The Pentagon Fails Its First Comprehensive Audit

According to Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan, no one expected it to pass anyway.


|||Yuri Gripas/REUTERS/Newscom
Yuri Gripas/REUTERS/Newscom

The Department of Defense completed its first comprehensive audit this week. Well, it almost completed it.

The year-long audit was reportedly the largest in history, with about 1,200 auditors assessing 21 Pentagon agencies' spending. The audit itself cost $413 million—about a thirtieth of the Pentagon's budget.

Only five of the 21 individual audits received a fully passing grade, while two received an OK grade. Two agencies aren't actually done yet—they're set to have their audits completed at the end of the month. The rest were given disclaimers, meaning there were inventory discrepancies and other errors. Such low passing numbers were considered a "fail." (For how the specific agencies fared, go here.) Officials believe that it could take years to solve the accounting discrepancies found. An additional $406 million have been spent so far on addressing issues found in the audit, and $153 million were spent on "financial system fixes."

"We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it," Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said of the results.

Indeed, stories of exceptionally wasteful Pentagon spending are a news staple. It recently came out, for example, that the Air Force had spent more than $300,000 on 391 specialty mugs, which kept coffee and tea hot and were easily broken. Officials later found that they could 3D-print replacement pieces for 50 cents each.

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  1. City councils are mostly composed of imbeciles. What are you gonna do?

    1. Political institutions*

  2. Two agencies aren’t actually done yet?they’re set to have their audits completed at the end of the month.

    Who is auditing the auditors?!

    1. As a federal auditor, I ask this question nearly daily when looking at how my agency actually operates…

  3. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.”

    *** snort ***

    Just wait until the Fed gets audited.

  4. Can someone help educate me here? What is to prevent people from destroying or stealing those? You can’t leave your private property on public property.

    If I leave my bike on a random street corner and someone takes it, is that really ‘stealing’? or is it claiming abandoned property? What is the law there.

    I’m not sure how these companies get to litter their crap on public property then complain when people break them etc

  5. Well that’s not surprising that they failed their audit.

  6. Who the hell authorized Mexicans and Muslims to audit the Pentagon??

    1. Probably Jim Acosta

  7. Like we did not know the pentagon has been ripping us off for years.

  8. So, they finally finished the DoD audit for FY 1951?

  9. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it, we are all crooked,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said of the results.

  10. $413,000,000 / 1200 auditors = $344,166,667 per auditor for a yearlong job. Nice.
    No wonder they failed.

  11. The audit itself cost $413 million?about a thirtieth of the Pentagon’s budget.

    You might need to double-check your source there.

  12. The Pentagon needs to fail its audits, so it can have enough cash to build space defense black ops to protect us from the aliens. At least Trump would bring that spending into the light of day with his Space Ranger Force.

  13. The last paragraph has nothing to do with the audit. The audit firms aren’t out to locate and publicize “waste.” Their job is to opine on whether the DoD’s financial statements are fairly stated. That is to say that they are testing whether the DoD is following applicable accounting standards. If the DoD dug a huge hole in the middle of the country and burned $300 billion in cash in it, so long as they properly recorded that economic event on their books, the auditors would give them a passing grade.

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