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Jul 29, 2008

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There is no Dan Hawkins that works for DCAA. Trust me; I work for DCAA and checked.

Tom

This whole process has been very interesting. I will admit that I too have been a DCAA auditor - I left (with an offer of a Team Supervisor behind) to return to the public sector from which I had joined DCAA after seeing the lack of auditor independence in performing audits, the lack of allowng professional judgement, and a lack of professionalism in many of the people in the organization.

Yes, there are some fantastic, dedicated professionals in DCAA, and the removal of "poor performers" is not quite as simple as Mr Hawkins claims - one auditor was charged with theft of government property valued at over $15,000 and he was simply required to return the stolen property and accept a transfer to another organization. Another instance includes the funneling of business to an auditors husband (he had previously been DCAA) as they would "develop" serious findings and suddenly this ex-auditor would appear with a solution as a consultant (becomes suspicious when this person was known to me from my DCAA days and the fact that he had report results prior to the report being issued (too bad the report was delayed in the Branch Manager's office). The resulting penalty? The auditor was no longer allowed to work on that contractor's audits - No penalty for the husband.

I particularily enjoy Mr Hawkins declaration that to comply with GAGAS, the contractor is to be allowed an exit conference and the ability to provide responses to be included in the report - for the last 12 to 18 months I have noticed that DCAA auditors are issuing Final reports without exit conferences or allowing comment on a draft - their response is "We don't do that any more" - another area where professionalism is lacking - auditor, team lead, team supervisor, branch manager, Regional manager....all with failures.

Recently DCAA has decided that they do not need to discuss findings or perform the audit with the selected representative of the contractor - auditors are doing this and intimidating the small, new, government contractor - again - unprofessional.

DCAA DOES need a major revamping, a more professional attitude and a less lazy work ethic. Become professionals not a collection of people with no where else to go to work.

Hey "no name". Again I love the superior logic the DCAA haters here spew. “GAO is a well respected organization”. Sure. Made up of auditor just like DCAA. Except somehow they are perfect. Oh, except they didn’t have to follow any kind of auditing standards. Perfect - just perfect.

scared

To those who believe hawkins is a manager- there is a lot of information in the letter which would not be known at a FAO. My guess is they are either a program manager or regional RS.

The system is broken. The metrix drives behavior and if the metrix is set up to measure days, hours and sustention but not CQ; you get what you designed. Now, the same headquarters and regional people who thought up the system are inspecting/leading us into something better. If you believe that, you should not be in auditing.

no name

Attacking the GAO is stupid. DCAA management reminds me of a contractor attacking a DCAA audit they didn't like - "Oh, those mean auditors." GAO is a well respected organization, especially by the people who matter - Congress. If thats all "Dan Hawkins" and his stooges can come up -DCAA is in trouble. However, it looks like DCAA Director has realized attacking GAO is getting her nowhere. Now she'll fall back on DCAA's favorite solution to every problem - more micro management and more GS-13 and GS-14 positions.

Ed - All my points exactly. But if you try to be fair and objective, you will just be met with accusations of being part of the evil DCAA management. The bloggers here have their opinions made up, and objectively is not in their vocabulary. They want to bypass any fair process and go straight for the guilty charge and the hang'ins. They will not give a hoot if the GAO investigation was unfair or not (I am all for determining if it was via a response to the DCAA rebuttal). P.S. Good points about the time frame etc. Boy – two years and probably hours and hours of hour to review only 13 reports and interview 50 people. I think in DCAA that would be about an 80 hour budget.

Ed

After reading the GAO report and the letter from Dan Hawkins I wonder if most of you have actually read the GAO report. Hawkins makes a few good points that seem to be lost in all the blogs. First, the GAO stated that contractors controlled DCAA audits -- but this was only one audit and the practice that led to the possible involvement by the contractor was discontinued 6 years ago. Why is the GAO making a big issue over something that took place on one audit 6 years ago? I guess it makes good press. Second, the GAO alleges management abuses by DCAA. But they did not provide DCAA any information. Due to the lack of information, based on a press release by DCAA, it is my understanding that the DoD IG is initating a new investigation in this area. Why is a new investigation needed -- why can't DCAA or the IG use the results of the GAO's investigation. Is anyone concerned about the waste of government funds. The GAO took 2 years to complete an investigation and interviewed over 50 people. But they will not provide the facts of the allegations of management abuse. So now the IG plans to spend probably 2 years and interview 50-100 people to determine whether the GAO is correct. Anyone concerned with this huge waste of time and money? GAO -- hand over the information to DCAA or the IG and let them deal with the people involved NOW -- not two years after the IG completes their review. Lastly, the GAO did not include the entire response submitted by DCAA. Regardless of whether you argee with the GAO or DCAA, why would the GAO decide to exclude the rebuttal from DCAA. Does Hawkins have a point that the GAO did not want to have to address DCAA's comments -- perhaps the GAO is guilty of the same issues as they found on DCAA, rushing an incomplete report out the door. Although DCAA may have some issues, it is time we ask the GAO some tough questions.

