The House Oversight Committee announced Monday it was launching an investigation into the Department of Defense after it failed an audit for the fifth time and was unable to account for 61% of its $3.5 trillion in assets.
Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workforce Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) announced in a statement they are probing the DOD for its “failure to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse after the department failed its fifth consecutive audit in November.”
They said in a joint statement:
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 issued a report that said “DOD’s financial management and contractor management have consistently been included in GAO’s High-Risk List.” Comer and Sessions said:
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 give the DOD $858 billion for fiscal year 2023. With Republicans now in charge of the House, they have ramped up their oversight efforts on the Biden administration and are looking to reign in wasteful spending.
The investigation also comes as the DOD has been pouring billions of dollars of military equipment into Ukraine. So far, the DOD has committed at least $32 billion in military aid, much of it from their own stocks.
Congress allocated more than $113 billion to Ukraine last year. Republicans have also pledged stronger oversight of that funding.