Intercepts

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.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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