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Mike McCord, Member of the Commission on the National Defense Strategy for the United States, discusses the Defense Department’s audit troubles and related challenges in recruiting financial management employees

The Defense Department’s audit troubles are making it harder for the department to find financial management talent. Doug Glenn, the department’s Assistant Deputy Chief Financial Officer, says that the skepticism of potential Pentagon employees is warranted.

Mike McCord, Member of the Commission on the National Defense Strategy and former Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller in the Obama administration, listed some of the factors affecting a potential employee’s decision about where to work, including affordability, the commute, and schools. Following that is consideration of what it is like to be a federal employee. Then the person would consider what it would be like to work at the Defense Department specifically.

McCord said that he found that many people working at DoD in financial management expected to work harder than their peers at other agencies. “Some of that is a positive,” he said, because some people want the extra challenge of trying to get DoD to pass an audit.

Some believe that the spending data that could eventually enable DoD to pass an audit exists, and the hurdle is presenting it in a way that auditors can understand. McCord explained that “the balance sheet is the real difficult part … the scope of the organization is just so large that getting it down to whether there’s nothing missing, nothing that doesn’t match up in all these records, has been a challenge.”

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