Hey "DCAA Auditor", I just love it. You say "The DCAA stooge on this thread and "Dan Hawkins" represent the typical DCAA's managements viewpoint. They hide behind anonymity." What the heck are you talking about? Talk about "fools", you talk and talk about all of these obvious and rampant problems. Where have YOU been all of this time? Have you been bringing all of these "problems" to management’s attention? Have you been the lone DCAA auditor battling the mean and evil DCAA management? I bet not. You are a definite coward hiding behind your anonymity and all you can do, or all you have every done, is blog, blog, blog. Why didn’t you stand up before it all became so public? – Because you are a spineless coward and just a BIG whiner, whiner, whiner. Go someplace else that can use your obvious talents and fantastic ethics and morals. I bet you also go and kiss up to your supervisor every morning. Come Monday, why don’t you march right in his office and tell him or her what you really think? Oh – because you are a spineless coward.

Jim

Dan Hawkins gave himself away as a management fool. My guess is he is a GM-14 Branch Manager somewhere who lives with his Mother and spent 3 days writing that long winded defense of the DCAA mess.

DCAA is a great job as long as you don't let it get to you or drink the Kool Aide. I realise some regions are much tougher than others and if you are working for a "nut" it can be very difficult. Don't let the Bullies beat you down. Stand up for yourself. Most Bullies are cowards. Hey if the Deputy Director in the Mid-Atlantic Region could survive two sexual harrasment complaints for hounding young woman, why should a GS-7 lose his job cause he went over budget or used the wrong Font. I hear we have many good people in management, the Central Region Director is a real people person and takes a nice picture.

DCAA Auditor

The DCAA stooge on this thread and "Dan Hawkins" represent the typical DCAA's managements viewpoint. They hide behind anonymity. They consider any criticism of DCAA management wrong. No changes needs to be made. Its all perfect folks. If the GAO found massive problems - thats because the GAO is at fault. If auditors criticize and suggest improvements, they're 'Disgruntled" or "Troublemakers' who need to leave DCAA. Thankfully, the US Senate subcommittee and objective observers think otherwise. As "Auditor" stated the current Government Exec article is spot on. DCAA is broken and will only fixed by outside pressure. A few terminations may change things.
But the pressure must be kept on. The Dan Hawkins types don't want change and never will change. They learn nothing and forget nothing. The abusive environment found by the GAO is typical of the Western Region and most of DCAA.

One more thing. Branch managers and supervisors often have wives who work at Defense Contractors. Further, most BM's and Supervisors become consultants or go to work directly for Defense contractors after they retire. The ethics rules only require that BM's or supervisors not deal with contractors they or their family have a direct financial interest in.

Okay, everyone can bash DCAA all they want, but from what I have seen, DCAA does a decent honest job and then there is NO support for Contracting Officers and they give away the farm.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, commonly called SOX, addressed auditor conflicts of interest. Prior to SOX, auditing firms, the primary financial "watchdogs" for investors, were self-regulated. They also performed significant non-audit or consulting work for the companies they audited. Many of these consulting agreements were far more lucrative than the auditing engagement. This presented at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. For example, challenging the company's accounting approach might damage a client relationship, conceivably placing a significant consulting arrangement at risk, damaging the auditing firm's bottom line.

Of course we are all aware of the revolving door between some in the DCAA ruling class, and the consultants employed by the DoD contractors. Over the years those, who chose to participate, include DCAA Director’s F. Neuman, B. Lynn, and C. Starrett. The guarantee to DCAA officials of high paying positions in the accounting/consulting industry after leaving DCAA, and working from their homes, and perhaps a paid for move back to where they came from originally; made things very cosy and predictable for them. Especially, if some type of restructuring took place, which reduced the number of Regions and Field Audit Offices, as happened at DCMA; or moving a Regional Office location, as happened in Central (from Illinois to Texas).

