In the era of tightened fiscal budgets and out-of-control federal debt, the one sector of government that rarely finds itself on the chopping block is the military. But new doubts on how the Pentagon accounts for the colossal amount of taxpayer cash in its care have raised the question of whether the military needs more stringent fiscal accountability.
A Department of Defense Inspector General’s report released last week aimed to determine whether the changes in the Army General Fund data to financial statements in fiscal year 2015 were “adequately documented and supported.” The report revealed the Defense Finance and Accounting Service could not provide adequate documentation for how it spent $6.5 trillion.
The Department of Defense has been flagged for having an inefficient auditing system for years … The day before the Sept. 11 attacks … Rumsfeld admitted $2.3 trillion was missing.
The Indianapolis-based agency, tasked with paying all DOD military-related personnel as well as providing finance and accounting services, has abdicated its responsibility to track Pentagon spending and obligations, according to the IG’s report.
Lorin T. Venable, the assistant inspector general for financial management and reporting, wrote in the report that DFAS Indianapolis personnel “did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third-quarter adjustments and $6.5 trillion in year-end adjustments made to Army General Fund data during FY 2015 financial statement compilation.”
“We conducted this audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards,” Venable wrote.
The report also found that thousands of documents that should be on file are missing from the agency.
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DFAS “did not document or support why the Defense Departmental Reporting System … removed at least 16,513 of 1.3 million records during Q3 FY 2015. As a result, the data used to prepare the FY 2015 AGF third-quarter and year-end financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail,” the IG’s report stated.
The DOD has been flagged for having an inefficient auditing system for years. The day before the Sept. 11 attacks, for example, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted $2.3 trillion was missing from the Defense Department budget.