The Government Accountability Office (GOA) shared a report this week that revealed that the Department of Defense failed its 5th audit in a row. All five times they could not account for at least $220 billion in government-furnished property, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
There is a federal law mandate that says the Department of Defense (DOD) has to complete audits, but the mandate was ignored for decades because of the agency’s huge size.
Now that the audits are back in place, the Pentagon simply can’t prove expenditures for 61% of its $3.5 trillion in assets.
This year’s audit of the DOD was expected to cost $218 million, and to make it happen the agency aggregated 27 separate audits that were conducted by about 1,600 auditors.
According to Military.com, the auditors made 220 in-person site visits and 750 virtual site visits.
The GAO report indicated that auditors alerted the DOD in 2021 and revealed that the agency failed to keep track of its government-furnished property.
“DOD’s lack of accountability over government property in the possession of contractors has been reported by auditors for decades,” the GAO report stated. “This longstanding issue affects the accounting and reporting of GFP and is one of the reasons DOD is unable to produce auditable financial statements.”
Back in 2014, the Pentagon reported that the approximate value of its GFP was at least $220 billion. But most experts believe that number is grossly understated.
“For example, in fiscal year 2016, we reported that the Army indicated the actual number of these GFP assets is unknown and that actual quantities may be greatly different than the Army’s documented property records reflect,” the GAO report said.
The DOD is the only major federal agency that is unable to receive an audit opinion.
The DOD did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.