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The Department of Defense (DOD) has initiated several efforts over the years to address its long-standing financial management weaknesses and ultimately achieve unqualified (clean) opinions on its financial statements. In 2005, the DOD Comptroller first issued the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) Plan for improving financial management and reporting. In May 2010, the DOD Comptroller issued the FIAR Guidance to provide standardized guidance to DOD components for developing Financial Improvement Plans (FIP) to implement the FIAR Plan. GAO's testimony focuses on (1) progress made by the DOD Comptroller in developing and issuing the FIAR Guidance, (2) challenges faced by DOD components in implementing the FIAR Guidance, and (3) improvements needed in DOD's oversight and monitoring of FIAR implementation efforts. This statement is based on four audits that were undertaken at the request of this subcommittee and other congressional requesters to evaluate the progress DOD is making in implementing its FIAR Plan and FIAR Guidance. GAO addresses findings and recommendations from two reports being issued this week (GAO-11-830 and GAO-11-851) and preliminary information from two ongoing audits. Each audit demonstrates some of the challenges DOD faces in improving its financial management and achieving the goal of auditable financial statements by 2017..

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