U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is pressing Department of Defense Secretary James Mattis for specifics on the department’s ongoing consolidated audit process. Enzi expressed concern after the Pentagon’s Inspector General found numerous problems in the Defense Logistic Agency’s financial statements, including almost $1 billion of inaccuracies.
In a letter to Secretary Mattis, Enzi wrote, “DOD will spend more than $900 million on audit-related programs in FY 2018, 60 percent of which will be used to rectify problems identified by the independent auditor. As the consolidated audit effort continues, there will surely be many more painful findings. It is important for Congress to better understand how DOD is translating audit findings into changes in its business practices.”
While the specific agency audit was not a part of the department’s consolidated audit process, which began in fiscal year 2018, its conclusions are emblematic of those expected from the consolidated audit. The success of that audit over time will depend upon continued oversight and improvement by Congress.
Enzi wrote seeking a line-item breakdown in spending to allow Congress to better understand how the Pentagon is translating audit findings into changes in its business practices. He also said he wants to know if there are areas in which increased funding might hasten the achievement of a clean audit or contribute meaningfully to improved business practices.
In addition, Enzi said it is important to understand how the audit’s findings are translating into improved management practices and demonstrated savings, which will be crucial to continued congressional support of the audit. He also requested information on how the audit might help Congress understand the cost inefficiencies created by the broken budget process, such as disruptions from continuing resolutions.
Read the full letter here.