Defense reform critics like Chuck Spinney, and government organizations like the GAO, have complained for years that the Pentagon’s accounting system is broken. Considerable amounts of money are still being spent trying to improve the services’ systems in order to realize a “clean audit,” but the DoD’s books are such a mess that its accountants aren’t wasting any money by trying to run comprehensive audits. Last year, Managing Director Gregory D. Kutz of the Government Accountability Office told Congress that these accounting problems would cost taxpayers approximately $13 billion in 2005. Indeed, the GAO has classified the Pentagon’s accounting systems as “high risk” since the 1990s.
Now the Raleigh-Durham News & Observer has a report that details the extent of the problem, and the troubles these systems are causing for some troops in the field. But why do the problems persist, even after all of these years?
InsideDefense.com describes the ripple effect spreading outward from eleventh hour cuts to the Army’s portion of the FY 2006 supplemental spending request, which stripped more than $2.6 billion for key improvements to Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and other armored vehicle programs. It notes that these cuts will have significant effects, depriving the Army of key urban survival kits for its tanks, slowing modernization of the fleet and of a number of units, and driving up the price paid in the end while seriously disrupting production lines in the short term.
Small business qualifier TUG Technologies Corp. in Marietta, GA received a $12.3 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N68335-04-C-0111) to exercise an option for the procurement of 350 Mid-Range Tow Tractors for use in moving aircraft and equipment up to 80,000 pounds. Work will be performed in Marietta, GA and is expected to be complete in April 2008. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Lakehurst, NJ issued the contract.
In February 2006, the US Marine Corps was about to buy 130 new LAV-A2 8×8 armored vehicles in seven variants. The contract was worth $257 million, potentially rising to $307 million if an option for electric turrets was exercised. General Dynamics Land Systems just announced that it was, via a $49 million contract for electric turret drives to retrofit U.S. Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicles (LAV). General Dynamics will provide 394 electric turret drives for existing LAVs, some of which entered service in the 1980s.
The LAV-A2 is an improved version that is equipped with an electric turret drive and improved suspension. It is also fitted for enhanced armor protection and features an automatic fire suppression system for crew protection. The four rear wheels drive the vehicle on a full-time basis, but eight-wheel drive is selectable for more challenging terrain.
Small business qualifier Rolac Contracting Inc. in Minot, ND won a $7.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for Construction of a Security Forces Vehicle Building at Minot Air Force Base, ND. The base hosts the 5th Bomb Wing’s B-52s and the 91st Space Wing’s Minuteman III nuclear ICBMs.
There were 165 bids solicited on Oct. 12, 2005, and 2 bids were received. Work is expected to be completed by June 12, 2007. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, NB issued the contract (W9128F-06-C-0012).