by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:
After their own reports showed trillions of dollars “missing” from ledgers, DoD is now getting its first audit in its entire history.
“The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history,” the Pentagon’s news service said this week, announcing that they are finally going to follow through with something they promised to do for years.
Beginning in 1996 all federal agencies were mandated by law to conduct regular financial audits. However, the Pentagon has NEVER complied with that federal law. In 20 years, it has never accounted for the trillions of dollars in taxpayer funds it has spent, in part because “fudging” the numbers has become standard operating procedure at the Department of Defense, as revealed in a 2013 Reuters investigation by Scot Paltrow, which detailed the illicit tasks of 15-year employee, “Linda Woodford [who] spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.”
“Every month until she retired in 2011,” Scot J. Paltrow wrote for Reuters, “she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.
“And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. ‘A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,’ Woodford says. ‘We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.’”
“Over the last 20 years, the Pentagon has broken every promise to Congress about when an audit would be completed,” Rafael DeGennaro, director of Audit the Pentagon, told the Guardian earlier this year. “Meanwhile, Congress has more than doubled the Pentagon’s budget.”
In what will likely be an immense and highly politicized dog any pony show, the Pentagon is now claiming this will start immediately.
“It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.
“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” the Defense Department’s comptroller, David L. Norquist, said, noting the audits will now be an annual task.
As NPR reports, as for how the audit would work, Jim Garamone of the official DoD News agency reports that the department’s Office of the Inspector General has “hired independent public accounting firms to conduct audits of individual components — the Army, Navy, Air Force, agencies, activities and more — as well as a departmentwide consolidated audit to summarize all results and conclusions.”
Exactly what will come of this enormous feat of counting the money spent on spreading the American empire remains a mystery. However, what is not a mystery is the trillions that have “gone missing” as a result of the Pentagon’s refusal to comply with 20 years of audits.
As TFTP reported at the time, a Department of Defense Inspector General’s report, released in 2016, left Americans stunned at the jaw-dropping lack of accountability and oversight. The glaring report revealed the Pentagon couldn’t account for $6.5 trillion dollars worth of Army general fund transactions and data, according to a report by the Fiscal Times.
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