Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney asks questions about the missing trillions to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and DOD comptroller Tina Jona

By: C-Span broadcast | Date: March 2005

FY 2006 Defense Department Budget
Senate Armed Services Committee

MCKINNEY: According to the Comptroller-General of the United States there are serious financial management problems at the Pentagon to which mr. Cooper alluded. Fiscal year 1999, 2.3 trillion missing [1]; fiscal year 2000, 1.1 trillion missing. And the DOD is the number one reason why the government can't balance its checkbook.

The Pentagon has claimed year after year that the reason it can't account for the money is because its computers don't communicate with each other. My second question, mr. secretary, is who has the contracts today to make those systems communicate with each other, how long have they had those contracts, and how much have the taxpayers paid for them?

RUMSFELD: ... I forgot what the second question was.

MCKINNEY: I think miss Jonas knowns it.

JONAS: Thank you, mrs. McKinney, I appreciate the question, I appreciate your interest in our department's financial condition, and we are working very hard on that program. I just came back recently.... [interrupted]

MCKINNEY: I understand you're working hard on it, but my question was who has the contracts, how long have they had that contract, and how much money have we spent on it?

JONAS: In general we spent about 20 billion dollars in the department on information technology systems. The accounting systems, or part of that, I can give you the exact number for the record of what we spent on our current, of what we call our legacy systems and those that we're moving toward.

MCKINNEY: And who has the contracts?

JONAS: There would be a multitude of individuals... [interrupted]

MCKINNEY: Could you name some, please?

JONAS: Well, uh, I think of the top of the, my head... well, I would rather not. I would rather provide that for the record.

MCKINNEY: That's not privileged information, is it?

JONAS: I'm sure it's not. [talks very soft]

MCKINNEY: Well, please. We still have time. So, please.

JONAS: I would be glad to provide it for the record. I don't want to talk from the top of my head and be incorrect.



[1] (accessed: August 8, 2005): "In fiscal 1999, a defense audit found about $2.3 trillion of balances, transactions and adjustments were inadequately documented. These "unsupported" transactions do not mean the ultimately cannot account for them, she advised, but that tracking down needed documents would take a long time. Auditors, she said, might have to go to a different computer system, to different locations or access different databases to get information."