As a result of the Pentagon failing an audit for the fifth time and being unable to account for 61% of its $3.5 trillion in assets, the House Oversight Committee announced Monday that it was opening an investigation into the organization.
In a statement, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability James Comer (R-KY) and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workers Pete Sessions (R-TX) said they are looking into the Department of Defense for its “failure to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse after the department failed its fifth consecutive audit in November.”
The joint statement reads:
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating the Department of Defense’s (DOD) failure to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. In November 2022, DOD failed its fifth consecutive audit, unable to account for sixty-one percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) also recently reported that DOD continues to fail to accurately account for hundreds of billions of dollars of government-furnished property in the hands of contractors.
DOD’s inability to adequately track assets risks our military readiness and represents a flagrant disregard for taxpayer funds, even as it receives nearly a trillion dollars annually.
On March 7, GAO released a report that said “DOD’s financial management and contractor management have consistently been included in GAO’s High-Risk List.”
With this, Comer and Sessions also stated:
DOD’s lax financial management and inability to adequately track weapons, equipment and other defense articles have raised serious concerns about DOD’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars, especially as DOD’s budget approaches thirteen figures. Failure to address these issues has limited DOD’s ability to produce auditable financial statements which would enable adequate oversight of DOD’s financial management practices.
Last year, a Democrat-controlled Congress voted to award the DOD $858 billion for fiscal year 2023. Republicans have increased their monitoring of the Biden administration and are attempting to rein in excessive spending now that they are in control of the House.
Additionally, the probe takes place at a time when the DOD is supplying Ukraine with military hardware worth billions of dollars. At least $32 billion in military aid has already been committed by the DOD, much of it coming from their own stocks.
Last year, Ukraine received more than $113 billion in funding from Congress. Republicans have also committed to tighter control over such funding.