The Good News is that They Just Completed the First Ever Full Audit of the Pentagon

The bad news is that they just completed the first ever full audit at the Pentagon.

The audit was, to use military jargon, a complete clusterf%$#:

The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve.  

Results of the inspection – conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property – were expected to be completed later in the day.

“We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding that the findings showed the need for greater discipline in financial matters within the Pentagon.

“It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan added.

No, the fact that you did an audit was bureaucracy 101, and you f%$#ing failed in f%$#ing flying colors.

Shanahan said areas the Pentagon must improve upon based on the audit results include compliance with cybersecurity policies and improving inventory accuracy. In a briefing with reporters, he did not provide a figure detailing how much money was unaccounted for in the audit.

It was unclear what consequences there would be after the audit, but Shanahan said the focus would be on fixing the issues.

Translation:  How do we overpay contractors to wallpaper this over.

A 1990 federal law mandated that U.S. government agencies be audited, but the Pentagon had not faced a comprehensive audit until this one was launched in December.

Defense officials and outside experts have said it may be years before the Pentagon is able to fix its accounting gaps and errors and pass an audit.

I’m not sure how to fix the mess, but a good start is to remove the authority of the people who created the mess.

A good start would be for there to be another Truman Commission, but given the predilection of politicians these days for grandstanding, and their deep distaste for the hard work involved in real oversight, I’m not holding my breath.

Leave a Reply