The Pentagon has failed its annual audit for the sixth consecutive year, according to Department of Defense Comptroller Mike McCord. The announcement came as the department defended its ongoing failures, stating that it is a process of cleaning up its books. Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh acknowledged that the results were not what they wanted, but emphasized that they are learning from each audit that passes.
The audit consisted of 29 sub-audits and examined approximately $4 trillion in assets and liabilities. Conducting the audit cost around $187 million. McCord acknowledged that auditing the department's $3.8 trillion in assets and $4 trillion in liabilities is a massive undertaking.
The Pentagon passed only 7 out of 29 sub-audits in 2023, the same as last year's results. Auditors visited over 700 sites as part of their investigations. Half of the department's claimed assets could not be accounted for, according to the auditors' findings.
In response to the ongoing failures, Texas lawmakers have introduced the "Audit the Pentagon Act," aiming to incentivize government spending transparency. The act seeks to address concerns about the lack of accountability and oversight in the Pentagon's financial management.
It is worth noting that a fake image of a Pentagon explosion went viral on Twitter, sparking further concerns about the use of artificial intelligence. However, this incident is unrelated to the Pentagon's failed audit.
The Pentagon began auditing itself in 2018 under the Trump administration. Despite the continued failures, the department remains committed to improving its processes and balancing its books.
Overall, the Pentagon's sixth consecutive failed audit raises questions about the department's financial management and accountability. While efforts are being made to address these issues, there is still significant work to be done to achieve transparency and effective oversight.