Defense Financial Management
HR-97-3: Published: Feb 1, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1997.
GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) inability to put in place the financial management operations and controls required to produce the information it needs to ensure adequate accountability and support decision-making, focusing on DOD's need to transform candid acknowledgements of problems in six critical areas into comprehensive, realistic corrective actions.
GAO found that: (1) DOD's financial management systems, practices, and procedures continue to be hampered by significant weaknesses; (2) DOD does not yet have adequate financial management processes in place to produce the information it needs to ensure adequate accountability and to support its decision-making process; (3) no military service or other major DOD component has been able to withstand the scrutiny of an independent financial statement audit; (4) DOD has acknowledged that it is struggling to overcome decades-old financial management problems; (5) since 1990, GAO and the DOD auditors have made over 400 recommendations aimed at correcting the Department's most pressing financial management weaknesses; (6) the past few years have been marked by DOD's financial management leadership, under the direction of its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), recognizing the importance of tackling the broad range of problems in this area; (7) DOD's "blueprint" for reforming financial management represents an important first step towards resolving DOD's long-standing problems; (8) through his 5-Year Plan, the CFO has also put in place a vision statement to guide the Department's reform efforts; (9) as a result, the importance of greater financial accountability is now clearer throughout the Department; (10) to support its blueprint and CFO vision, the Department has begun a number of initiatives intended to address its long-standing financial management weaknesses; (11) DOD still has a long way to go to meet the challenges of managing its vast and complex operations with greater accountability and efficiency demanded by the Congress and the American public; (12) signs of DOD top leadership emphasis on and commitment to resolving DOD's financial management problems are encouraging; and (13) however, DOD must effectively address challenges in the six critical areas highlighted in audit reports--systems, cost accounting, disbursements, personnel, internal controls, and business processes--if its envisioned financial management reforms are to realize meaningful financial management improvements.
Below are the reports in this series:
High-Risk Series: An Overview HR-97-1, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Quick Reference Guide HR-97-2, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Defense Financial Management HR-97-3, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Defense Contract Management HR-97-4, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Defense Inventory Management HR-97-5, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Defense Weapon Systems Acquisition HR-97-6, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Defense Infrastructure HR-97-7, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: IRS Management HR-97-8, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Information Management and Technology HR-97-9, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Medicare HR-97-10, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Student Financial Aid HR-97-11, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Department of Housing and Urban Development HR-97-12, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Department of Energy Contract Management HR-97-13, Feb 1, 1997
High-Risk Series: Superfund Program Management HR-97-14, Feb 1, 1997