Coburn's bill aims to give the department some carrots and sticks to get its books ready to audit. The Pentagon would get more flexibility in how money can be used or transferred among accounts, and it would have to file fewer reports to Congress.
The legislation would transfer the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to the Treasury Department and create a chief management office empowered to fix the Pentagon's finances and information technology problems. It would prohibit any weapon system from progressing past the research and development phase until the Pentagon could audit its books.
“How can we protect taxpayer dollars from waste and abuse or set the priorities for protecting our freedoms, if the Defense Department can't even tell us how these vast sums of money are being spent?” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat. “This legislation is bipartisan, it's common sense, and it'll take some big steps toward stronger accountability over federal spending.”