Warner talks about federal accounting system, TWIC cards

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Senator Mark Warner was in Hampton Roads Thursday for a meeting at Naval Station Norfolk and stopped by the WAVY Newsroom to talk about some hot button issues — your money and security at military installations.

The Senator, a successful businessman, cosponsored the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, otherwise known as DATA. It recently passed the Senate, and if it becomes law, it will allow you to track your money inside the federal government.

Warner told 10 On Your Side DATA would help consolidate and bring more transparency to the federal accounting system, which he says is currently a mess.

“Inside the Department of Defense, there are 200 separate financial accounting systems — that’s crazy,” he said.

The House passed an earlier version of the Act last year. Supporters expect it will pass again.

“We should be able to Google your tax dollar and trace it all the way down through programs,” Warner said. “This will give us better ability to account, give us better ability to know how many government programs there are, how much bang for the buck we’re getting. We’re going to be in tight fiscal times in terms of our deficit problems for years to come.”

Also concerning your money, Warner, a democrat, teamed up with republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois to introduce the Consumer Debit Card Protection Act earlier this month.

If passed, it would increase consumer protection. For instance, if your credit card is stolen, you are only responsible for $50, but if your debit card is stolen, you are on the hook for $500. That bill would cap your liability at $50.

In light of the massive security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus, Warner and Kirk also urged the Administration to require more cooperation by Ukraine in in fighting cybercrime. Ukraine is a center of cybercrime activity and is believed to be where the Target data breach originated.

“If we’re going to help the new Ukrainian government, they also have to work better with us to help crack down on these cyber criminals,” he said.

The other issue Warner talked with WAVY.com about was how to make our military installations safer, and he said the first step is making changes to TWIC cards.

The TSA announced a system upgrade regarding TWIC cards this week, and said some of the changes are specifically aimed at ensuring safety. The changes come after a civilian transportation worker shot and killed a Sailor at Naval Station Norfolk last month.

Warner pointed out that the gunman, Jeffrey Savage, did have a valid TWIC card to get on base. However, he was also a convicted felon. The Senator says that’s a big problem.

“What level of crime or activity that someone may have committed in the past should send up a red flag to make sure that, before that TWIC card is issued, that perhaps you’ve got to have a second set of eyes looking at the application, ” Warner asked.

The senator also questions the follow-up: If someone commits a felony after getting that card, there’s nothing to get that information in the database so that card can be updated, unless the person is placed on a terror watch list.

To watch Warner’s interview about TWIC cards, click here.

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