Thursday, November 21, 2013

Audit Finding

Reuters did a piece investigating how the Department of Defense uses our money.

The Defense Department’s 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion, more than the annual defense budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China. How much of that money is spent as intended is impossible to determine.

In its investigation, Reuters has found that the Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition and other supplies; thus it continues to spend money on new supplies it doesn’t need and on storing others long out of date. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with outside vendors; how much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known. And it repeatedly falls prey to fraud and theft that can go undiscovered for years, often eventually detected by external law enforcement agencies.

The consequences aren’t only financial; bad bookkeeping can affect the nation’s defense. In one example of many, the Army lost track of $5.8 billion of supplies between 2003 and 2011 as it shuffled equipment between reserve and regular units. Affected units “may experience equipment shortages that could hinder their ability to train soldiers and respond to emergencies,” the Pentagon inspector general said in a September 2012 report.

Meanwhile, the Republicans want to cut $40 billion from food stamps because of waste, fraud, and abuse.

For what it’s worth, I spent two hours yesterday gathering supporting documentation and preparing a transfer of expenditures to recover $468 in salary and fringes spent on a closed program.  Your tax dollars at work.

HT to digby.

3 barks and woofs on “Audit Finding

  1. Let’s pray Chuck gets to work on this mess soon. But you have to admit, this sort of misuse of funds and messy housekeeping isn’t new news. The Army has lost track of kitbags,cannons and helmets since the Civil War and probably before. Plus, they lose track of how much was spent on materiel and who got paid for nothing. Often who got paid was someone’s brother-in-law or someone who knew too much, etc. etc. etc.

    The lost accounting of inventory confronts me every time I venture into our new garage where the last half-dozen unopened boxes sit waiting for attention. I need to do this ASAP because our car sits in the driveway waiting for its place inside. And now I can’t find the knife sharpener and other stuff I need while I’ve found the boxes of Saran wrap and foil I’ve just replaced at Kroger. So I have none of something and two of another. Moving is hell while it’s going on.

    God give me strength to push onward and upward . . . .

    • Yay! You’re back! Julie’s moving law: You will always lose at least one item that you swear you packed and know exactly which box it’s in. Not.

Comments are closed.