US defense officials were unable to provide auditors with the information required to even fill out their assessment
The US Department of Defense bungled its sixth annual independent audit, after failing to even provide auditors with sufficient financial data to complete their assessment, a report released on Wednesday revealed.
The overall findings of the audit — the sixth the Pentagon has failed since it was asked to begin auditing itself in 2018 — were “Declaration of opinion“, the worst of three possible scores and the same rating the department received last year. The score took into account 29 component audits, of which 18 also failed with a disclaimer of opinion. Only seven components received”Unqualified opinions“, which is the most favorable rating, while another received “”Qualified point of view“.
The Pentagon’s chief financial officer, Michael McCord, attempted to frame the audit findings positively, noting in a press release accompanying the report that his department had been “Make progress toward the goal of a clean audit.”
McCord admitted in a phone call with reporters on Wednesday that the Pentagon did not expect to pass the audit, but insisted that it was moving toward resolving the problem of its balance of funds with the Treasury Department. He also promoted the use of automated software for routine tasks, saying: “Robots“It saved 600,000 man-hours between the Navy and Air Force alone, and claimed that the Pentagon conducted a detailed inventory of its stocks in the course of providing billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.”
However, the Pentagon remains the only Cabinet-level department that has not received a clean financial bill of health. With $3.8 trillion in assets, $4 trillion in liabilities, and little meaningful oversight, the potential for waste and fraud is enormous, according to the Government Accountability Office, which has included modernizing the department’s business systems and financial management initiatives on its “priority list.”List of high risks“—a list of federal programs most vulnerable to fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and waste—for nearly 30 years.
The Pentagon consumes more than half of the U.S. discretionary budget, with most people in Washington wary of cutting military spending for fear they would come into conflict with the defense industry, a source of huge donations to both sides of the political aisle, according to OpenSecrets.org, which tracks political contributions. Ministry of Defense personnel have acknowledged “MisplacedTrillions of dollars of transactions in accounting discrepancies that are never resolved.
Efforts to rein in wasteful defense spending in Congress have repeatedly failed. The Pentagon Audit Act, which would punish any military department that fails its annual audit by forcing it to forfeit 1% of its budget, was introduced again in the Senate last year after the Defense Department failed to account for more than half of its assets. However, he did not reach the voting hall.
You can share this story on social media: