Pentagon completes first-ever audit
The Pentagon completed its first-ever audit and to no one's surprise, the results weren't good:
Auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, even as they flagged a laundry list of problems, including uncontrolled access to computer systems and listing functioning rocket motors as out-of-order, according to Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist.
“We didn’t pass,” Norquist told reporters at the Pentagon. “We have issues and we are going to go fix them.”
Pentagon and congressional leaders expected the Defense Department to fail its first-ever audit, covering $2.7 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities.
“We never expected to pass,” Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon today. “Everybody was betting against us that we would even do the audit.”
That last item wasn't really joke. The Pentagon had resisted performing an audit for nearly 25 years. But it was done, problems were identified and now comes the hard part: fixing them.
“The most important thing this year is not the opinion, but that the department takes the audit seriously and seeks to fix the identified deficiencies, which the department is doing,” Glenn Fine, principal deputy inspector general, said in a statement.
We will watch closely to make sure those problem areas are addressed. No part of the federal government is above accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent. If an audit helps eliminate waste and mismanagement in the Pentagon, that's a very good thing, indeed.