By Lt. Col. Ellen KrenkeNovember 1, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va., (Nov. 1, 2010) -- The National Guard Bureau is looking into allegations of fraud and abuse and, if necessary, revamping its procedures for detecting fraud after it was discovered that several states may have disbursed funds as enlistment bonuses to those who may not have qualified for them.
"I am concerned and deeply disappointed about recent allegations involving mismanagement of funds in several state National Guards," said Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau. "These allegations will be thoroughly investigated by experts from across the NGB, DoD, and other federal entities. No stone will be left unturned."
He added that he has directed a review of National Guard Bureau management controls designed to prevent and detect potential financial mismanagement or abuse.
"I have directed U.S. Fiscal and Property Officers (USPFOs) in selected states to review similar controls at the state level," McKinley said. "The results of these reviews will be submitted to me as soon as is practicable."
The results of the review will be shared throughout the 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia to ensure the Guard's personnel and processes abide by established legal and ethical standards.
Finally, McKinley has directed all USPFOs to conduct a quick reaction audit and review of pay compensation programs.
"I expect these actions to be your priority-one objective between now and the end of the calendar year," McKinley said in a memorandum to the states' adjutants general dated Oct. 29.
The allegations of fraud first surfaced in a news article by the Sacramento Bee after federal auditors reported them to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service while looking into the disbursement of funds.