Ceremony celebrates DLA’s audit readiness accomplishments, milestones

By Amanda Neumann

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The agency owes its success in achieving audit readiness two years ahead of schedule to the innovation, compromise and hard work of its employees, the director of the Defense Logistics Agency said during an Audit Readiness Assertion Ceremony Oct. 30 at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.

The Sept. 30 signing of DLA’s audit readiness assertion letters culminates the agency’s three-year journey to achieve audit readiness over its processes, systems and procedures in time for an independent public audit in 2016.

DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch said while it’s easy to say the agency is done and move on to the next big thing, it’s important to take time to recognize accomplishments.

“It was a big challenge. [But] everybody got organized, and I’ll tell you, wherever I go in the Defense Logistics Agency, I see evidence of audit readiness at work across the agency,” he said.

When his predecessor, Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, challenged DLA to achieve audit readiness two years early, from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2015, he relied on guidance from the agency’s senior leaders to help ensure every employee knew there was 100 percent commitment and focus on the effort, Busch said.

Though the path to achieving audit readiness has been challenging, it couldn’t have been accomplished without innovation, compromise, hard work and accountability—all things in DLA’s Strategic Plan, Busch said.

“We are a large enterprise in the Department of Defense, $40 billion a year … and we have to be accountable to the American public for every one of those dollars,” he said. “Audit readiness helps put us in a place where we can more fully explain to them what we’re doing with all of those dollars.”

Although passing the assertion is a milestone, it’s akin to freshman year finals, Busch said, adding that the agency still has to move to sustainment.

“We still have a sophomore year, a junior year and a senior year; we have a long ways to go,” he said.

Afterward, Busch presented lapel pins and certificates of commendation to members of DLA’s business process cycle teams, field command teams and program management enterprise teams for their contributions to the agency’s audit readiness efforts.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DoD’s payment servicer, received a Keystone Award for its partnership and leadership efforts. Harnitchek was awarded the DLA Assertion Founder’s award, which was accepted on his behalf by DLA Vice Director Ted Case.

Deputy Director of DLA Finance Simone Reba presented her own awards, including the “Honorary Accountant” award to DLA’s business process cycle owners and the “Audit Readiness Program Cofounder Award” to Case.

In addition, a letter of recognition and a lapel pin will soon be issued to all DLA employees, Reba said.

Video of the Audit Readiness Assertion Ceremony is available here.