By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – Did budget cuts impact security at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard before this week’s shootings?

It’s a scary thought. But we cannot ignore the contents of a government audit reported by Time. In it, federal oversight investigators suggest the U.S. Navy took its eye off the ball and failed to properly manage access to facilities like the one in Washington in an attempt to reduce costs.

The Pentagon’s inspector general conducted the audit from September 2012 to August 2013.

It finds repeated instances of people with criminal records getting past U.S. Navy security. In fact 52 “convicted felons received routine authorized installation access,” according to the report, putting people and equipment at risk.

Disturbing to read, as we are told the gunman had legitimate access to the Navy Yard.

And this story hits at a very sensitive time in Washington as Congress and the White House remain at odds over budget cuts that took effect earlier this year.

We still do not have a budget for the fiscal year beginning in less than two weeks, as lawmakers and the president try to come to terms on how fund the government, raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

Easier said than done, as we’ve seen in the past couple of years. And I didn’t even mention the sequester.

But whether or not we get an actual budget this audit could have a big impact on the way the Pentagon uses the money it’s given.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz


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