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A Pentagon agency has misplaced $800 million, audit reveals

The Pentagon (David B. Gleason/WikiMedia)
February 13, 2018

A spokesman from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency for the Department of Defense (DOD), recently told Fox News that in internal audit of the agency revealed “shortcomings in documentation.”

In short, the DLA is unable to account for $800 million that was earmarked for construction projects, Military.com recently reported.

According to the DLA spokesman: “There was no loss of accountability of real property or associated funding,” regardless of the lack of a paper trail. Politico was the first to report on the results of the audit for the 2016 fiscal year.

This is not the first time that the DLA has been unable to account for its’ expenses.

“The firm Ernst & Young found that the DLA had erroneously accounted for $465 million worth of projects it financed for the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies,” according to the report.

Furthermore, the audit found that there was almost no paper trail for an additional $384 million in spending projects for the DLA.

The DLA is responsible for processing supply orders on the behalf of the armed forces and similar federal agencies, and said that they were not surprised by the report of the audit.

“DLA is the first of its size and complexity in the Department of Defense to undergo an audit, so we did not anticipate achieving a ‘clean’ audit opinion in the initial cycles,” the agency said in a statement. “The key is to use auditor feedback to focus our remediation efforts and corrective action plans, and maximize the value from the audits. That’s what we’re doing now.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has long been critical of Pentagon spending and expressed concern that the Pentagon will be able to get its finances in order.

“If you can’t follow the money, you aren’t going to be able to do an audit,” he told Politico, adding: “The [Pentagon] feeder systems can’t provide data. They are doomed to failure before they ever get started.”

This audit has come following President Donald Trump’s proposal to boost the military spending budget. The audit has raised further concerns about the Pentagon’s budgeting abilities.

“The audit raises new questions about whether the Defense Department can responsibly manage its $700 billion annual budget — let alone the additional billions that Trump plans to propose this month,” Politico reported.