The DoD, a government agency with an annual budget of over $800 billion is yet to prove itself capable of accounting for even half of its assets.
Last week the Defense Department failed its fifth consecutive audit.
Comptroller for the Pentagon, Mike McCord said, “I would not say that we flunked. The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.”
The speed at which the Pentagon improves might need to ramp up a bit considering that DoD was able to account for only 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. That leaves over $2.1 trillion unaccounted for.
The Pentagon fails its 5th audit in a row. It only managed to account for 39% of its $3.5 trillion in assets
“The U.S. military has the distinction of being the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit”
This is wild.https://t.co/UiKOUG0ryE
— Nina Metz (@Nina_Metz) November 27, 2022
For anyone whose keeping score, this is par for the course considering that the United States Military remains the only Department of government which has never passed an audit.
This most recent financial investigation focused on 27 areas within the department. Of those, only seven passed muster. According to McCord, this is “basically the same picture as last year.”
One of the biggest contributing factors to the Pentagon’s financial irresponsibility is their inability to estimate the cost of weapons programs.
The Pentagon’s recent F-35 program has gone over budget by $165 billion. The last eight combatant ships came in at least 10 percent over budget, totaling an addition and unplanned $8 billion in costs.
End in sight?
Independent Senator, Bernie Sanders leads a bipartisan group of lawmakers who just last year proposed a bill aimed towards increased accountability within the pentagon. The proposed law would lower the budget of any area of the Pentagon by one percent if it fails to pass an audit. Had that bill already been signed into law, 20 units within the DoD would already be on the chopping block.
Interest in the bill however, seems to be dwindling. According to DoD Comptroller McCord, the Pentagon ambitiously aims to pass their first audit by 2027, half a decade from now, and almost a decade and a half after every other government agency hit that very benchmark.