http://news.yahoo.com/special-repor...s-conceal-epic-waste-144950858--business.html Yet another story by journalists that don't understand the basics of managing a large enterprise. Don't get me wrong - there are lots of things wrong with how the Pentagon conducts business. I've heard plenty of stories from a sibling who is a fairly high level manager in an oversight agency mentioned in the article. However, the journalists lost me with this paragraph: This is blaming the computer for the lack of controls. This guy who spent plenty of years working in a mainframe environment knows for a fact: 1) A large percentage of our nations financial and banking systems run on those "outmoded computer languages such as COBOL on old mainframes". 2) The relational databases and flat files on these old dinosaurs are the simplest places to search for data ever invented. 3) Computers do not create erroneous data. Users input it. Data corruption is a function of media management. Using appropriate redundancy and maintaining your media is required no matter if you are using a mainframe or an Intel box to manipulate and present your results. In fact, both types of systems use the same disk and tape systems for their storage. That being said, COBOL is one of the easiest languages to audit. It reads much like English and is comprised of fairly basic computing logic to follow. This makes the review of controls in the code fairly easy to follow. Try to find qualified auditors for some of these object oriented languages and you will discover how difficult dissecting modern information systems can be. My understanding of the basic problem here is that basically the computer automation of controls for operational systems has not kept up with the changes in procedures and practices over the past couple of decades. Blaming the software that was not written for the practices in place for the failures of the practices in place shows little understanding of the problem at best. The sloppy accounting in DoD is a cumulation of the implementation of business practices without adequate development of the underlying systems to control those practices. Place the blame for this where you may, but don't blame the hardware.