Tester Calls for Greater Transparency, Accountability in Military Spending
Senator Jon Tester pushed for greater transparency and accountability in the Department of Defense’s budget on Tuesday.
Even though the Pentagon has never conducted a full audit of its spending before, Tester said the military’s failure to open its books and account for its spending is a disservice to taxpayers and military personnel.
“I don’t think anybody around here disagrees that a full audit of the Pentagon’s books is critical for moving forward,” Tester said. “It would not only help identify ways to increase operational efficiencies, it would increase transparency, it would bring a more appropriate level of oversight to the Department of Defense. And in a budget environment in which we continue to see requests for program eliminations, base closures, reduced personnel benefits, the DoD’s failure to meet audit readiness is frustrating.”
Tester also questioned how often the department works with other government agencies to save money and prevent overlapping programs.
“There’s no reason the department can’t have an audit,” Tester said. “I get the impression there’s now focus on it, but the proof is going to be in the pudding.”
The Pentagon’s spending is now nearly 60 percent of the nation’s overall discretionary spending.