Pentagon

Pentagon's Second Audit Identifies 1,300 New Problems

Despite the failure, Pentagon officials are spinning the audit as a step in the right direction.

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The second ever audit of the Department of Defense ended, predictably, in a second consecutive failure.

Don't expect that to make a difference when it comes to wasteful military spending.

The recently completed audit uncovered 1,300 new problems with the Pentagon's budgeting and record-keeping. That's on top of the 2,410 separate findings and recommendations made last year, when auditors cracked open the department's books for the first time in history. Auditors also identified 25 "material weaknesses"—broad areas, such as the F-35 fighter program, where managerial and record-keeping failures put taxpayer dollars at risk.

Auditors gave Pentagon officials credit for resolving about 500 of the issues identified last year. That should prove that the Defense Department was wrong to resist audits for so long, and it gives us some measure of hope that the biggest black hole in the universe of federal spending might someday be reduced in size.

Still, there's a lot of work to be done. Among the most incredible findings in the new audit, The New York Times reports, is "$81 million worth of active material not tracked in the inventory system" within a Navy logistics center in Jacksonville, Florida. Yes: Navy officials managed to misplace enough equipment and gear to equal the annual budget of a small city.

More than 1,400 auditors made 600 site visits and reviewed more than $2.9 trillion in assets and $2.8 trillion in liabilities, according to the final report (which itself is the culmination of more than 20 separate audits). It cost more than $1 billion.

Despite the failures, Pentagon officials are spinning the audit as a step in the right direction. Elaine McCusker, Department of Defense comptroller, declared in a statement that the Pentagon "made progress in our priority areas while focusing on the importance of sustainable solutions."

It's really up to Congress and the White House to hold the military accountable—but don't hold your breath. After last year's failed audit, after all, the Pentagon got a huge budget increase. President Donald Trump tweeted in December that the military's $716 million budget was "crazy!" but then he signed off on a budget that hiked the department's funds to $750 million—well in excess of the $733 million the Pentagon had actually requested.

With incentives like that, there's little hope the Pentagon will pass an audit anytime soon.

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  1. PENTAGON IMPLODING!!!

    1. Figures you save your special crying for Boehm.

      1. DOLLAR PARK YEN EMOTING!!!

        1. Cry more please.

        2. Pretty funny.

  2. It is a step in the right direction. You can’t fix a problem until you admit you have one. I wish this didn’t exist. But the Pentagon doing an honest audit of itself and admitting it does is a start.

    1. Gosh, I agree with you. One can’t fix a problem until it’s been identified. The old school business-as-usual climate would never have known there even were problems to be fixed.

      It’s a shame they found new problems, instead of some improvement on the old, but at least they found them and sunlight is being shone on them.

    2. The entire government should be audited.

      Imagine the waste they would find.

  3. 1,300 problems. Is one of them a bitch?

    1. I don’t see how Hilary is one of them. She was Sec of State, not Defense.

  4. I want the Pentagon to be an efficient, well-oiled machine. Our military must be ready when we finally have a Democratic Commander in Chief who will confront Putin over his ongoing attacks on our democracy.

    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

  5. “… hiked the department’s funds to $750 million…” I wish. The actual number is $750 billion. I expect trillion-dollar “defense” budgets in the near future.

    1. > I expect trillion-dollar “defense” budgets in the near future.

      That’s peanuts compared to what the Democrats are proposing for healthcare. Defense used to be the giant dead elephant on the kitchen table no one would talk about. Now it’s free healthcare for all.

      At some point in the coming centuries we’re actually going to have to cut back on some spending, somewhere. Warren says she can pull all the money out of her ass like a magic trick, but color me skeptical on that point.

      1. The difference here is that those trillion-dollar budgets are essentially guaranteed. I’m assuming that Warren’s crazy pants plans won’t ever see the light of day.

      2. “Warren says she can pull all the money out of her ass like a magic trick, but color me skeptical on that point.”

        She can’t pull it our of her ass, but, like politicians everywhere, she can pull it out of OUR asses. It what they do,

      3. “That’s peanuts compared to what the Democrats are proposing for healthcare.”

        This is my favourite excuse for wasting money. “We’re already wasting so much money over there that it makes sense to waste this money over here!” Waste justifies waste. Love it.

        1. A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.

  6. nice but the budget is hmmmm!

  7. and i would say its a huge billion!

  8. Among the most incredible findings in the new audit, The New York Times reports, is “$81 million worth of active material not tracked in the inventory system” within a Navy logistics center in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Rounding error?

    1. To be fair, they could’ve misplaced a couple of Air Force-issue coffee cups to hit that paltry sum.

      1. More likely a million of stuff in a corner somewhere, and 80 million in the CIA black ops slush fund.

        1. Since its the navy, maybe the $80m would be for a Navy Seal team “vacation” in Yemen or another country that would be off the books

  9. Kind of weird that the number of problems uncovered was a nice round 1300. Why not 1,298 or 1,305?

  10. it gives us some measure of hope that the biggest black hole in the universe of federal spending might someday be reduced in size.

    How does this effect Social Security?

  11. I am making 10,000 Dollar at home own laptop .Just do work online 4 to 6 hour proparly . so i make my family happy and u can do

    …….. Read More

  12. I retired in 2006 and I suspect a huge part of the problem is the archaic computer systems/databases that date back to the 1970s have not been replaced as it was going to cost almost $500 Million back then for just one of them. Since the supply system had an old system that was very manpower intensive to keep current, it would be impossible for it to meet audit rules of today. Thus we see a high number of audit issues across the board. Until Congress gets serious about fixing this problem there is very little the military can do other than band aide fixes in the mean time.

  13. Audit the auditors? 1400 of them for $1 billion = $714,000 ea.?

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