Since proper DCAA audits and the delaying tactics used by contractors are a function of time; it appears to me that the use of metrics (in a sterile vacuum) by the Regions and Headquarters served as a means of controling (limiting) the volume of reporting of findings at major DoD contractors, where the auditors are literally swimming alone in a tank full of sharks.

DCAA states that it is taking the GAO report very seriously; and is taking every step necessary to review and address the issues cited in the report; and that DCAA is committed to supporting any review of its procedures, and is prepared to take immediate action to fix any problems found. I would like to suggest that the above cited connections and their potential for conflicts of interest be thoroughly investigated by the GAO.

"Auditor" You've lost it....

Auditor

The GovExe article about DCAA being broken was good reporting that rings true to most past and present DCAA auditors. However, the author states something to the effect that no one can link DCAA managers who routinely favor defense contractors to criminal bribes or payments. This may be true or very hard to prove, but it misses a subtle point that to find the cause and effect of DCAA management's venal behaviors you need look no farther than their annual compensation and benefits. DCAA managers are handsomely paid, starting in the $90k-$100k range. They are paid to be watchdogs but instead are lapdogs in order to keep and promote their management jobs. In reality, their salary is their illegal payoff. And, until now, they literally had no accountability as long as they pleased their bosses by always favoring defense contractors. The very incentive and compensation systems within the DCAA illicitly sustain all management that routinely minimizes audit risk and looks the other way. This is no smalll payoff.

"Auditor" and "DCAA Auditor" - No "Sock-Puppet" here, just someone who looks at things fairly, and is willing to accept shortcomings rather than blame everyone else (like for example the appraisal you clearly don’t like – well get used to it or leave, because more than likely you have been fairly appraised in comparison to your peers). You are disgruntled, and maybe you have good reason in your particular office, but I know that you speak for a small minority or auditors. Most would agree that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the metric driven environment, and it creates a lot of stress and dissatisfaction in general. But the good auditors do a good job regardless of any real or perceived problems they don’t like. They perform well and do audits in accordance with GAGAS. All I can say regarding the rest of your one-sided, disgruntled opinionated statements (for “auditor”), is your total disagreement with DCAA management (prior auditors) tells me you should move on; everyone would be happier. And hey, an outstanding auditor like you should be in high demand and you should be able to land a great job tomorrow. And we all know that the grass is greener over there.

DCAA Auditor

"Dan Hawkins" and his Ilk don't represent *all* DCAA Managers or Supervisors. Many GS-13's want to do a good job, create an atmosphere of "Mutual Trust and Respect" and put out quality audits. But they want their bonus too. So most just give up after a while & give the Branch Managers and RAM's what they want. Usually the "Dan Hawkins" types and the Metrics obsessives are the one's who get promoted to BM and RAM. Further, many of the best GS-13's take early retirement or move on to better things.

Auditor

There is one blogger on here that is/was in DCAA mgmt., or is a mgmt sock-puppet that counteracts or "manages" every critical blogger statement with some sort of lame defense as if he is the utlimate arbiter of DCAA's performance. Well, "Mr. Hawkins" your letter is exposed not for its insight, but for its origin - somewhere within or very near DCAA mgmt.

And, yes dude, all DCAA managment uses the same talking points with auditors because it is part of their brainwash in supervisor training courses. These indoctrination courses literally weed out all good independent thinking leaders that somehow made it through the first management screen of their auditor promotion appraisal. This annual auditor promotion appraisal that every senior auditor receives is so arbitrary - with scores from 0-4 given without any support behind it - is the ultimate screening device for managment to keep good independent auditors out of their management club. After we purge the existing management we certainly need to reform the appraisal process to make it more fair. Oh yeah, why don't you just sit this one out Mr. Hawkins and focus on your DMIS or your boss won't be happy;)

