The latest report out of the Government Accountability Office says that the U.S. Army lacks accounting oversight of work being performed by private contractors.

Looking at data from two inventory control points, the GAO specifically cited a number of incidences where the Army did not demand receipts from private contractors for repair contracts worth more than $68 million, about 15 percent of the unclassified shipments the Army sends out for work every year. Each year, the Army ships thousands of items to contractors for repair, alterations or modifications.

The report said that another $480 million dollars in unclassified items shipped for repair couldn't be reconciled with shipping records. Discrepancies were also found in records for about $8 million of the classified parts and tools, nearly 40 percent of the category.

The Pentagon does have a written policy that such receipts be received and recorded in the military branch's inventory management systems. In earlier audits, the GAO found a similar lack of accounting oversight with Navy and Air Force parts and tool shipments. In a Nov. 29 letter responding to the report, the deputy under secretary of defense for logistics and material readiness, Jack Bell, agreed with the GAO recommendations to better document the work.

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