Army program furthering financial reform efforts

By Ashley Tressel / October 22, 2019 at 11:42 AM

The Army's newest fiscal stewardship program is making progress in educating the force on how to responsibly manage appropriations, according to a senior official.

Army Comptroller Lt. Gen. Thomas Horlander told Inside Defense in an interview last week during the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting that the 18-month-old Command Accountability and Execution Review program has seen some "vast improvements" in the way the Army optimizes spending.

"When we look at ourselves, we see areas for great improvement," he said. "We can do a lot better with our supply chain, we can do a lot better with contract management, we can do better with the transportation of equipment and people."

The CAER program was established on Dec. 14, 2017, "to provide commanders a tool for them to see themselves. And right now, I can say with great confidence they can see themselves a lot better than they could two or three years ago."

He added that on Oct. 1 the service realigned Army Financial Management Command, a two-star command, under Army Materiel Command.

AMC commander Gen. Gus Perna has been working with Horlander on the CAER program, since all the contracting commands are under AMC.

Horlander said former Army Secretary Mark Esper's direction to put a block of instruction in the schoolhouses on this program "has been probably one of the biggest benefits . . . to get all the senior leaders moving up through the ranks introduced [to] and understanding what fiscal stewardship really is," he said.

The program will continue to expand its scope as it moves along, he said.

"When problems arise or we start to see things of concern, we can pull it into CAER," Hollander said. "And we say, OK, here's a special interest item that we have . . . and leverage that to take a look at it."