To "DCAA Auditor” – Okay, I think some of your statements are valid concerns and points, but I don’t think your arguments are as black and white as you state. I think most of the auditors do their best to protect the government’s, and the taxpayer’s interests (don’t you?) and are effective at it, even given a metric driven environment. You make several statements as facts, that clearly are not. You don't know who "Dan Hawkins" is. And some of your other statements are laughable- “He uses all the exact same phrases DCAA management uses.” What – do all DCAA managers walk around talking (or writing) in these “phrase”? Give me a break. You may be a disgruntled DCAA auditor, but at least be fair and honest. You need to check your other “facts” as well – “DCAA doesn't even require its managers and supervisors to be CPAs.” Of course not, but a higher % of managers have their CPA. “Most of the CPA's are low level auditors.” “Most” of the CPAs are not “low” level auditors; DCAA has far more senior auditors. This statement is great – “DCAA management likes turnover in the audit staff since it keeps down the audit dollars per hour number.” Okay, so DCAA like to spend a lot of money hiring and training auditors because this is an effective way to keep dollars/hour low. Now that is funny and as I stated above DCAA has far more senior auditors (okay maybe not at your office) so your statement is clearly flawed. You need a little more experience as an auditor.

DCAA auditor

Dan Hawkins is a fake name that doesn't exist in the DCAA personnel directory. The writer is not an auditor but a manager. He Claims to be an auditor of 25 years. but never names the office he works in. He is obviously unfamiliar with the way DCAA works at the ground level or does audits. He uses all the exact same phrases DCAA management uses. He has access to DCAA's 16 page rebuttal, which almost no auditor has. His claim to be an auditor with 25 years is BS. He is an obvious management stooge trying to help DCAA with damage control.

DCAA management likes turnover in the audit staff since it keeps down the audit dollars per hour number. They pride themselves on being "tough" and micromanaging the staff. This does not mean paying attention to GAGAS or findings but achieving the metrics. Towards the other managers they give big offices and perks while the peon auditors can't even get decent computers. Their focus is not to ensure quality but to meet the metrics. To reiterate, the whole DCAA audit process is run by metrics and due dates - NOT protecting the governments interests or meeting GAGAS.

His comment about CPA's is laughable. DCAA doesn't even require its managers and supervisors to be CPAs. Most of the CPA's are low level auditors.

There have been a number of recent postings here on the POGO blog, and some more over at GovExec.com, regarding the GAO-08-857 Report. From the postings it appears to me that the rumor, that has been circulating for some time within the military-industrial complex community about the completion of something resembling the forced defacto internal metamorphosis into Pod People (Google the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" [1956]) of large numbers of auditors and their supervisors at the DCAA field audit offices cognizant of the major defense contractors; may have been an exaggeration.

Against all odds, it appears to me that some of the watchdogs near, or on the front lines are still able to bark; and are doing so. I seem to recall a somewhat analogous event, which involved Mr. George Spanton, a Federal Auditor and a former DCAA Resident Auditor at P & W-West Palm Beach, FL; and DCAA's Messrs. Starrett, Brown, Evans, and Tueller.

Hey,

If anyone really wants to get upset, get upset at congress and their demand for acquisition reform and the whole "commercial item" issue giving defense contractor’s free reign to sell items as commercial and to charge whatever "commercial" price they choose. Look up GAO reports on that issue – the taxpayer is really get’n hosed on that one.

OOPS, Last post regarding cost of the war, should not have been addressed to Axel, but insead to "Curious".

Axel, Not sure about your figures regarding the costs between WWII and Iraq, but the two wars are completely different. The materiel used for each is vastly different and so is the cost. They each have the horrible cost in human life, but WWII cost millions of lives (world wide). Thankfully, today the US has by far the best trained and equiped military in the world and that does cost at lot.

Axel, I think we can all agree and/or concur with your statement.

Scarlet O'hara Frankly my dear – I don’t give a damn. Really I don’t
But it appears that you have missed the point, and made lots of invalid ones. But first to address your comment “Axel's and Golden Boy's critic is somewhere in DCAA's management structure or aspires to be” - Nope and Nope. But from your apparently knowledgeable criticism and statements, it sounds like you are either a disgruntled DCAA employee, or perhaps one of the high-and-mighty GAO auditors. But either way, it sounds like you are close to the issues, and that your opinion was made up regardless of any facts – and I’ll say it again – the lack of facts, and you clearly have an axe to grind. It comes through loud and clear, especially with your YELLING AT THE TOP OF YOUR VOICE! It is clear from your emotional outrage, without giving DCAA the benefit of having their rebuttal addressed – the only fair thing to do.

