Facing “Moderate Risk” in Audit Timetable

Facing “Moderate Risk” in Audit Timetable: A top Air Force executive told lawmakers late last week that notwithstanding the Air Force’s “remarkably successful year” in achieving the new timetable for the military services to achieve audit readiness, USAF officials “continue to view the 2014 and 2017 goals as having “moderate risk.” Congress initially set a 2017 timeframe for DOD to have all financial statements audit-ready. However, shortly after taking office, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta instructed the services to make 2014 the goal. Testifying Sept. 14 before the House Armed Services Committee, Marilyn Thomas, a top finance official, said in written testimony that USAF has made “significant progress on several business processes,” but the service does “face challenges,” including improving its legacy IT systems and continuing deployment of Enterprise Resource Planning systems. Testifying at the same hearing, DOD Comptroller John Hale noted, too, that the ongoing budget uncertainty created “time-consuming and unproductive planning efforts” that have hampered the push to budget auditability. He acknowledged that each service faces challenges, but he remained “reasonably confident” they can meet the audit goals. (Air Force report/TSgt. Jess D. Harvey; AFPS report/Claudette Roulo)