William Lynn not Obama’s best choice at DoD

The revolving door is spinning so fast it’s 

difficult to tell whether this nominee is going to land in or out, but I’m inclined to vote OUT.

Here is the  Raytheon press release when he was appointed VP:
Raytheon Company has named William J. Lynn an appointed Raytheon Company vice president and senior vice
president, government operations and strategy.
    Lynn’s responsibilities include company liaison with the executive and
legislative branches of the federal government as well as state and local
government relations. He will also help direct the development of Raytheon’s
defense business strategy.
    Lynn joins Raytheon from DFI International, a Washington-based research,
analysis, and consulting firm, where he was executive vice president. Prior to
joining DFI in March 2001, Lynn served four years as the Under Secretary of
Defense (Comptroller).  In that position, he was the chief financial officer
for the Department of Defense and was the principal advisor to the Secretary
and Deputy Secretary of Defense for all budgetary and fiscal matters. From
1993-1997, Lynn was the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation in the
Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he oversaw all aspects of the
Department’s strategic planning process.
    Before entering the Defense Department in 1993, Lynn served for six years
on the staff of Senator Edward Kennedy as the staff representative on the
Senate Armed Services Committee.  Prior to 1987, he was a senior fellow at the
National Defense University and was also on the professional staff of the
Institute of Defense Analyses.  From 1982 to 1985, he served as the executive
director of the Defense Organization Project at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS).
    A graduate of Dartmouth College, Lynn has a law degree from Cornell Law
School and a Master’s in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at
Princeton University.  His publications include Toward a More Effective
Defense as well as articles in various newspapers and professional journals.
Lynn is married to Mary Murphy, an attorney with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene &
MacRae in Washington, D.C.  They reside in Old Town Alexandria, Va.
    With headquarters in Lexington, Mass., Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is a
global technology leader in defense, government and commercial electronics,
and business and special mission aircraft.

But more important to making the choice is the following from CQ Politics:

Lynn,
nominated by President Obama to be deputy Defense secretary, previously
served as the Pentagon’s comptroller during the latter half of the
Clinton administration. He was tasked with the dual mission to reform
the Pentagon’s antiquated financial management systems and move the
world’s largest corporation closer to its first-ever clean audit. But
Pentagon investigators, experts and watchdog groups noted little if any
progress toward those goals after he spent four years at the post.

Moreover,
some allege that Lynn sought to relax accounting rules while in office
and misled congressional staff on Defense budget matters.

The
Pentagon still has never achieved financial transparency. But with
fiscal reform as a top priority in a time of economic crisis, Lynn’s
Pentagon record has increasingly come under scrutiny.

Military
reformers and some former Defense officials from the 1990s argue that,
aside from potential conflicts with Obama’s new ethics rules, Lynn’s
record as a public official is itself a problem. Lynn served as
Pentagon comptroller from 1997 to 2001 and was director of the program
analysis and evaluation office before that.

A 1998 Defense
Department inspector general’s audit report criticized Lynn’s
stewardship of the comptroller’s office, saying the department “did not
comply with several laws and regulations” relating to 1997 financial
statements.

“Material instances of noncompliance included
inadequate accounting systems, improper accounting, and inadequate
disclosure in the financial statements,” the report said. “The DOD
control environment was not conducive to the preparation of auditable
financial statements because the CFO did not provide timely guidance to
the DOD components.”

Also in 1998, Lynn testified before the
Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board in support of relaxing a
requirement that the department report on the historical value of all
major assets, such as weapons systems.

He said the Pentagon
couldn’t meet the requirement and adhering to the standard would hurt
department morale. The board later relaxed the requirement.

Rafael
DeGennaro, director of the Citizen Century Institute, a nonprofit
organization that promotes transparency in government, also testified
at the board’s hearing. He told the board that the stronger standards
were necessary to hold Pentagon program managers and contractors
accountable for their estimates and cost overruns.

“On an
obscure day, when reformers were trying to get better DOD accounting,
William Lynn was part of the problem, not part of the solution,”
DeGennaro said in an interview. “He was not a reformer when it
mattered.”

Winslow Wheeler, a defense analyst at the Center for
Defense Information and former Senate Defense budget aide, said the
comptroller’s office under Lynn gave Congress misleading information
about Defense budget numbers as a matter of course.

Lynn’s
presentations to Congress sought to alter budget projections by using
misleading economic figures, counting savings that didn’t exist and
comparing numbers incorrectly, according to Wheeler.

 —————–

We
are suffering the effects in the US and global economy from relaxed
accounting rules (ie. Arthur Anderson, Enron), misleading economic
figures (ie. Bernard Madoff), and counting savings that didn’t exist (Citigroup), and we don’t need that in the most expensive department in government with too many black ops projects as it now stands.

About ItheMissingLink

Longshoreman at the Port of Seattle. US Navy veteran 9 patrol FBM nuclear submarines
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