War on terrorism? Pentagon officials have launched an all-out war on credit card problems
Credit Card Crackdown
War on terrorism? Pentagon officials have launched an all-out war on credit card problems.
Defense Department officials are still red-faced from a Congressional hearing this month about ongoing waste, fraud and abuse of DOD purchase and travel cards — problems such as employees who went on Christmas gift buying sprees and even one DOD employee who used his government-issued credit card to pay for his girlfriend's breast enlargement operation.
Although a General Accounting Office audit focused on two Navy sites — the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Navy Public Works Center — the issue has been raised to the highest level. Last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asked DOD's comptroller to investigate the reports of credit card abuse.
"We are taking this very, very seriously," Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said March 18 during the regular Pentagon briefing. "One of our main responsibilities around here is to make sure that we take very good care of the taxpayers' hard-earned dollars."
Comptroller Dov Zakheim met with the secretaries of the military services as well as Rumsfeld's undersecretary March 18 to discuss the allegations of waste, fraud and abuse of the government credit cards, Clarke said.
Zakheim also issued a joint memo March 12 directing all DOD components to ensure compliance with published purchase card internal controls, said Tina Jonas, deputy undersecretary of Defense for financial management, during a March 20 hearing before the House Government Reform Committee's Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee.
Furthermore, a working group is conducting a comprehensive review of the policies, procedures and legislation governing the use of the cards, she said. That group will recommend revised policies and procedures and, if necessary, propose legislative changes to end the abuses.
Clarke defended the purpose of the purchase card program, which is designed to streamline the buying process, reduce red tape and cut down on bureaucracy, she said.
"That's the intent. That's a good intent, and it's one we want to preserve and protect....But there are lots of questions about how well the program is functioning," she said.
The MC of NMCI
The Marine Corps has named Richard Glover the Marine Corps' Navy Marine Corps Intranet program manager.
Glover had been the acting program manager, but Brig. Gen. James Feigley, commander of the Marine Corps Systems Command, officially named Glover to the post recently.
Glover will work in conjunction with Rear Adm. Charles Munns, who was recently named the director of the Navy's NMCI Program Office. Marine Corps Col. Robert Logan is Munns' deputy.
Unlike the Navy, which has had many people involved in NMCI decisions, the Marines have had a more streamlined, clearly delineated leadership approach.
It is unclear when the Marine Corps will start rolling out seats.
It will not be before Defense Department Chief Information Officer John Stenbit concludes oversight of the initial Navy sites, expected to occur this summer.
Glover previously led the Marine Corps Base Telecommunications Infrastructure Upgrade and Network Infrastructure programs.
DOD Taps E-Biz Czar
The Office of Defense Procurement has named Mark Krzysko the new deputy director for e-business.
Krzysko, who becomes a member of the Senior Executive Service, comes from the Naval Air Systems Team, where he was division director for e-commerce solutions.
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