Contact: Sarah Feldman– 202-228-6263
POW/MIA Update—Pentagon Report Confirms Need for McCaskill Reforms
Independent report requested by McCaskill cites mismanagement in recovery efforts, need for complete reorganization
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today issued the following statement after the Department of Defense Inspector General released its report confirming findings of mismanagement and a lack of strategic planning in the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command that were raised by McCaskill, and further illustrating the need for a complete reorganization of the agency:
“Today’s report confirms what we already know—that the Pentagon’s POW/MIA recovery efforts have been plagued by mismanagement and a lack of clear oversight and accountability. The report makes a clear case for what I’ve been fighting for, and what the Pentagon is now taking concrete, enforceable steps to implement—a complete, top-to-bottom reorganization that will ensure a professional, accountable, and effective recovery process, so the families of our missing heroes receive nothing less than honesty and transparency.”
This spring, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved McCaskill’s plan to strengthen POW/MIA recovery efforts by establishing a single agency responsible for those efforts, with one federal official in charge. This amendment to the annual defense bill would be the first official step in restructuring POW/MIA accounting following McCaskill's investigation last year into the troubled recovery efforts.
The amendment addresses the key deficit identified by the Government Accountability Office and McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran, which is that there was no one agency or official in charge to coordinate and be held accountable for POW/MIA recovery. It follows a similar recommendation by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier this year, following a joint letter from McCaskill and Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/accountability to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight for stronger accountability in Washington.