This is a Very Good Idea

For many years, the Department of Defense’s spending has been so byzantine that it has been impossible to conduct a meaningful audit of their spending.

a bipartisan group of Senators has put forward a bill that would strip the Pentagon of authority if this situation continues:

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would impose penalties on the Defense Department if the agency fails meet a legally mandated goal of being fully auditable by September 2017.

The bill – sponsored by Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.) and Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Ron Wyden (Oregon) – calls for increased oversight every year the department fails to meet the target and would eventually strip the Pentagon’s ability to reprogram and transfer funds between its accounts.

“One of best ways to find the most accurate information about our military’s spending and priorities is to shed light on the Department of Defense budget without jeopardizing our national security secrets,” Manchin, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

“It is simply unacceptable that the Department of Defense is the only major federal agency that has not completed a financial audit. Our bill will help to solve that problem,” he added.

Since 1997, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been required to audit the federal government’s consolidated financial statements, but the watchdog agency has repeatedly said its reviews of the Pentagon are not based on accurate data.

In 2010, it was determined that nearly $6 billion spent to improve the agency’s financial information was unsuccessful and GAO could not predict when the DOD would be able to provide these financial statements.

Considering that the volume of inefficiency, incompetence, and malfeasance in the Pentagon dwarfs that of the rest of the government, it’s a step in the right direction.

The defense budget, and particularly the portion dealing with procurement, is a complete mess.

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