Pentagon audit finds $223M in undocumented foreign logistics orders
Poor record keeping on a Web-based Pentagon computer system for tracking and documenting logistics orders placed with foreign partner militaries left at least $223 million not properly accounted for, auditors found.
Army and Air Force personnel running the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIL did not make proper use of the system, according to a Pentagon inspector general audit released Monday.
The Pentagon’s inspector general looked at the way Army Central Command, known as ARCENT, and Air Force Central Command, or AFCENT, documented their use of Acquisition and Cross-Service Agreements, or ACSAs, as part of their mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and Syria against ISIL.
ACSAs are deals between the U.S. and authorized foreign military partners for the supply of logistics and logistical services — things like fuel, ammunition, clothing and food, and the quartermaster, catering and laundry services that dole them out.
The U.S. military reimburses their partners in cash or kind based on details and documentation that are supposed to be entered into the ACSA Global Automated Tracking and Reporting System, or AGATRS for short.
The audit, which reviewed a random sample of 175 ACSA orders (out of a total of 576), concluded that “ARCENT and AFCENT personnel did not properly use AGATRS,” leaving out vital information, neglecting to upload the proper documentation and failing to properly close the orders once they were complete.
Ten entries had no signatures, meaning “there was no assurance that a binding international commitment existed or that the [logistics] order was completed, reviewed, and ready to be processed for billing and collection.”
Of the 105 total ARCENT ACSA orders reviewed, 72 of them, with a total value of $202 million, “were missing required supporting documentation.” In one, involving the exchange of a parcel of land with the Iraqi government, there was a $1 million discrepancy that could not be resolved because of the absence of supporting documentation, auditors found. All but one of the 70 AFCENT ACSA orders they looked at, with a total value of $21 million, were likewise lacking required documentation.
So poor was the record keeping that the auditors wrote, “We did not make recommendations regarding the correction of existing records because in many cases, documentation does not exist to verify the transactions.”
Auditors blamed a lack of guidance from service commanders, which “did not clearly define required ACSA and AGATRS procedures.” The report authors said they had met with senior Army and Air Force commanders at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The Air Force will issue new orders in June, and the Army will by the end of the year.
These rules would include a requirement that AGATRS entries be complete and properly documented.
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