A relatively obscure audit report from the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Defense suddenly is getting a lot of attention for what it apparently reveals: The Pentagon can’t account for $6.5 trillion.
At ArmstrongEconomics, the blog reported, “Once again, the office of inspector general has come up with a huge hole in the Department of Defense with a missing $6.5 trillion.”
The day before 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted $2.3 trillion was missing from the Defense Department budget, noted the blog.
That figure has now grown to $6.5 trillion and counting.
To get a handle on its magnitude, a pile of $100 bills in that amount would be enough to make every man, woman and child in the states of Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota an instant millionaire.
The report, “Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported,” started out with the goal of finding out whether the changes in the Army General Fund data during Fiscal Year 2015 to financial statements were “adequately documented and supported.”
The report concluded “the office of the assistant secretary of the army (Financial Management & Comptroller) (OASA[FM&C]) and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Indianapolis (DFAS Indianapolis) did not adequately support $2.8 trillion in third quarter journal voucher (JV) adjustments and $6.5 trillion in yearend JV adjustments occurred because OASA(FM&C) and DFAS Indianapolis did not prioritize correcting the system deficiencies that caused errors resulting in JV adjustments, and did not provide sufficient guidance for supporting system-generated adjustments.”
Further, there was no indication of why 16,513 of 1.3 million records were removed from the budget system during the third quarter of FY 2015, the report said.
“As a result, the data used to prepare the FY 2015 AGF third quarter and yearend financial statements were unreliable and lacked an adequate audit trail,” the report said. “Furthermore, DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.
“Until the Army and DFAS Indianapolis correct these control deficiencies, there is considerable risk that AGF financial statements will be materially misstated and the Army will not achieve audit readiness by the congressionally mandated deadline of Sept. 30, 2017.”
How to fix it?
The auditors said the “adjustments” in the system need to be monitored and verified, and the “system deficiencies” that triggered errors should be addressed.
The Armstrong Economics site commented: “Let[‘s] faced the truth. Government is incapable of managing even a bubblegum machine. They are completely hopeless. This money is lining the pockets of unknown people and it is funding unknown military operations.
“When will enough ever be enough? While the press micro-manages every word Trump utters, not a single one will [ever] investigate the massive government waste. Under the Obama administration, the total government spending on budget increased from $2.9 trillion to $3.9 trillion or about 32 percent while the off-budget increased 66 percent. This does not include the Quantitative Easing buying in debt by the Federal Reserve.”