The most blatantly erroneous statement “it is the admitted fact that DCAA is not independent in the conduct of its audits and the expression of its opinions” Who admitted that? I didn’t and the GAO “report” doesn’t give an opinion on it. I said “customer service” (in quotes) to address an earlier point but I certainly did not say DCAA audit reports do not meet GAGAS. You are perhaps reading what you want to into statements; probably like you are reading things into the GAO report. Your mind and opinion appears to be made up and you are only going to hear what you want to hear. You cast your whole net over the DCAA like everyone is guilty of issuing reports that don’t meet GAGAS. I don’t know how many auditors DCAA has, probably more that the GAO, but according to you they are all involved in a vast conspiracy with contractors, and everyone else involved in the process and knowingly issue reports that are not in accordance with GAGAS. You have clearly made up your mind and don’t want to see the facts, but my point is this, the GAO has to consider all of the facts, including addressing the DCAA’s rebuttal. Otherwise the whole thing is tainted whether you want to admit it or not.

Curious

Axel, I think in the context of these discussions "customer service" is a euphemism for ignoring professional principles while facilitating a service to keep immediate parties happy. It does not mean just common courtesy. Perhaps Scarlett means that the proper customer service of DCAA to the trusting public should be the exercise of independence in its audits despite the pressures put upon it by defense contractors or Army Generals, etc. Good thing there is oversight on oversight because this does sound scandalous. Hmm, no wonder - I knew that the Iraq war should not cost in constant dollars anything near the First World War, but it does. WOW!! How come this is not on the front pages of the NY Times? Did I miss it?

Axel

I presume we all agree and to the obvious that reasonable and respectful Customer Service and proper and forthright Oversight and Accountability are acceptable and worthwhile practical applications which should be a prosperous and worthwhile benefit to and for all.

Scarlet O'hara

Gone with the Wind 2 - DCAA toxic management culture [technical problems with last post] It is probably a safe bet that Axel's and Golden Boy's critic is somewhere in DCAA's management structure or aspires to be. I can tell that because of his condescension to them both and his air of entitlement. But the interesting and telling point of his remarks to Golden Boy typifies his and DCAA management's ignorance of and/or disregard for Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) and the taxpayers they work for.

To illustrate, he confesses that, "I agree independence is probably sacrificed for “customer service” and DCAA needs to realign the internal incentives with the taxpayers' – The taxpayer is the ultimate customer. The report will most likely make the DCAA consider those points, but still, the immediate issue is that the GAO did a strictly limited investigation, not an audit,..." EXCUSE ME, SIR?!! Quite to the contrary, "the immediate issue" is not GAO's investigation - it is the admitted fact that DCAA is not independent in the conduct of its audits and the expression of its opinions, the very first and foremost standard in GAGAS that dictates the nature of compliance to all other Field Work and Reporting standards in GAGAS and quite literally makes the report useful for the taxpayers. It does not matter a wit if DCAA's audit reports are spell checked, referenced, and with in some performance time budgets if DCAA's audits are not compliant with the Independence Standard in GAGAS. These "audit reports" must stop immediately.

THESE TYPES OF DCAA AUDIT REPORTS ARE PREVALENT AT DCAA AND TOTALLY USELESS FOR THE TAXPAYER!! These reports are only useful for 1) the government procuring officer because he gets his procurement on contract quickly, 2) the defense contractor because he enhances his revenue with an inflated contract amount, and 3) the misguided DCAA manager because he meets his bogus performance metrics and gets promoted, or a pat on the head (reference Mr. Hawkins' overweening pride in his sustained "outstanding rating".) So everybody wins but the taxpayers because their taxes are being wasted, and, now, the GAO finally discovers this long time fraud and the bloated, entitled DCAA management structure cries foul while at the same time admitting that, "independence is probably sacrificed for 'customer service'." The taxpayers should be very angry and more DCAA managers ought to be confessing to the GAO. I encourage Axel's blogging critic to come forward to the GAO. I agree with the prior bloggers and Senator that a lot of firings and/or demotions are necessary at DCAA to make it functional again for the taxpayers.

And, what the gentlemen famously said to me should also apply to Mr. Hawkins' whiny letter - Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn and neither should the taxpayers.

Keep working on it - I think I may have notice a slight improvement.

Axel

Thank you for the 'good thoughts' acknowledgement. RE 8/1/2008 post 3:28:03 PM

I presummed any implied defeciencies within my percieved and/or actual insufficient and/or any un-accreditated and/or intricate and/or detailed knowledge of the intracities and within the technical format to communicate obligations and responsibilities of and to the many entities and agencies and Legislative responsibilities within the narrow and from the minimal and/or dubious context of information as mentioned where reasonably expressed and understood at the onset and accepted and that I was being forthright in my expression in reference to the Article posting as 'DCAA Fights Back' and then the additional update that I thought I would allow for a reply.

