Nominee for DOD comptroller would focus on Guard pay

The pay problems plaguing many National Guard units deployed overseas would get the full attention of Tina Westby Jonas if she is confirmed as the new Defense comptroller, Jonas told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week.

Jonas, FBI chief financial officer and assistant director of its finance division, was nominated by President Bush in March. If confirmed, she will take over as undersecretary of Defense for finance, replacing the recently retired Dov Zakheim.

Jonas told the committee on April 27 that she would make the pay issue a 'first priority' and investigate why hundreds of deployed troops have received late or inaccurate paychecks.

'There's nothing more important than a paycheck for our men and women in uniform,' Jonas told the committee.

In January, a General Accounting Office report, of an investigation that began in October 2003 found stovepiped systems, insufficient payroll staff, inadequate training and poor customer service.

At least 450 Guard soldiers, including the Colorado Army Guard's 220th Military Police Company currently deployed in Iraq, were not being paid on time or accurately, the GAO found.

Prior to her work with the FBI, Jonas, of Virginia, worked as the deputy undersecretary of Defense for financial management. She has a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and a master's degree from Georgetown University.

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