Tuesday, Oct 25th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Military Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste

Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste

E-mail Print PDF

Pentagon waste

Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.

Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s - a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.

And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. “A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” Woodford says. “We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”

The data flooded in just two days before deadline. As the clock ticked down, Woodford says, staff were able to resolve a lot of the false entries through hurried calls and emails to Navy personnel, but many mystery numbers remained. For those, Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” - in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called “plugs,” to make the Navy’s totals match the Treasury’s.

Jeff Yokel, who spent 17 years in senior positions in DFAS’s Cleveland office before retiring in 2009, says supervisors were required to approve every “plug” - thousands a month. “If the amounts didn’t balance, Treasury would hit it back to you,” he says.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Dozens of Afghans Missing From U.S. Military Training

Afghan trainees AWOL in USForty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than...

2nd wildfire breaks out on California military base

Military base firesAnother wildfire, possibly sparked by a downed powerline, broke out Wednesday and forced the evacuation of...

Joint Staff general's girlfriend problem grounds career

michael BobeckAn Army National Guard general on the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been fired from his...

Chelsea Manning readies for disciplinary hearing over suicide attempt

Chelsea Manning faces indefinite isolationChelsea Manning goes before a three-member disciplinary board of the US army on Thursday charged with...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!