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Pentagon To Undergo First Ever Audit After Decades Of Sloppy Accounting And Missing Trillions


Originally appeared at Zero Hedge

After decades of waste, overpayments, trillions of missing or improperly accounted for dollars, and most recently losing track of 44,000 US soldiersthe Pentagon is about to undergo its first audit in history conducted by 2,400 auditors from independent public accounting firms to conduct reviews across the Army, Navy, Air Force and more – followed by annual audits going forward. 

Pentagon To Undergo First Ever Audit After Decades Of Sloppy Accounting And Missing Trillions

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks with DoD Comptroller David L. Norquist, June 15, 2017

The announcement follows a May commitment by Pentagon comptroller David Norquist, who previously served as the CFO at the Department of Homeland Security when the agency performed its audit. “Starting an audit is a matter of driving change inside a bureaucracy that may resist it,” Norquist told members of the Armed Services Committee at the time when pressed over whether or not he could get the job done at the DHS.

According to the DoD release:

The audit is massive. It will examine every aspect of the department from personnel to real property to weapons to supplies to bases. Some 2,400 auditors will fan out across the department to conduct it, Pentagon officials said.

It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD’s management of every taxpayer dollar,” Norquist said. -defense.gov

The Pentagon is no stranger to criticism over serious waste and purposefully sloppy accounting.  A DoD Inspector General’s report from 2016 – which appears to be unavailable on the DoD website (but fortunately WAS archived)- found that in 2015 alone a staggering $6.5 trillion in funds was unaccounted for out of the Army’s budget, with $2.8 trillion in “wrongful adjustments” occurring in just one quarter.

In 2015, the Pentagon denied trying to shelve a study detailing $125 billion in waste created by a bloated employee counts for noncombat related work such as human resources, finance, health care management and property management. The report concluded that $125 billion could be saved by making those operations more efficient.

On September 10th, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that “According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,” after a Pentagon whistleblower set off a probe. A day later, the September 11th attacks happened and the accounting scandal was quickly forgotten.

And twenty years before that, DoD analyst Franklin C. Spinney exposed what he called “accounting games,” saying “Those numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year.” In a 2002 testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform, Spinney laid out the DoD’s accounting quagmire of un-auditable books and budget projections which don’t match reality.

Pentagon To Undergo First Ever Audit After Decades Of Sloppy Accounting And Missing Trillions

Franklin Spinney, 2002

Finally, those of us old enough to remember the 80’s, let’s not forget the bombshell report on overpayments the Pentagon made for simple items, such as $37 screws, $7,622 coffee makers, and $640 toilet seats which Sen. William Roth Jr (R-DE) was able to whittle down to $200.

The announcement of the audit comes amid a looming government shutdown battle which was given a two-week extension last week until December 22. If this occurs, military personnel would report to work as usual, but the DoD would not pay them until the shutdown ends.

I cannot emphasize too much how destructive a shutdown is,” Norquist said. “We’ve talked before about the importance of maintenance on weapons systems and others, but if it’s not an excepted activity, there’ll be work stoppage on many of those maintenance functions.”

With both parties standing to lose more than gain from a shutdown, that is unlikely to happen. Meanwhile, with decades of lost confidence in the Pentagon’s accounting practices, we eagerly await the results of this “massive” audit to see exactly how much dirt – and where –previous administrations have swept under the rug.



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  • juan carlos ayala

    es solo un saludo a la bandera, lo máximo sera el despido de personal sin beneficio económico alguno y seguirán robando millones en proyectos

    • LR captain

      i ran it through google (it said Spanish)
      lo ejecuté por google (decía español)
      (anyone is free correct the translation)

      it’s just a greeting to the flag, the maximum will be the dismissal of personnel without any economic benefit and they will continue to steal millions in projects

      • Daniel Castro


      • Jens Holm

        Thats right. Difficult to avoid. it can be kept down by better control, but thieves and other waster work hard to be in front, and so do we by the Goverment.

        Denmark are for the moment the less corrupt country in the world, but we have waste and 1 or 2 cases of corruption a year even by being number 1.

  • LR captain

    false flag is going to show up soon. Because right now the pentagon needs it.

    that last thing they need is for the american people to find out how many terrorist cells are on the payroll.
    Trump honestly can play it smart with this and state that he would cut the salaries of CIA members. (because that how these no-funded as get funded through private by CIA members.) so even if trump orders them to stop funding for opposition groups, that just means that the big bonuses (that is labeled to unforeseen cover job expenses) the CIA members will just keep.

