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Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Mike Turner wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting an update on how the Department is implementing a new prohibition on the naming of Department of Defense (DoD) property after a sitting Member of Congress. Turner included the language in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent conflicts of interest between Members and projects funded by taxpayers.

"Nearly five months have passed since the law was enacted, and I am interested to learn about the status of its implementation. Please confirm whether the DoD and each of the Armed Services has implemented the new policy. If new policies have not been created, please provide a timeline for which these policies will go into effect," wrote Turner.

The language as passed by the FY 2012 NDAA applies to structures, buildings, or other infrastructure of a military installation, roadways and defense access roads, and any other area on the grounds of a military installation.

"Naming infrastructure after sitting Members is a clear conflict. These are taxpayer's dollars and it gives the wrong impression if the buildings or operations are affiliated with an elected official who's currently still in office. It gives the appearance that the Member has funded the infrastructure rather than the taxpayer," added Turner.

NOTE: The letter to Secretary Panetta follows below as does the specific section of the FY12 NDAA.

The Honorable Leon Panetta
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Panetta,

In section 2863 of the FY2012 NDAA, I included language that prohibits the naming of Department of Defense real property after a standing Member of Congress. This language was passed to prevent conflicts of interest.

Nearly five months have passed since the law was enacted, and I am interested to learn about the status of its implementation. Please confirm whether the DoD and each of the Armed Services has implemented the new policy. If new policies have not been created, please provide a timeline for which these policies will go into effect. I appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to continuing this effort to safeguard our federal processes.

Sincerely,
Michael R. Turner

Member of Congress


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