March 13,2003

Grassley Objects to Army Management Award


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Army management award
Da: Thursday, March 13, 2003

Last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, questioned a
potential presidential merit award to an Army official who has responsibility over Army credit card
programs. Grassley has worked to expose government credit card abuse and mismanagement,
particularly in the military, where the volume of credit cards has presented significant management
problems. Today, Grassley received a letter from Army Secretary Thomas White saying that the
manager, Ernest Gregory, will receive the presidential merit award, which carries a $25,000 cash
bonus. Grassley made the following comment on this development.

“I’m very disappointed by Secretary White’s decision. This is the latest in a series of examples
of the Pentagon’s failure to hold people accountable for their actions. We’ve seen some of these
examples in the news lately. The Army says Mr. Gregory is not ‘directly responsible’ for credit card
programs, but he ‘provides executive oversight’ of the travel card program. The General Accounting Office completed a very thorough review of Army credit card programs in June 2002, uncovering widespread fraud and abuse and giving the Army a grade of ‘F’ for management. That’s not a success story. It’s gross mismanagement. And someone at the Pentagon has to accept responsibility for that instead of circling the wagons and giving out awards to those with ‘oversight’ of a program where the wheels fell off.”