Sunday, 19 May, 2019

Major Pentagon Agency Failed to Account for More Than $800 Million

DLA handled over $35 billion in goods and services during the fiscal year that ended in September 2017 DLA handled over $35 billion in goods and services during the fiscal year that ended in September 2017
Russell Knight | 08 February, 2018, 18:16

The US Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is missing documentation for how it spent hundreds of millions of US dollars, a new audit finds.

The report, which was finished in December, cautioned record keeping was so poor at the agency that it may be impossible to ever account for some of the expenses.

The agency told Politico the audit was meant to be a starting place and it was not surprised by the results.

According to Ernst & Young, the Defense Logistics Agency cannot justify costs of over $ 800 million for construction projects via the documents available- just one of a series of examples of how to lose track of millions of dollars in property and equipment. Defense Logistics Agency also employs about 25,000 civilian and military personnel. It also found insufficient documentation for around $384 million in spending for "in progress" projects.

In addition, the agency reportedly couldn't produce supporting evidence for many items documented in some form - including records for $100 million worth of assets in its computer systems.

The publicly available audit of agency's general fund said the agency "lacks policies and procedures to review" construction projects and properly document the projects in its financial statements, leading to errors in reporting valued at approximately $465 million.

"We are committed to resolving the material weaknesses and strengthening internal controls around DLA's operations", he added.

According to Mackin, the agency began its first full financial audit in 2017 and found there was a "lack of complete documentation for military construction and real property".

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"The service agrees with Ernst and Young's assessment of our failure to successfully track the cost of spending on military projects", said a spokesman for DLA at the British BBC network.

DLA has become one of the Defense Department's most crucial agencies since it was established in the mid-20th century.

The agency is responsible for processing roughly 100,000 orders a day on behalf of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and a number of other federal agencies.

It would provide the Pentagon's base budget with $597 billion, its war-funding budget with $90 billion, and other defense programs in other agencies with $29 billion.

The Trump administration will seek to boost Defense spending to $716 billion in fiscal year 2019, which would be a 7% bump from the current budget.

The audit, obtained by POLITICO, 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.

"I think the odds of a successful DoD audit down the road are zero". Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who sits on the Budget and Finance Committee, told Politico.

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