Step one: cleanse the skin?
The Pentagon receives 54 cents out of every dollar allocated to federal appropriations.
And it was reported recently that the Defense Department could not account for where all that money went. The Pentagon couldn’t complete a Congress-ordered independent budget audit.
”The firms concluded, however, that the DoD’s financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible,” journalist Dave Lindorff wrote.
From The Washington Post:
The audit identified 20 “material weaknesses” or deficiencies in the department’s internal controls. Most of them did not point to particular instances of fraud or mismanagement. Rather, they found that in many cases the department is simply not tracking payments filtering in and out of its myriad agencies, leading auditors to question whether its financial statements are accurate.
And the concern about the Pentagon’s budget isn’t new.
In 2016, The Washington Post reported that The Pentagon buried a study that suggested the Defense Department could streamline their operation and save $125 billion over five years.
We’re taking a look at the Pentagon’s spending, who controls it and what effect taxpayers could have on it.
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Preet Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.