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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More DoD waste... but fraud being investigated!

Fraud investigation targets recruiting program for Army National Guard, Reserve

On its face, I thought this program was wasteful when my Nattie G brigade mandated that everyone sign-up to become Recruiting Assistants. Now, my instincts have been proven correct.

Basically, Soldiers were "hired" (hired = signed himself up for the program) as 1099 employees of DOCUPAK and given the title Recruiting Assistant (RA). Soldiers (aka newly hired RAs) in the ARNG could bring in recruits, ask them a few questions, submit a form online, and then hand them off to a local recruiter. If the recruiter signed a recruit up, then the Soldier/RA who brought the recruit into the recruiting pipeline got paid. It seems that despite all of the warnings given to the Soldiers/RAs when they signed up for the program about how they could not split any of the money they received for recruiting someone, it occurred. The cases cited in the article probably represent only a small portion of the fraud that was actually committed. One case mentioned outlines a blatant fraud. First, a local recruiter would recruit someone and not enter any of the recruit's information into their recruiting database. Instead, they would tell an RA to input the recruit's information into the DOCUPAK recruiting website. Next, the recruiter would receive a referral from the DOCUPAK website and then sign the recruit up... this made the RA qualify to receive a payment for recruiting a Soldier. In this particular scheme, the local recruiter and the RA opened up a joint bank account to which the RA's commission was paid, clearly violating the policy that you cannot split the proceeds paid by DOCUPAK. These idiots didn't even try to hide what they were doing - they opened up a joint bank account allowing the authorities to track the payments electronically!

Waste undoubtedly occurred elsewhere within the program. For example, RAs received points to order recruiting items that could be used to help market the ARNG and entice potential recruits to a recruiting table... this too must have cost the Army millions. I wonder how much of the marketing budget allocated to each RA was actually used to recruit Soldiers and not just used by the RAs to get free tchotchkes to give to their friends and relatives, who were anxious to say they knew and supported someone involved in the war effort being waged by less than one percent of the American population? Now, keep in mind, this program was started when the Army could not recruit enough Soldiers and junior officers were leaving the Army in droves, but still, how could someone not have figured out from the beginning how wasteful this program would be? It operated outside of the military chain of command and the RAs never even met with or saw anyone from their new employer, DOCUPAK. How sad.

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