-- >> were they really missing? i'm a little bit concerned if that was the case. >> sir, the proper title would have been 79 uninstalled missile motors because they aren't actual icbm's and
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missiles, they're the motors used in them and when they're pulled out into the maintenance and supply system, there was an issue in the accuracy of the supply system, it's manual, tracking whether they're at the base and depo. i don't think uninstalled missile motors in maintenance has the same drama as the title that you read. this comes up in the audit, you know, occasionally you'll have some story that references and trillions of dollars even though that is larger than our budget. there are these misunderstandings of what audito auditors-- remember, the audit are written by accountants. to others they translate it and get it wrong. no, our missiles are in the ground. we know where they are they don't tend to move that often for the icbm's and 79 would not have been-- we have the accuracy of the missile motors, but it's a regular supply issue and
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manually updated data base. >> so, on that headline, still ooh usful and obviously keeping track of the missile motors is important, but it wasn't as if there was a loss of the-- >> correct. >> if we knew where these icbm's were? >> and the auditors did a site on warren and thumbs up and i asked what issues, they didn't bring this up. they talked about supply issues in general. >> and failing grades, that's accurate? >> on the overall audit? yeah, we didn't pass. in fairness, seven organizations did, and the leaders of those should get credit because many of them started those audits before anybody else in the department. the-- some of them haven't been for five, ten years and that was sheer will by the leadership of that organization because there was not a pull signal from the department level for many of those. credit to those who got it, but we'll still got another to go. >> a parochial question from my perspective, you said were you
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at fort wainwright in alaska. what were the findings there, positive, negative, good examples or things that need to be improved upon? >> sure, it's a great example of the test they did. went to fort wainwright and they had 108 items they want today find from rotary aircraft to com gear and they find 25 items they found and then went back to the data base, can you show me 25 things. >> six things, including the serial number didn't match. we can't be certain-- you have the item, but it doesn't match. the item was there and wonasn't recorded. the question becomes if you extrapolate. 95.5% pass right and that's an example the visits they did around the country and that feedback is helpful because the local commander could figure out why, why do i have the six errors and they can determine
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is it in other areas as well. if they came back and pulled a different sample would i be 100% or have the errors and six to nine months before they sample again. >> thank you, senator purdue. >> first of all, i want to thank you for your perseverance and you and the ranking member caine have been warriors on this for years and i want to thank you, secretary, for giving us our first audit in the history of the united states and i know it's a laborious process and i know it's expensive process to do your first one. i just have a couple of quick questions. when you look at the number, the cost of this first exercise, pretty substantial, as you might imagine, it's our third largest expense item on our expense sheet only second to social security and medicare. it's only a little larger than some of our larger corporations and so they do this routinely and doesn't cost them a billion dollars to do this. so my question is over time do
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you see a possibility, number one, that we can get to the answers here quicker now that we've got a start at it. we can get to clean, a clean report and then what's the quantity? i know we've talked about some of the subjective benefits that are obvious, but how do we quantify that? it seems to me you've mentioned in a private conversation you've pretty much already paid for this in many records quantitatively. can you tell the committee and get that on the record for us? >> sure, you talk about the cost and let's break it into the three parts. the amount that we pay the public accounting firms, compared to our size, not dramatically different than some of the other large firms. >> about right. >> and the corps of engineers, their experience is audits move from heavy samplings to alliance and control. those costs come down. we expect to see the amount we pay the auditors come down and we have a similar amount that we spend in labor or federal employees or in the contract support at that we use to support the audit. some of that will come down,
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some of that's just the cost of doing business correctly. when you look at what they spend to process, they have good data how much they spend fixing errors. their costs will go down by at least 400 million when they start getting clean data which will fully cover the cost of the audit and the cost of our-- >> the clean data is a byproduct of an audit. >> it is and you think when it's unclean, somebody has to research and why the codes are wrong and automatically when it flies through and you're all set. the second half is money we spent on fixing problems, doing this to comply with our standards and with the law so we're spending that money in the past and we're spending now the difference is, we didn't have the audit to tell us if it was right. i'll pick a system example. you're fielding a new accounting system. in the past you'd field it and start discovering it doesn't post right, did nt do what you want to. the person fielding it now
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knows the auditors are going to show up every year and test that system. you're not done with the implementation before they give you a list of products and they think am i getting that system to work. and that gets them through the fieldings to get to the right level. what i was surprised by, when you look at the money that the navy has saved, the 167 million, when you look at the 316 million that the department was able to use data analytics to recover as we did our budget, that's the cost of what we're spending on the audit and then some. so in terms of the paying auditors, we're recovering that and now we're living off the benefit of all of their findings, making sure the rest of the money we spend is better, that our processes get better and that we bring discipline to the system. and i originally suspected this would be a savings some years out and i know the patience, wait about, but we're seeing that benefit now and we're seeing the benefit to the taxpayer immediately.
