Mar 07 2018

Corker: If Pentagon Can ‘Turn Entire Countries Into Craters’ Why Can’t It Audit Itself?

Senator Says Department of Defense Audit is Long Overdue

WASHINGTON – During a hearing today on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) ongoing audit and business operations reform at the Pentagon, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, asked Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer David L. Norquist why the Pentagon has never completed an audit of the department.

“DOD has the capacity to turn entire countries into craters, has all kinds of cyber capabilities,” said Corker. “How in the world could it be that the biggest, greatest fighting entity in the world cannot audit itself until 2018? What’s wrong?”

“There is, in a sense, on some in the mission focus is not as focused on the back office as you would see in a private company,” answered Norquist. “I think that there is an essential value to the taxpayer in making sure the rest of these operations go well, and part of the messaging that the secretary has made internally is to make sure folks understand this is much broader than just financial management… [Secretary of Defense James Mattis] and [Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan] have made this a top priority, and I think that’s helped to turn the ship.”

Corker expressed his appreciation for our men and women in uniform and thanked the Pentagon for beginning an audit.

“Well again, we thank you and others for what you’re doing,” concluded Corker. “I’m happy that in 2018 we’re finally going to have an audit. That’s good for taxpayers. I cherish the men and women in uniform like [Senator Tim Kaine’s] son and others who serve. I am distressed that for all these years we know there’s been massive amounts of wasted money because you can’t even audit, and I’m glad that you’re on a path to do something good about it.”

DOD’s first ever agency-wide audit is currently underway. If completed, it will be the first since enactment of a federal law more than 27 years ago requiring the department to submit annual audited financial statements to the director of the Office of Management and Budget.