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Gotta watch those Navy “internal control weaknesses”

Swamped

The Pentagon identified problems in the bill-paying system.
The Pentagon identified problems in the bill-paying system.

There’s big trouble brewing with the Navy’s bill-paying setup in San Diego, and taxpayers face the unpleasant prospect of being robbed blind. So says a February 25 audit of the military’s Invoice, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer system, otherwise known as iRAPT. “The Navy processed over 75,000 invoices valued at $16.3 billion through iRAPT in the second quarter FY 2015,” says the document.

But Pentagon auditors “identified internal control weaknesses” in the system at three Navy commands, all in San Diego: Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific; Southwest Regional Maintenance Center Pacific Fleet; and Naval Facilities and Engineering Command Southwest. “Specifically,” the audit continues, “access controls did not ensure that accounts were disabled for inactive users.” In addition, “users were given inappropriate access to system functions that they did not need to perform their jobs.” The result, according to the document, was that “the Navy increased the risk of unauthorized system access and improper, fraudulent, or late payments.”

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It’s not the first time the Navy’s financial vulnerabilities have been exposed here. In April 2010, Gary Alexander, a former executive at Space and Naval Warfare Systems got 75 months behind bars for using his influence to steer $4.8 million worth of contracts to a company run by Elizabeth Ramos and spouse Louis Williams, who received shorter sentences. In July 2007, then-recently-retired admiral José Luis Betancourt copped a plea to charges he had illegally assisted client Accela Group in getting a fat contract from the center, otherwise known as SPAWAR. He paid a $15,000 fine and spent a year on federal probation.

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The Pentagon identified problems in the bill-paying system.
The Pentagon identified problems in the bill-paying system.

There’s big trouble brewing with the Navy’s bill-paying setup in San Diego, and taxpayers face the unpleasant prospect of being robbed blind. So says a February 25 audit of the military’s Invoice, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer system, otherwise known as iRAPT. “The Navy processed over 75,000 invoices valued at $16.3 billion through iRAPT in the second quarter FY 2015,” says the document.

But Pentagon auditors “identified internal control weaknesses” in the system at three Navy commands, all in San Diego: Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific; Southwest Regional Maintenance Center Pacific Fleet; and Naval Facilities and Engineering Command Southwest. “Specifically,” the audit continues, “access controls did not ensure that accounts were disabled for inactive users.” In addition, “users were given inappropriate access to system functions that they did not need to perform their jobs.” The result, according to the document, was that “the Navy increased the risk of unauthorized system access and improper, fraudulent, or late payments.”

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It’s not the first time the Navy’s financial vulnerabilities have been exposed here. In April 2010, Gary Alexander, a former executive at Space and Naval Warfare Systems got 75 months behind bars for using his influence to steer $4.8 million worth of contracts to a company run by Elizabeth Ramos and spouse Louis Williams, who received shorter sentences. In July 2007, then-recently-retired admiral José Luis Betancourt copped a plea to charges he had illegally assisted client Accela Group in getting a fat contract from the center, otherwise known as SPAWAR. He paid a $15,000 fine and spent a year on federal probation.

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