An audit report obtained by Politico reveals a division of the Defense Department, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), cannot account for more than $800 million in building expenses. The money is believed to have gone to construction projects, but there is no paper trail. The auditors concluded this is not an isolated incident, but a result of the agency's failure to develop any "reliable way to track the huge sums it's responsible for," Politico reports.
The DLA has an annual budget of about $40 billion, less than 6 percent of the $700 billion in this year's DoD budget. Its audit is part of the first full audit the Pentagon has ever undergone, despite being required by law to submit to an annual audit for decades.
DoD representatives told Politico that findings of this sort are to be expected because the Pentagon has not been audited before. "The key is to use auditor feedback to focus our remediation efforts and corrective action plans, and maximize the value from the audits," said the DLA in a statement. "That's what we're doing now."
However, critics including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed doubt that a "successful DoD audit" will ever be completed because "keeping track of the people's money may not be in the Pentagon's DNA."