After the Department of Defense (DOD) failed its fifth consecutive audit in November, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workforce Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) are looking into the DOD’s failure to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.
The Republican congressmen wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking for a staff-level briefing to learn more about the DOD’s failed audit, general financial management processes, and what the department is doing to carry out outstanding suggestions for reform.
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating the Department of Defense’s (DOD) failure to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. In November 2022, DOD failed its fifth straight audit because it was unable to account for 61% of its $3.5 trillion worth of assets. The two Republican legislators wrote in response to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the Defense Department (DOD) “continues to fail to appropriately account for hundreds of billions of dollars in government-provided property in the hands of contractors. Even though it receives almost a trillion dollars a year, the DOD’s inability to appropriately track assets puts our military readiness at risk and shows a flagrant disdain for taxpayer money.
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The Pentagon’s comptroller and top financial officer, Mike McCord, announced the findings of the department’s fifth annual audit to reporters back in November 2022.
“We failed to get an ‘A’,” he said. “The process is crucial for us to complete, and it is helping us to improve. We are not healing as quickly as we would want thanks to it.
The Financial Audit of the Defense Department covers more than $7 trillion in assets, such as real estate and military equipment, and liabilities, such as legal claims and base realignment or closure costs. It is a compilation of 27 investigations across the enterprise, including individual agencies and military departments.
For defense leaders and taxpayers, the audit’s purpose is to shed light on how the department spends its funds and to keep track of its assets, which spread over all 50 states, Washington, D.C., seven territories, and 40 nations.
Although it is not the only option for DOD to monitor expenditure and uncover waste, fraud, and abuse, obtaining a clear financial audit opinion for each component could increase taxpayer and service member confidence.
According to the report, 16 of the 27 standalone audits determined to have multiple areas for improvement, while seven of the 27 had unmodified views, meaning auditors found their financial statements to meet with generally accepted accounting standards.
READ MORE: Pentagon Admits It Can’t Account for $2 Trillion – AGAIN
GAO’s High-Risk List has routinely featured DOD’s contractor management and financial management.
According to a GAO report from January 2023, DOD failed to adequately account for a significant amount of government-owned property given to contractors, including weapons, tools, and other defense-related items.
In 2014, the DOD estimated that contractors had $220 billion worth of government-provided property in their custody, but the GAO thinks the number is “seriously overstated.”
The acquisition of DOD weapon systems, the modernization of business systems, and overall financial tracking have all received many recommendations from GAO.
“Serious questions about the Department of Defense’s management of taxpayer funds have been raised, particularly as the Department of Defense’s budget approaches the thirteen-figure mark due to the DOD’s poor financial management and inability to adequately track weapons, equipment, and other defense articles. The inability of DOD to create auditable financial statements that would allow for proper monitoring of DOD’s financial management processes has been hampered by failure to resolve these concerns,” according to both Republican congressmen.
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Reprinted with permission. View this story and more on WayneDupree.com.
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Anyone who has ever been in the military for any length of time, especially a career, is probably not surprised by this. Just one example: putting temporarily deployed members in hotels with rental cars when there is adequate dorm space on bases/posts at no cost.
This is aMAZing. And happens all too often, besides.
they are cooking the books , ...........we won't get caught
Simple if you cant account for 2.2 trillion dollars this year then next year your budget gets cut by 2.2 trillion, the following year your budget will be cut aditional money that you cant track. Sooner or later you will not get any money if you keep losing track of tax payers money.
2 Trillion Dollars don't disappear on it's own, people make that happen.
If the DOD cannot control the situation, management needs to be fired
like they would in any other business. This is really hard to swallow. As Sen Graham always promises " heads will roll", but they never do. It's all idle and empty talk. Look at the Billions going to Ukraine, and nobody knows where the money is going. I put all the blame on Biden, because he is the most impotent leader we have ever had. Certain people in Ukraine have become Billionaires with American Dollars. We surely need a new broom, because a new broom sweeps better.