WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has again failed its independent annual audit, mainly because defense officials could not provide auditors with enough information to form a full accounting evaluation, according to the Defense Department’s yearly financial report released Wednesday.
“Auditing the department’s $3.8 trillion in assets and $4 trillion in liabilities is a massive undertaking,” Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said. “But the improvements and changes we are making every day as a result of these audits positively affect every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, guardian and DOD civilian.”
Hundreds of independent auditors examine the Pentagon’s books each year to determine whether it can account for the money it’s given and how effectively the military is spending it. There are three possible audit ratings – an unqualified opinion, a qualified opinion and a disclaimer of opinion.
The consolidated 2023 audit, which is the overall accounting of the Defense Department, gave a disclaimer of opinion, which means the Pentagon couldn’t give auditors enough financial data to allow them to form an opinion. An unqualified, or “clean,” opinion is the highest possible rating and a qualified opinion is an acceptable rating. Both mean that auditors were given enough information to make a complete judgment.
“This was the sixth year of progress toward an unmodified opinion,” the department said in a statement.
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