The Pentagon has announced that a department-wide financial audit is beginning, saying that “with more than $2.4 trillion in assets, this financial statement audit is one of the largest ever undertaken in history.”
“Audits examine the accuracy of our financial information and test our ability to account for our property. With consistent feedback from auditors, we can focus on improving our day- to-day work and processes. Annual audits also ensure visibility over the quantity and quality of the equipment and supplies our troops use,” a DoD official said at a briefing.
He said the IG’s office has hired independent public accounting firms to conduct audits of individual components. “They will, then, combine that into a department-wide consolidated audit that summarizes all the results and conclusions. Beginning in ’18, our annual audits will occur every single year with the reports issued on November 15th.”
The department’s lack of readiness to undergo a comprehensive audit–and thus fully justify, or even track, its spending–has been on the GAO high-risk list for many years and has been the subject of numerous directives from Congress in annual DoD budgets over that time.