SET-ASIDES

GAO hits DOD accounting

Members of the House National Security Subcommittee on Military Readiness and officials from the General Accounting Office last week blamed the problems facing the Defense Department's attempts to manage its cash flow squarely on a lack of adequate accounting systems.

Jack Brock director of Defense information and financial management systems at GAO told the subcommittee that existing systems fail to generate timely information and have inaccurate data. DOD will reveal plans in September for an online system that may improve financial management by updating information on a daily basis.

Rep. Norman Sisisky (D-Va.) ranking minority member of the subcommittee believes the lack of adequate systems is the underlying problem hindering DOD's ability to effectively manage its operations and maintenance funds.

No big buys on GSA schedule

With the exception of DOD agencies reported to a senator that they do not make buys that exceed $5 million from General Services Administration schedule contracts.

The agencies responded to a request for information from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) who asked DOD and the Treasury Commerce and Energy departments in May if their buying habits have changed as a result of GSA's elimination of maximum order limitations on schedule purchases. DOD cited nine examples of procurements that exceeded $5 million while the remaining departments said they had not made any schedule buys exceeding that amount.

A member of Levin's staff said the senator collected the information "as a matter of oversight" and did not plan to take action based on his findings. She added that Levin "may have some other questions" in the future.

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