Thanks again for your good thoughts comment.

Good luck in your continued endeavors towards proper and forthright Oversight and Accountability.

Axel,
I think there might be some good thoughts in there somewhere, but you need to be a little more coherent to get your point across - the rambling isn't quite getting it; brevity and clarity work.
Country Boy,
Not quite as bad, but sorry, same comments as for Axel. I agree independence is probably sacrificed for “customer service” and DCAA needs to realign the internal incentives with the taxpayers' – The taxpayer is the ultimate customer. The report will most likely make the DCAA consider those points, but still, the immediate issue is that the GAO did a strictly limited investigation, not an audit, and THEIR report has so many holes and flaws in it that we first need to get to what are real problems and what isn’t. And sure, anyone can read the report and get angry, demand change, call for heads to roll and firings, etc. etc. But the GAO was not fair – they didn’t provide the report for response and they didn’t include, or respond to, DCAA’s rebuttal. And the Hawkins letter written is response to the Senator’s premature outrage, has numerous points that contradict the GAO’s report. Before anyone makes sweeping decisions on this, they need the facts. For anyone to say otherwise, they are simply not being honest and are unfairly opinioned and blinded by their predetermined opinion. If the Senator and the GAO do the right thing, we’ll know soon enough.

Axel

Should it be viewed as a stimulating synopsis from Country Boy, then the view of our 'In God We Trust' Currency should hopefully receive the proper and forthright, Oversight and Accountability that is mandated.

(Which would presumably allow for proper and forthright Oversight and Accoutability towards the alleged illegal and/or not properly authorized withdrwawal from our United States Treasury Bank of Billions of Dollars flown to Iraq and disappeared and/or unaccounted and/or available for Oversight and Accountability, lack of proper, forthright and adequate Federal (including employees) Whistleblower Protections, Lack of Impeachment Exercise and Implementation and as needed, lack of Accountability and Oversight prevented by seemingly undemocratic, unconstitutional, illegal, unwarrented, undue and improper Secrecy from a variety of uncontested, improper and/or illegal invocations and/or directives and seemingly lack of Subpeona Enforcement, alleged numerous and various Hatch Act Violations and possible or seemingly extended considerations thereof.). Etcetra.

I agree with the inference that should it have been suggested that our hopes continue to remain with our US Senatorial and Congressional Legislatures and within the recent 7/25/2008 US Congressional Hearing entitled 'Executive Powers and Its Constitutional Limitations' and that hopefully there conclusion will save our Constitution (and Democracy) from the alleged further and/or complete disinigration.

Country Boy

Yes! All roads run through this fictitous man's letter. It is cathartic, isn't it DCAA employees?! But, it is time to make an honest agency to the taxpayer out of you. In the 90s your leaders decided to make customer service your goal at the sacrifice of your independence and you never looked back. (Peculiar choice for auditors; did Arthur Anderson mean nothing to you?) So, for much too long you have been no better than a Piano Player in a contracting whorehouse; a Walmart Greeter just sharp enough to identify the obvious looters. Well, now the sunshine is on your little obscure agency and it has got some disinfecting to do. Lead the way GAO and Senator, we all await your objective recommendations. Yet, it already seems to this country boy we need to swap out the leadership, realign the internal incentives with the taxpayers' interests, and isolate it from DoD interference. Now that would be an agency that would certainly deliver. Yee haw!

You're got to be kidding

Come on! Please get real! That letter to Senator McCaskill has Crowell & Moring; McKenna & Cuneo (now McKenna, Long & Aldridge); or someone like them written all over it, including the degrading personal attack at the end (P.S. Get your CPA certificate). I have seen it all before.

Maybe. I can't say what this persons motivation is, but I think I might unerstand not giving your real name when a PO'd US Senator is calling for heads to roll and people to be fired without even getting the benefit of all of the facts. What would you really do if you were in the same shoes. It's easy to say you would give your real name, until you are the one who's head in on the chopping block.

