And the Pentagon keeps on spending

In a 1985 scandal, it was revealed that the Navy paid Lockheed $640 each for airplane toilet seats.

[Some years later] two South Carolina sisters who supplied small parts to the military bilked it of more than $20 million by charging wildly inflated shipping costs for low-priced items, [such as] $998,798 for shipping two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas. The scheme lasted six years before they were caught in 2006.

Undersecretary of Defense Tina Jonas, who is now the comptroller and chief financial officer, is heading up an elaborate effort—once again—to develop compatible systems to share information seamlessly.

Unfortunately, flawed planning and internal resistance have hampered the current reform effort. Preoccupied with protecting their turf, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines continue to maintain separate, increasingly outdated systems that can't talk to each other, trace disbursements, or detect overbilling by contractors.

The four military services still can't be audited, and Jonas declines to predict when the entire Defense Department will finally pass an audit. "We don't know what we don't know," she says.

[Excerpt of an article by Portfolio.com]

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