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>> can i ask one more quick? i know you talked about continuing resolutions since you've taken this job and we now know because the secretary risen has actually talked to us kwan tayetively-- quantitatively. and we now know the costs of cr we've been under the last 45 years. only four times the last 45 years have we funded the government on time and that means no need for continuing resolution the beginning of the year. in the last decade all, but one year, the first quarter has been under continuing resolution. the current debate if we have a vote on resolution, will be the 188th continuing resolution. can you tell us how the audit interacts with our growing awareness of how this insidious thing called a continuing resolution just did he have states the military.
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it doesn't sound as onerous as the business community. because it ties the hands of the military at the line item level, it seems to me we're building a tremendous intrinsic cost there because of our lack of doing the job here in congress and i know you agree with that. how would the audit help us identify, expose those wasteful efforts. $4 billion we're spending today. we're spending against $4 billion of programs the dod said are obsolete and we don't want to spend anymore and obliged to under the continuing resolution law. >> you think of a contract with your you're buying supply. normally the entire year and instead you're going to take that and make an order that covers the first six weeks and after the contracting action, after the normal paper work and load it in the system and when the cr is extended they do another contract for another four, six weeks and we keep breaking that into multiple parts. increasing manual labor you have to do and increasing the
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chance for data error and harder on the vendor to deliver the quantity at the right cost. so with the audit, the volume of transactions, you have artificially generated the amount of additional work. we see the consequences with some of the inventory issues at year end where we held back money for three, six months and then we pushed it forward and expect people to move out and be able to execute it with the three to six months left. >> we're in excess inventory in anticipation of three months or more we can't use. >> or the end of the year, one thing i can order. so i order the inventory, but it's a rush, i'll get it on the shelf and load it into the inventory system later and life gets busy, you know, part of the other part, the people doing the audit are the ones most affected by the cr. acquisition and all of the folks spending time over here, we want over on the other side getting the data and getting the process right. so, it's very disruptive and the audit highlights that and then the whole effect on the mission side, on the families,
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on the deployments, those are a serious problem. thank you, mr. chair. >> senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and mr. secretary, thank you for being with us today. i'll have to tell you going back to my freshman year in the house in 2003, we started working on the management initiative, the dod audit processes trying to simplify this and get everybody into a system where data would be interoperable, you would be able to put a lot of this on-line at that point. now we want it all in the cloud. but what has frustrated me and i think what continues to fr frustrate some of our men and women in uniform, you take two steps forward, you take a
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couple of steps back, and you end up not making as much progress as you would like to see made. so with our interest in tennessee, fort campbell, millington, air naval station, arnold air, our national guard presence, the full-time national guard intel unit, as i talk with these men and women, one of the things that continues to come up is having a standardized process, having best practices and being able to look not just at what is immediately in front of you, but looking out. and further out. and as senator purdue just talked about the necessity for having budget authority and not running on a go.
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r. that's a big part of that and we realize that. but also i think that what comes back to being an issue with dod is the fact that they just can't seem to get ahead of this process. and get those best practices in place. so what i'd like to hear from you is if you've got a system in place to really incentivize identification of cost savings by dod employees, if that would help and also, what about a best practices data base? is that something that, as you go through this and you pull this data and you go in and research this, are you building a best practices data base that is going to be available system-wide and then the third
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thing i would say is, leveraging leaders from the private sector who can really come in based on their experience and help you streamline processes and optimize operations for the department because right now -- and this is one of the problems i think that our units have when they're deployed is the number of hoops they have to jump through to get authority for something that they need in a timely manner. so as you look holistically at this and what you intend to glean from it if you'll answer those, that would be helpful. >> sure, one of the important things is how the audit puts a spotlight on some of the problems and one of the things we've set up at the department, is we have three forms that include the headquarters, also, army, navy, air force and one of them focuses on on the i.t.
