Waaaaay back in 1990 a law was passed that required the Dept. of Defense to get its books in order so we can do a full financial audit, and yet even though their deadline isn’t until 2017 it seems they won’t be making that deadline. That would be 27 years to do a financial audit of the Pentagon.
And they can’t do it.
Whew. Okie dokie, well thank goodness we have a bipartisan group of Senators who have a little problem with that :
“Based on the findings of today’s FIAR Plan, it appears unlikely that the Department of Defense will be able to meet that 2017 requirement,” they said in the statement, obtained by POLITICO.
“Today’s report by the DOD’s comptroller shows that while a few small agencies within the department have reached the required financial audit level, the vast majority of the department had not,” the statement said.
“Further, while the report shows that DOD has a fairly complete road-map of how the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies will each reach the auditability requirement by 2017, implementation of these goals faces major challenges.”
Past GAO reports have found a high risk for waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement at the Pentagon. The senators want their new GAO report in time for a hearing on the subject in July.
Okay I get that the Pentagon is huge and might need a little more time to get itself audit-ready than, say, your typical ice cream stand. But 27 years? Areyoukiddingme?
But don’t worry!
In the progress report submitted Monday, Defense Department comptroller Robert F. Hale said audit readiness has been a goal for many years but has been difficult to achieve because of the department’s size and complexity.
Hale said American taxpayers should understand that “although the department does not yet meet commercial audit standards, their tax dollars are being managed responsibly.”
Ha ha ha! Nothing to see here, move along! Don’t worry, be happy! Government should operate like a business! Blargeddy blargh!
For example, by all means do not investigate Darpa:
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) asked for the inquiry after news reports that Darpa handed out $1.75 million in contracts to a company owned in part by agency director Regina Dugan and her relatives. What’s more, Dugan is owed $250,000 by her family firm, RedXDefense. POGO wants to verify that Dugan had nothing to do with the contracts, and to determine if “any Darpa employee” dealing with the company knew of its connections to the woman at the top.
In a letter to the Pentagon inspector general written on Monday, Danielle Brian, POGO’s executive director, calls for an investigation that goes beyond Dugan, who recused herself from any dealings with RedXDefense upon becoming director.
Brian cites recent comments from Kaigham “Ken” Gabriel, Dugan’s deputy, calling financial conflicts “prevalent” at the agency, since Darpa’s highly technical work requires it to recruit talent from many of the firms and researchers who bid on its contracts.
“We urge the DoD IG to immediately pursue an audit to ensure that Darpa selects and awards grants and contracts with integrity,” Brian writes in the letter to Inspector General Gordon S. Heddell. Perhaps “more stringent measures” are needed to prevent potential conflicts of interest.
POGO also questions just how closely the Pentagon oversees Darpa. The Pentagon inspector general’s office hasn’t audited the agency’s contracting methods since 1997.
I realize $1.75 million is small potatoes but it’s also the tip of the iceberg. The point is: fraud and waste are endemic throughout the Pentagon, not just in things like $700 toilet seats and building fighter jet engines the Pentagon doesn’t even want but some Senator needs the factory to stay open or they’ll face a tough reelection campaign.
No, this is the kind of shit that goes on under our noses while everyone has hissy fits over the “Muslim Brotherhood” donating to NPR. I wonder if any Breitbart acolytes have considered dressing up as pimped-out Raytheon execs seeking research money to finish work on their invisibility cloak and time travel machine? Of course not! Because in right-wing land, every penny spent on the Pentagon is honorable. There’s never any such thing as “government waste” when the Dept. of Defense does it.
With that in mind, this bit from the Politico article amused me:
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are divided between those who want to include deep defense cuts in any debt reduction plan and those concerned about the impact of such cuts on national security.
That’s hilarious. Yeah, you know, when your country spends at least five times more on defense than any other nation in the world, I’d say you’ve got nothing to worry about.
I really find it hard to believe that any Republican doesn’t think there’s waste and corruption at the Dept. of Defense. There’s a vast river of tax money flowing through the Pentagon, and you can bet your sweet bippy there are greedy, corrupt assholes trying to get their hands on it. But since the Pentagon still isn’t audit-ready after 27 years, I guess we’ll never know.
Instead, let’s talk about how the budget deficit is forcing us to kill Medicare and Social Security.