Audit Reveals Extent of Pentagon's Accounting Woes
That said, there are signs that Defense Department officials are actively doing something about it.
The Pentagon has an accounting problem. It’s so bad that it has culminated in close to a billion dollars that auditors can’t trace. That’s based on an analysis by the prominent accounting firm Ernst & Young. After scrutinizing construction-related projects, the firm discovered that the Defense Logistics Agency, which represents “the Department of Defense’s combat logistics support agency,” botched satisfactorily documenting expenditures to the tune of $849 million.
Regular Patriot Post readers won’t find this surprising. In December 2016, our own Lewis Morris reported on Obama’s Pentagon waste and outsourcing. Like his protégé Hillary Clinton, Obama and his administration in general were complicit in trying to quash inconvenient information, including an effort to suppress a Defense Business Board report that exposed $125 billion in wasteful and fraudulent spending at the Pentagon.
Like everything Obama did, that was a calculated decision. As Morris wrote, “Remember the days of the sequester when Obama was blaming Republicans for leaving our national defense vulnerable because of ‘reckless cuts’? Cuts that were his idea for political gain. Well, if the Pentagon had followed the Defense Business Board’s recommendations, it would have found the savings it needed to balance out the sequester cuts, which was what was intended at the time anyway. But Obama opted instead to close DC memorials and national parks so as to score more political points.”
Detractors are quick to jump on the new Pentagon audit to make a broader point against the need for additional defense spending. The biggest problem with that position? Defense spending is constitutional, unlike many other federal programs on which taxpayer money is wasted. So we’re clear, however, just because defense spending is constitutional doesn’t mean the Pentagon doesn’t require regular audits. It is a government bureaucracy, after all. And on that note, Pentagon budget official David Norquist says, “Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15.” In other words, there appears to be an immediate and ongoing campaign to enact changes.
Furthermore, the Ernst & Young audit report could pay immediate dividends. As already stated, we dole out money to massive welfare programs whose very existence is unconstitutional — never mind the waste, fraud and abuse. Yet those programs don’t receive nearly the flack that the Defense Department does. And with all eyes on the Pentagon, it naturally feels more pressure to get its ducks in a row. That can only help to divert resources to where they are most needed. And our military readiness will improve as a result.