The Pentagon Has Never Passed A Financial Audit And Bernie Is Sick Of It

  • The Pentagon launched its first-ever independent financial audit back in 2017 and the Defense Department failed that audit – and then the next two as well.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders & other lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill that would impose a penalty for any part of the department, including the military, that fails to get a “clean” audit.
  • “The Pentagon and the military industrial complex have been plagued by a massive amount of waste, fraud and financial mismanagement for decades. That is absolutely unacceptable,” Sanders said.

Bill Chappel from NPR writes:

“When the Pentagon launched its first-ever independent financial audit back in 2017, backers of accountability in government welcomed it as a major step for a department with a track record of financial boondoggles.

But the Defense Department failed that audit – and the next two as well. Now lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill that would impose a penalty for any part of the department, including the military, that fails to undergo a “clean” audit.

“The Pentagon and the military industrial complex have been plagued by a massive amount of waste, fraud and financial mismanagement for decades. That is absolutely unacceptable,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Despite having trillions of dollars in assets and receiving hundreds of billions in federal dollars annually, the department has never detailed its assets and liabilities in a given year. For the past three financial years, the Defense Department’s audit has resulted in a “Disclaimer of Opinion,” meaning the auditor didn’t get enough accounting records to form an assessment.

The new legislation, the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2021, would require any component of the Defense Department that fails to pass a clean audit to forfeit 1% of its budget back to the Treasury, to be applied against the federal deficit. The bill is slated to be introduced Wednesday.

In the lawmakers’ eyes, the Pentagon’s inability to go through a successful independent audit is a major reason why the Defense Department has for years been associated with financial blunders and abuses. The Pentagon is expected to receive $740 billion in the current financial year, they note – but it hasn’t been able to account for where all of its money goes.

“It’s absolutely insane, and I think it would shock a lot of people,” a senior aide to Sanders said in a background interview that was conducted shortly before the legislation was formally introduced…”

See full story here.



Categories: Government, Politics

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