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National Guardsmen and reservists mobilized since Sept. 11, 2001, have experienced significant problems getting paid back for travel expenses, and there is no evidence the planned solution will fix them, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

The report says more than two-thirds of the Army guardsmen and reservists GAO interviewed had problems receiving accurate, timely travel claims.

Some soldiers were forced to wait more than a year for travel claims to be settled, leaving them to shoulder the costs of paying off DoD travel cards.  The study looked at 10 units mobilized between Oct. 1, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2003.

Soldiers of the 190th Military Police Company out of Georgia incurred more than $200,000 of debt because of confusion over rules concerning commuting areas and per diem for meals, the report states.

That debt was paid by taking money from soldiers while they were in Iraq, Gregory D. Kutz, GAO’s director of financial management and assurance, told a congressional panel March 16.

All 107 of the 115th Military Police Battalion soldiers who took part in the study were denied per diem despite being housed off base.  The report says soldiers hitchhiked and rode bicycles more than three miles to dining facilities.

The Defense Department did not fully concur with a GAO recommendation related to late fees.  

Kutz told the panel that because DFAS could not identify the soldiers who did not receive travel settlements within 30 days, it was not paying legally required late fees and interest to the soldiers. The GAO report said changes in policy are needed to make that happen

Kuwaiti Investigators Say U.S. Command Helping Cover Up Iraq Corruption

[Houston Chronicle, April 4, 2005]

Lawmakers in Kuwait say that Haliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root and the U.S. military are not cooperating in their investigation of overcharging for fuel used by American forces operating in Iraq.

Air Force Wants To Rape A Rape Victim Again

[Denver Post, April 5, 2005]

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