The Pentagon has failed its independent annual audit for the sixth year in a row, as US 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 on Thursday.
“Auditing the department’s $3.8 trillion in assets and $4 trillion in liabilities is a massive undertaking,” Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said.
The 2023 audit gave a “disclaimer of opinion,” which means the Pentagon could not provide 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 judgement.
In 2022, the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. With this failure, the Pentagon has kept its spot as the only US government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit. It also highlights the US war department’s persistent lack of internal financial control, its poor budget estimations and rampant overspending.