If you haven't read it, there is a report by Reuters about impacts of payroll errors upon military personnel and their families. The investigation found widespread payroll errors. Some of the errors reported:
- Too much withheld for pay for payments for supposed debts, without notice and without explanations
- Pay errors (e.g., too much, too little) affected both active-duty and discharged soldiers
- Some solders (e.g., deserters) received pay they were not entitled to
- Active-duty personnel both in war zones and state-side in rehabilitation hospitals have been affected
- Soldiers must wait weeks or months for the errors to be corrected
- The payroll system does not seem to be in compliance with Congressional laws mandating annual audits
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), with a $1.36 billion budget and 12,000 employees, is responsible for paying 2.7 million active-duty and reserve military personnel. A December 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that the U.S. Army has no way to ensure its soldiers are paid correctly. The GAO report stated:
"A soldier who separated from the Army in 2009 continued to receive active duty pay totaling about $185,000 until 2011. A soldier who was absent without leave from January 2010 to September 2011 received military pay of $33,268 to which she was not entitled. A soldier under investigation for possible fraud allegedly received over $34,000 in paratrooper and language proficiency pay but did not have a documented record of jumps performed or up-to-date proficiency certifications.... an Army National Guard colonel deployed on active duty to Afghanistan reported that he experienced financial hardship when his military pay was stopped for 1-1/2 months."
The GAO report also found:
"... DFAS and the Army have procedures and metrics in place that focus on the timeliness of manual processing and payroll adjustments for error corrections. However, they do not have procedures and metrics to enable them to gather data on active duty pay errors that were related to causes other than timeliness, such as over- and underpayments, data entry errors, and unauthorized payments. Further, the design of existing Defense Joint Military Pay System-Active Component and DFAS-IN Case Management System procedures for transaction processing and error correction did not provide for monitoring to capture data on all types of pay errors and their causes... The absence of data on the extent and causes of all types of Army active duty military payroll errors impairs the Army's ability to identify and address any adverse trends..."
The GAO report concluded:
"... the control deficiencies that GAO identified increase the risk that the nearly $47 billion in reported fiscal year 2011 Army active duty military payroll includes Army service members who received pay to which they were not entitled and others who did not receive the full pay they were due.... to the extent that errors in Army active duty pay are not identified and addressed in a timely manner, they can have a negative effect on soldier welfare and, ultimately, could erode soldiers' focus on their Army mission."
This is truly a "mugging" of military personnel. It's tough enough to fight the enemy on the battlefield. Military personnel should not have to also fight their government at the same time.
Military personnel and their families should not have to experience this wage abuse. Officials in the Pentagon need to be help accountable, and lose their jobs if this situation continues. Contact your elected officials today and demand this be fixed immediately.