The Department of Defense’s inspector general believes it has found $33.6 billion in missed savings for the Pentagon, and that some can be recovered — if the department follows through on 58 suggestions made by the IG’s office, many of which have been sitting unfulfilled for years.
Glenn Fine, the acting IG, released July 13 the Compendium of Open Office of Inspector General Recommendations, an omnibus effort to sum up 1,298 open recommendations made by the IG’s office over the past decade.
Included is a list of 58 reports that the IG believes could net the Pentagon significant savings — although in many cases the services may not agree, and in others, the potential for savings may have passed.
For example, the IG identified capping procurement of the CH-53K helicopter at 156 platforms, 44 less than the U.S. Marine Corps has requested, on the basis that the Marine Corps has not actually made a case for why it needs the extra rotorcraft.
Doing so could save $22.2 billion, but the recommendation was made in May 2013. Another big saving identified by the IG involves $8.8 billion spent as part of an increased buy of the MQ-9 Reaper in fiscal year 2015 — a procurement decision that has already occurred.
In both the CH-53K and RQ-9 examples, the money is gone for good. But the IG has also identified some recommendations that could bear fruit down the line.
For example, a recommendation that the head of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support attempt to “initiate corrective actions to recover premium transportation fees” could net $631.7 million back to Pentagon coffers.
Another recommendation urges U.S. Transportation Command to recoup past overpayments to commercial vendors, which could net another $157 million. In addition to the dollar figures, the IG’s office highlights 30 high-priority recommendations that have not been dealt with by Pentagon leadership. (Source: Defense News | Aaron Mehta | July 13, 2017)
Thomas Crisp is a retired military officer from Whitmire. His veteran updates can be found weekly in The Newberry Observer.