Dirty Little Secret

Pentagon acquisition executive Ash Carter on Tuesday reiterated his office’s desire to reduce the number of reports that the Defense Department is required to provide to Congress in response to language in each year’s defense legislation. “I sit in the Pentagon on Saturday afternoon reading reports to you that are this thick, that are in an embarrassing number of circumstances late to need, and convinced that I’m the only human being that has ever read [them] and ever will,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee in testimony. This is just one of the many reforms that DOD wants to adopt to become more efficient in its practices and processes. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking member, was receptive to Carter’s view. “We don’t read those reports,” he acknowledged, calling that fact a “dirty little secret.” He added, “Sometimes we get briefed on them, if they’re very important.”