The Defense Department was unable to account for more than half of its assets, failing its fifth audit in a row, but its chief financial officer said the experience is being used as a learning opportunity.
Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord told reporters on Tuesday that the department was unable to account for nearly 61 percent of its assets after 1,600 auditors examined DOD’s $3.5 trillion in assets and $3.7 trillion in liabilities.
McCord stated that the agency had made progress in the past year toward a clean audit, but then clarified that they did not receive an A.
🤔💰The Pentagon just FAILED another audit and can’t account for $2 TRILLION (!!): https://t.co/cs0a8Bqz0s— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) November 25, 2022
Interesting how those who claim to care about fraud and waste never mention this. @MarshaBlackburn @SenatorHagerty @RepMarkGreen @timburchett @RepChuck @DesJarlaisTN04 pic.twitter.com/euhqlOqz7F
The result this year was expected.
All federal agencies have been required by law to conduct audits since the early 1990s, and all of them—all but the DOD—have been able to do so as of the 2013 fiscal year.
It is challenging to audit the department due to its size and complexity, which accounts for more than half of U.S. discretionary spending and includes assets like personnel, supplies, facilities, and weapons.
Defense authorities started looking into DOD’s accounts in December 2017 as part of the agency’s first-ever thorough audit. The following year and the four that followed saw no success in that endeavor.
However, because authorities stated that it could take years to resolve the accounting problems, the agency never anticipated passing.
All five audits were given a disclaimer of opinion since the accounting records required to complete the evaluation were not available, despite the fact that each audit showed progress.
The most recent audit, according to McCord, the Pentagon comptroller from 2009 to 2017 and again since June 2021, needed 220 physical site visits and 750 virtual site visits by Pentagon officials and staff from an independent public accounting company.