Monday, January 21, 2013

Pentagon Budget so Screwed up, GAO can't audit Rest of Government.

60 Minutes many years ago did a story on the Pentagon's lost $2 trillion. Auditors often tried, but eventually fail to even come close to reconciling their books. So the following story is no big surprise, except that the problem has now spread to Homeland Security.

And we're worried about cutting billions from the defense budget?

Huffington Post: The Government Accountability Office said Thursday that it could not complete an audit of the federal government, pointing to serious problems with the Department of Defense. Along with the Pentagon, the GAO cited the Department of Homeland Security as having problems so significant that it was impossible for investigators to audit it. The report released by the GAO on Friday indicates serious accounting problems at two of the largest government agencies: The Department of Defense has a net cost of $799 billion to the federal budget, while the Department of Homeland Security has a net cost of $48.7 billion. The GAO said that the Pentagon was working on a way to get its financial statements to a point where they could be audited, "following years of unsuccessful financial improvements."

The Department of Defense's inability to get its books in order also comes as Congress is slated to cut $500 billion from its budget over ten years starting March 1.

The report lists the Department of Defense as having the third-largest cost to the federal government, at 21 percent. That value is slightly behind the costs of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration.

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