Tag Archives: Chuck Grassley

Audit Reveals Department of Defense Agency Lost Track of Over $800 Million

As President Trump prepares to ask Congress to boost military spending for fiscal year 2019, new Department of Defense audit results have sparked questions about defense agencies’ spending and reporting habits.

According to Politico, an audit of the Defense Logistics Agency conducted by independent auditor Ernst & Young discovered that the agency could not produce records explaining how it had spent over $800 million on construction projects. Additionally, the agency’s books mistakenly listed that it had $46 million in computer equipment that it actually did not, while failing to list records of over $100 million in computer equipment that the agency currently relies on for daily functioning. The DLA’s general ledger did not match spending records held at the Department of the Treasury.

A statement by the Defense Logistics Agency read, “DLA is the first of its size and complexity in the Department of Defense to undergo an audit so we did not anticipate achieving a ‘clean’ audit opinion in the initial cycles. The key is to use auditor feedback to focus our remediation efforts and corrective action plans, and maximize the value from the audits. That’s what we’re doing now.”

The DLA has an annual budget of around $40 billion, processes over 100,000 orders per day for all branches of the military and many federal agencies, and employs over 25,000 people.

The audit concerned spending for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.

“If you can’t follow the money, you aren’t going to be able to do an audit,” Said Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). “I think the odds of a successful DoD audit down the road are zero. The feeder systems can’t provide data. They are doomed to failure before they ever get started.”

The Trump administration plans to ask Congress to increase defense spending to $716 billion in 2019, The Hill notes.

The audit comes as a part of a first-ever full audit of the Pentagon.

“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” said Defense Department Comptroller David L. Norquist in a December 2017 press conference announcing the new audit policies launched by the Trump administration. “It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD’s management of every taxpayer dollar… With consistent feedback from auditors, we can focus on improving the processes of our day-to-day work. Annual audits also ensure visibility over the quantity and quality of the equipment and supplies our troops use.”

The Department of Defense is estimated to have over $2.4 trillion worth of assets.

FBI Refuses To Release Information In Hillary Clinton Email Investigation

Following a court-ordered inquiry, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has refused to give the State Department any kind of update regarding information that has been recovered from the private email server used by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State, and has gone as far as to refuse to confirm whether an ongoing investigation is taking place.

Washington Times reported that the court-ordered inquiry came from Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who told the State Department to reach out to the FBI to find out if any information could be recovered from Clinton’s server.

[RELATED: Will Hillary Clinton Face Legal Trouble For Deleting Subpoenaed Emails?]

One week after the deadline set by the Justice Department to respond to the inquiry, FBI General Counsel James A. Baker replied with a brief letter on Monday.

[pull_quote_center]At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time.[/pull_quote_center]

Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm, is pursuing 16 open records cases seeking emails from Clinton and her top aides including Huma Abedin. Judicial Watch is questioning whether the FBI actually has possession of the server used by Clinton.

“We still do not know whether the FBI — or any other government agency for that matter — has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.

[RELATED: Report: Dozens of Hillary Clinton Emails Were Classified From The Beginning]

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, whose panel oversees the FBI, criticized the agency for refusing to cooperate with Judge Sullivan’s request and accused the FBI of “behaving like it’s above the law.”

[pull_quote_center]The FBI is behaving like it’s above the law. Simply refusing to cooperate with a court-ordered request is not an appropriate course of action. This entire case, from Secretary Clinton’s ill-advised decision to use a non-government email server, to the FBI’s investigation about classified information, needs some transparency in order to assure the American people that getting to the bottom of this controversy is a priority.[/pull_quote_center]

Clinton turned a “blank” server over the FBI in August, containing around 30,000 emails she deemed “work-related” from her tenure as Secretary of State. These did not include about 32,000 emails she’d claimed she deleted because they contained personal information, and Sullivan ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to gain access to the missing emails.

[RELATED: Judge Orders Access To 32,000 ‘Personal’ Emails After Hillary Turns In Blank Server]

For more election coverage, click here.