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aspects of the project. and the third is financial management. we're all going to find the same problem. when we have the right fix, when we have the solution that's usable cross it, so, for example, the army is experimenting with a series of codes. and when you depart, runs through the accounts and looks for every place you had a log-in account and turns it off instead of waiting for six different organizations to get the paper work to go in and turn off your access. that works, everybody can adopt it. similar thing we're looking at. how do i make sure that somebody doesn't log in as one user in one account and still log in as another and yet, we're trying to design a control that prevents somebody from doing both of those functions. so all of those are best practices, we have a forum that shares those. you talk about being in the private sector, secretary spencer of the navy brought in private overdue how you do aircraft maintenance and looking through adopting some of the best practices on the
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navy aircraft in order to fix the depot issues, the supply issues they've been facing. when they have those, they'll share with the other services. with each of these there's a lot of anology to what we do even though we differ in the private sector, it used to be called plagiarism in college, you use the ideas and drive to efficiency in the process. >> well, thank you for the accommodating. i just have one more, we can do this all day, secretary, but you've got a job to do and we do, too. this is so impactful. we're talking big dollars, 160 billion that we spend. where do we go from here and what do you think we're going to identify and if you're not ready to quantify this today i totally understand that. one of the purposes of audit is to look at operational effectiveness and best practices as senator wyden just
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mentioned. this is sort of our first deep dive look at the broad base of the dod and when you look at impacts of cr's and other things, given the nds what do you think the potential is going to be for some rationalization. i'll highlight this quickly. we spend 14% of the money overhead. that's up 2% from the vietnam era. so i'd like to know what that increase is that should be part of the audit process as well. if we allocate the balance a third, a third, a third which is not consistent with the nds and hoping the audit where the money will be spent and gives us flexibility and how to address that. my question, sir, where do we go from here? what's the next step this year and what do you hope to improve after the first audit and secondarily, what do you think the rationalization potential could be in dod? if you're not ready to quantify over there i would totally
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understand, but give us an idea what you're thinking. >> sure, i think the next big step, and the small steps we're going to keep identifying the areas and the next big step is to take advantage of the data we have. part of it we used to do transactions in blocks, transactions as a single entry. can't do that, so we're doing individual transactions. the advantage is now you can now search on them. whereas before somebody looking at a budget, they have 100 million, they now have 50. they can click on that and get every transaction that makes that up. now if you want to get to overhead or other expenses, you can go through the transactions and sort out overhead as in logistics or i hired a consultant and am i getting something. so that level of transaction level data. part of what i push for, we should be able to have a meeting in the pentagon that would look like the business company where the units are there and a report from your
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cfo there's no discussion about the report. it's an accurate summary of activities of each of the organizations, we'll have a discussion what it means. if you don't trust the data you do ent don't get there. we all planning, programming, budgeting, execution. it doesn't have a back loop where you go, here is what we did and comes back and we ended to change it to pppa. and how do i get it back into the system. accounting a note at the end where we send a report to somebody and again audit report is a summary, but it's the data that comes back to the leadership in the usable for mat and this is what private companies do and that's how we want to get to the managing entity. >> of all the people that come
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to capitol hill, you've been a straight shooter and-- >> thank you, mr. purdue, i want to thank my colleagues, looking at three leaders in the senate, and the audit and budget issues for the pentagon. senator ernst, senator blackburn and senator purdue. you did raise the issue of the cr and we heard bipartisan concern which is important how you described it. there's a way too deal with it which is to allow us to get on the senate's preparations bill and have my colleagues on the other side stop filibustering from getting on that and we can just vote on it, that would certainly help and that's what we're trying to do so to the bipartisan concern there's a simple answer. let's get on the bill and vote on the bill that came out appropriations committee with a strong bipartisan support, but we'll continue to press that. i certainly will. well, i want to thank you again and members are requested to
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submit additional questions for the record by friday at noon, mr. secretary, i appreciate and respectfully ask that you promptly respond to additional questions from any of the members of this committee. with that we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> c-span's campaign 2020 has live coverage of upcoming presidential campaign events.
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saturday at 3:45 p.m. eastern on c-span, senator elizabeth warren speaks with voters at a town hall meeting at manchester, new hampshire. 5 p.m. eastern, senator bernie sanders holds a rally with supporters in portsmouth, new hampshire. on monday on c-span2, democratic presidential candidate and former massachusetts governor deval patrick will speak at the politics and eggs breakfast at manchester, new hampshire. at 7 p.m. eastern on c-span president trump holds a campaign rally at sunrise, florida the first since changing his residency from new york to florida in late october. live coverage on c-span and c-span2. watch on-line at or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app. saturday 8 p.m. eastern on american history tv, on lectures in history, gettysburg professor on colonial era
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diplomacy. >> they had to get together and conduct diplomacy with native american peoples and the protocols and customs and language and metaphors to govern that diplomacy were not european in orbegin. they were native american in origin. >> and bridge from no place, on the narcotics and marijuana problem and to treat it. >> narcotics and amphetamines and barbituates at every social and economic level, a tragic aftermath filled hospitals and prisons, and rehabilitation centers across the country. >> pulitzer prize winner caroline frazier on the life and work of the little house on the prairie author, laura ingalls wilder. >> when mary became ill and nearly blind, laura was really
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kind of forced into this role that she had never contemplated for herself, which was to become a teacher. >> at 8:00 on the presidency, we continue our look at the work of pulitzer prize winning cartoonist, with cartoons from president bush to obama, from university of virginia who acquired the cartoon collection. explore our nation's past on american history tv every weekend on c-span 3. >> book tv has live weekend coverage of the miami book fair. starting saturday and sunday, featuring author discussions and interactive viewer call-in segments. on saturday at 11 a.m. eastern, republican senator tom cotton talks about arlington national cemetery. former obama administration national security advisor and u.n. ambassador susan rice discusses her life and career. megan phelps roper on the west
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baptist church and chair of constitutional studies at university of notre dame on liberalism and wired magazine's andy greenberg discusses russian hackers. on sunday, 10:30 eastern our discussion continues on the obama administration, on the proliferation on politics-- and 1950's red scare. journalist discusses former new york city mayor michael bloomberg. former deputy director of the cia's state of the detention centers. former professional football player don mcpherson on toxic masculinity. watch the miami book fair saturday and sunday on c-span2's book tv. >> the u.s. senate is about to gavel in for a brief pro forma session with no votes expected. lawmakers finished business yesterday before leaving for
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the thanksgiving state work period. and now live to the senate floor here on c-span2.


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