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Holding the Government Accountable
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Analysis

A Shield from Missiles or Oversight?

In 2002, POGO reported that the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is insulated from the oversight that other defense programs receive. At the time, POGO used two directives signed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the basis for our report. However, MDA's protection stems not just from policies laid out in directives, but from an attitude disdaining accountability held by the upper echelons at MDA. Events around two recent Department of Defense Inspector General (IG) reports highlight this.

One report critical of missile defense information security was taken off the IG's website at the request of the MDA in order to perform "a security review." (Here's that IG report). The other report said that the MDA has stymied IG audits of the agency over the last two years by flouting DOD policies on document access. (See pages 29-31 of this IG report).

By both requesting secrecy for a critical report and hindering IG audits, the MDA is actively preventing its own accountability within the Defense Department. The Secretary of Defense should reign in MDA and ensure that the American taxpayer is getting their money's worth with the nearly $10 billion-a-year project.