Big Spoon

Re: the Jeff Hawkins in the DCAA directory. I understand his middle initial is "D." So it is quite possible that it could be him. However, I searched the NY, VA, CA CPA databases. There are no instances of certified Dan Hawkins, Jeff Hawkins, JD Hawkins, etc. It could be possible that he was certified in another state. Unfortunately, there isn't a central CPA search site to verify that this guy exists. I agree with the other poster in that if you want to be taken seriously, you should use your real name.

I think some here on the blog have thier minds made up regardless of the facts - and the lack of facts - and they are out for blood; Just go get'um. Who cares that the mighty untouchable GAO (auditors too by the way, that some here seem to want to condemn) didn't include the DCAA response in the report? Who cares that there are numerous other blatant errors (or I'll be fair - maybe ommissions) inthe GAO report? Who cares that they didn't look at the actual audit evidence but relied only on conversations (not an audit but an investigation)? Maybe it all true, maybe its not - but to me, the jury is still out until the GAO responses to the DCAA rebuttal. Time will tell. But ,like the mighty Senator, some make the same leap to condemn because they wont accept any other evidence or answer, their opinions aboout some are made up and wont be changed. I know one thing for sure - Socrates wouldn't have done that...

Boy - talk about diatribe, and oh so impressive diatribe at that....

Egypt

Hawkin's diatribe is as dubious as his name and probably position. His arguments are chalk full of classic fallacies in relevance and vacuity, like using categorical ad hominem, appeals to authority, bandwagon effects, tradition and even ignorance. Other times he begs the question and then alternatively ignores the claimed question with digressions. I am sure Socrates met his progenitors on the way to the Agora and now we have met him and his ilk today. Breath a sigh of relief informed public: not all "CPAs" or even auditors are that deficient at DCAA. Hawkin's rebuttals and his shameless blogging defenders are in a complete state of denial, but luckily it is nothing that good oversight legislation won't fix.

KSBR disgusted

KSBR,

I don't care if there are any valid points in the Hawkins letter. For a letter of this gravity to be signed in a clearly misleading way takes most of the steam out of it. The guy is a chickens**t--no cojo**s and no ethics worthy of an auditor.

One wonders how many other things at DCAA are faked or set up to mislead.

That guy should be found using forensic techniques and then....canned--not for violating the chain of command but for being stupid and hiding. Can you imagine what someone like this would do when faced with a challenge from supervisor or audit consumer? Quite possibly: lie and cover up. And investigations of DCAA should go forward as planned.

Regardless of who Dan Hawkins is, I read the letter and he seems makes a lot of valid points and strong arguments. It appears that the Senator went off half baked - she didn't have all of the facts in order to make intelligent decisions regarding the issue. The points brought out need to be looked at. And if the points brought out have some validity, then GAO needs to answer a lot of questions regarding thier audits/investiagations and DCAA has been inappropriately maligned.

Regarding an earlier comment that DCAA is asking for less oversight, he didn't say that at all, what I got out of it is that he just wants the oversight to be done fairly.

Axel

Would it not be advisable to inquire into another source as a non de plume signature is in my view would be completly and intirely inadmissable as such and as apparently written and/or would presumably not be acknowledged by a US Senator as such and/or if it is possible to be treated as such from a US Senator and now implied to some extent by POGO. Also, from my very brief reading of the related Articles the summation was more along the lines of DCAA having limited ability to do their assigned tasks within just this narrow scope of the arguments and remarks.

Mark Reeder

There are only three individuals named Hawkins in the DCAA directory. Two are females and the only male is a Jeffrey (who goes by Jeff) located in the Buffalo NY area.

One Who Knows

POGO should check its facts before posting this guy's letter. There is no current employee by the name of Dan Hawkins or any other derivative of that name at DCAA.

Big Spoon

Who is Dan Hawkins? He is not listed as a DCAA employee in the DCAA Outlook Directory. I also question how he obtained a copy of the 19-page response. How about that getting posted on POGO????

KSBR

I await Axel's analysis of the Hawkins letter.

Just your Average Joe

This is just wonderful. A career bureaucrat at DCAA is asking for less oversight. Did this bureaucrat step over the line with the tone of his letter to the Senator? Maybe it is a Hatch Act violation. But expect since he is another one of the DCAA kool-aid drinkers that he'll get promoted for this letter.

Ken Huffman


GAGAS me with a spoon. This auditor's letter is a bureaucractic jumble of archane gibberish. Case closed as to why hide bound accountants (particularly CPA's) should be relegated to the backroom of government program oversight.

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