    I do think member of the CIA need 60 million a year.

    • Bessie

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      On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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  • FlorianGeyer

    ” The Court of Auditors has signed the EU accounts every year since 2007, while pointing out that EU countries, once they receive the EU funds, misuse about 4.4% of the total budget. ” BBC News May 2016.

    The EU is another gravy train for the Zionist Elite.

    • Solomon Krupacek


      stay at home, moron! putin, medvedev and other oligasrchs steal 40% of russian money.

      • Bob

        Just like the US Pentagon-Military Industrial Complex pilfer the US taxpayer at staggering rate – it is a vast bureaucratic-corporate machine that converts public monies into private.

      • Bob

        If going to make your standard anti-Putin claims at least offer some basis – where did this stated 40% number come from? Try providing links to credible articles, economic reports, when making such claims.

        • Solomon Krupacek

          this is not antiputin, but real thing

        • Jens Holm

          Thats the real world here. More and more are anti Putin.

          We see no progress for the people there. We see stagnation. We see only agressive attitudes and no weapons melted to plows as well.

          Now the Dictator has allowed himself to come back and all opposition for progress in economics and other things are jailed.

          Thats not only a Russian thing. But it is a thing, which can only be used for own ego purpose.

          • Bob

            Oh dear, yet another online ranter.

    • Jens Holm

      4,4% is nothing. Much more in Syria, Russia, Iran and You name it.

      So how many zionist elites are we. 1 billion, 2 billions, 3 billions.

      The facts are most muslim economy expansion is based by Islam on killing, robbing, taxing mainly non muslims and the economy from the time of Muhammed.

      You have no system for innovation in production as well as structure for almost anthing by sunni tradition copying.

      By that most countries of Yours are kept poor by purpose. The only in plus are the ones with oil. But if it was not for Your socalled zionists, it still was only for lamps.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Whether it is more or not is not the issue Jens. If you or I embezzled 4.4% of our total incomes every year , we would be in jail.

        You also forget that the US economy is based on the Military Industrial Complex ( that facilitates killilg) and banking Ponzi schemes. Both of which are financed by debt that the US workers are obliged to pay in real cash or by the degradation of living standards and civic amenities.

        • Jens Holm

          Thats not correct as a private person as well. If I have the money

  • SnowCatzor

    About time, the US deep-state has been gorging itself on taxpayer money without accountability for many decades. The good thing about having a President whose worked in the private sector all his life is that they don’t tolerate waste – because there is no magic money-stream coming in from the public.

    • Jens Holm

      Thats not true. You see here, they do. But they try to avoid it more or less effective.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Graft and corruption are not ‘sloppy accounting’. The Pentagon has never undergone a complete audit.
    Rumsfeld stated that 14 trillion dollars could not be accounted for. You can imagine what that total is today.

    • Jens Holm

      Being not acounted for dont say all are waste. I again will defend, they are open about it as well as most things in Nato and EU.

      Many countries are not and not even have an idea obout their waste.

      • Carol Davidek-Waller

        Good old Jens….talking through his hat for $$$

  • BMWA1

    Thank God for Afghan opium trade, that should fill the gaps!

    • Rodger

      “The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2005 estimates the size of the global illicit drug market at US$321.6 billion in 2003.”
      That’s only half the US budget for their military even if they controlled all of it. Opium won’t even pay for the extra cost of the US military being there.

      • goingbrokes

        Taxpayers pay for the troops, drug money is a slush fund for black-ops and raising jihadist armies clandestinely, topping up Saudi money. Israel desperately needs black money so no on can prove how it is used and where it comes from.

  • Rodger

    Loved how 1 company overcharged $750.000,- and was forgiven after paying $84.000,- back. :’)

    • Jens Holm

      Thats how it can be in the capitalistic world. They pay back, what they can and can start again from zero – if the compagny is healthy.

      I dont know that one, but You sometimes has to add, that some leaders comes to jail as well or has to pay back too.

      • Rodger

        They overcharged $750k, paid back $84k so still had a nice $666k bag of free money.

        • Jens Holm

          They got punished buy the laws for it by courts for it. More then You can say for many countries. Those laws are made by their parlament.

          You must be in a very low populated country in those matters. You dont know if they took those money in in a very ineffective way. It is much more complicated and not like seeling bread for too high prices.

          It was crime and they got punished. You assume those money are in the pockets of some persons. They mainly are – if they exist – Those money are in the companies and also kind of fiven to the shareholders/stockholders.

  • goingbrokes

    pentagon audit – LOL!!!