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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Chair, I rise today to engage my friend, Chairman McKeon, in a colloquy regarding the Defense Contract Audit Agency, or DCAA, and express concerns about the potential overreach of its authority.

The DCAA plays a critical role in our contracting system. As such, in recent years, Congress has provided substantial human and financial resources to address its well-documented workload backlog and other challenges. I am in favor of such resources and encourage DCAA to focus on eliminating the backlog. However, it appears that DCAA may be broadly accessing a myriad of contractor documents that have little or no impact on determining the effectiveness of contractor business systems.

The FY13 National Defense Authorization Act contained a provision, section 832, which set parameters for DCAA's access to the internal audits of companies that provide goods and services to the Department of Defense. Specifically, it is my understanding the committee was focused on contractors' business systems and ensuring robust and independent internal audit controls to those systems. However, it appears DCAA is broadly interpreting section 832 as providing DCAA with the authority to access all contractor internal audits and supporting documents. This is concerning on many levels.

I would ask the chairman if he has considered the potentially chilling effect on a company's desire to maintain a robust internal audit program if the government is demanding unfettered access to information they may not need or may potentially misuse. This is especially worrisome when this overreach extends to the very proprietary data that makes these companies competitive in the marketplace.

I thank the chairman for his leadership and ask if he shares my concerns regarding the potential overreach of DCAA in this area.

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