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  • Ryan Wittler

The Pentagon Sucks at Audits


Think you’re bad with your finances? At least you’re not the Pentagon. Some history: In 2017, the Pentagon announced its first-ever independent financial audit, aiming to detail its assets and liabilities for the first time (we’re not kidding). Despite having trillions of dollars in assets and hundreds of billions in federal funding annually, the audit resulted in a “Disclaimer of Opinion,” meaning the auditor didn’t receive enough accounting records to form an assessment. After that, the Pentagon went on to fail its next two audits (in 2018 and 2020), receiving the same determination and prompting the Defense Department’s comptroller to predict 2027 as the year it might finally pass. Today: Now, to remedy the Pentagon sucking at money despite having so much of it, a bipartisan group of legislators have introduced a bill that would penalize any part of the Defense Department (including the military) that fails to have a clean audit. The lawmakers are hoping the bill will rein in the department’s spending after the three previous failed audits have uncovered staggering amounts of waste (e.g., a missing $800 million in 2018).

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