08/30/16 Pentagon Trillions

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Federal law says every federal agency must complete an annual audit.

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

Unbelievably, federal agencies didn’t have their books routinely inspected. A 1996 law was supposed to change that. The results have been mixed.

The federal government doesn’t use the same accounting standards required of public industry. It’s created its own.

And even then, some federal agencies fail at delivering a clean audit. Or, in the case of the Defense Department, it doesn’t even bother. For each of the past 20 years, the Pentagon has broken the law in not undergoing an audit.

Let’s examine just the Army. The DOD IG reviewed the Army’s financial statements. This isn’t an audit. It’s just a review to ensure the Army’s numbers add-up.  And its paperwork’s in order.

For 2015, the Army didn’t have paperwork justifying $6.5 trillion in financial activity. Not million. Not billion. Trillion. The Army couldn’t justify changes to how it received or spent money or accounted for assets such as equipment. To the tune of six and a-half trillion.

In just the third quarter, 16 and a half-thousand accounting records were removed without explanation.

And no one at the White House or in Congress appears overly concerned.

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