ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Readiness drives successful defense of our nation, and that extends to the defense of our budget and how Joint Munitions Command applies those financial resources to effect. Being audit ready and compliant is critical to the Department of Defense in defending the budget, making smart decisions on the use of taxpayer resources and executing programs that deliver readiness to the Joint Force. Success in audit efforts is directly related to how JMC improves its process controls, standardizes efforts and increases the reliability of reporting.
“To improve our auditability, we have spent significant effort over the last few years in standardizing ammunition management processes and the related controls,” said John Campbell, deputy chief of staff, Resource Management Directorate.
Examples of this include standardizing ammunition procedures for the JMC core competencies such as distribution, storage, demilitarization and production through collaborative efforts between our industrial sites and headquarters staff. The command has also automated processes and controls that further standardize logistics functions.
“We worked with the Joint Services to develop an agreed upon set of procedures and practices in our audit contract and functional processes in order to meet their financial audit requirements and maximize the ongoing audits at our sites to meet their needs as well as the Army’s,” added Campbell. “This aligns JMC efforts to meet the overall audit readiness goals within DoD and ensure readiness for ammunition to all services.”
JMC has been extensively audited by Army auditors to understand and test its controls for ammunition management and all associated financial elements. In the last two years, there have been approximately 3,000 samples of our inventory, more than 1,100 of property and 200 financial system transactions reviewed. “Each of these samples and any related audit visits have helped us better see ourselves, improve our processes and execute to a higher standard,” said Campbell.
Leadership continues to look at how we can integrate process automation and artificial intelligence to increase the quality and efficiency of audit efforts. Scrubbing existing funding against remaining requirements is a key step of financial controls that is important to maximize the use of resources before funds expiration.
“The command recently piloted the use of digital automated workers to perform line-by-line reviews of production programs to easily and accurately identify those programs that should have greater scrutiny for possible funds realignment or reuse before funds expire,” said Campbell. “This automation effort allows JMC and Joint Program Executive Office-Armaments and Ammunition analysts to dedicate time and effort to analyze the right ammunition programs, in a more timely manner, and preserve buying power for all services.”
JMC also leads efforts to identify corrections and improvements of internal controls. Reviews of internal controls are incorporated into mandatory control programs: command inspections, Managers’ Internal Controls Program and audit remediation. JMC is synchronizing the control programs to improve coordination, communication and complement rather than duplicate efforts. JMC is leaning forward to build a robust Organizational Inspection Program geared to analyzing trends and reducing redundancies in inspections and meet the intent of the DoD Financial Reporting Guide, as the sustaining program for the annual financial statement audits in the future.
“If the Auditors determine JMC has an integrated internal controls structure that is effective, the audit could be performed with fewer visits, less testing, and result in fewer findings and recommendations,” said Campbell.
Readiness is everyone’s responsibility. JMC’s collaborative efforts to manage and control its processes in an audit ready status will lead to greater success in defending and executing resources to meet the Joint Warfighter needs. JMC will continue to focus on these areas to improve our processes and manage resources successfully to enable munitions readiness.