A June report released by the Department of Defense's Office of Inspector General found that the U.S. Army had made improper accounting adjustments to the tune of $6.5 trillion in 2015.
The June report found that the Army had made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments in the third quarter of 2015 alone while not having the receipts or invoices to back them up, Reuters reports.
The report had focused on auditing the Army’s General Fund, the largest of the Army’s accounts with assets of $282.6 billion in 2015.
The Inspector General concluded that the Army’s financial statements were “materially misstated.”
“DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions,” the report said.
The DoD’s 2016 budget is $573 billion, but the Army’s accounting alone will cost taxpayers $6.5 trillion
This massive hemorrhage of wasteful accounting falls into a trend of the DoD being unable to fully explain how it spends its money.
The Inspector General has for years made the practice of adding a disclaimer to military audits asserting “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”
Army spokesman Dov Schwartz released a written statement downplaying the unflattering report.
“Though there is a high number of adjustments, we believe the financial statement information is more accurate than implied in this report,” Schwartz said.
The Inspector General’s report also noted that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service is mired in software glitches, with 16,000 files of financial data files having seemingly vanished.
According to CNN, the DoD has until Sept. 30, 2017, before it undergoes a full audit, which has been overdue for years. The Inspector General’s report indicates that the DoD’s financial house is not yet in order.
The DoD has been mired in numerous instances of wasteful spending over the years. Examples include $1 billion spent to liquidate unused ammunition that was worth $16 billion and the vanishing of $500 million in weapons, vehicles and equipment in Yemen, according to the Herald & Review.
The Pentagon’s 2015 budget amounted to 54 percent of the federal budget’s discretionary spending, according to The Week.