The Defense Ministry completed the fourth annual ministry-wide financial statement audit, and the results were released on Monday evening.
The audit, conducted by the DOD Inspector General and several independent accounting firms, looked at more than $ 3.2 trillion in DOD assets and $ 3 trillion in DOD liabilities.
Efforts to start performing department-wide audits began in 2010, Michael McCord, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer, said in a briefing Monday afternoon.
âWe’ve grown tremendously since we started down this path about 10 years ago,â McCord said. âWhile we don’t have a clear opinion yet and have a long way to go, I will note that over the past decade we have done what we told Congress we would do when we said so when we said we were going to start something, we started it, and we said we were going to do an audit in 2017, [and] we went to audit in 2017. “
The results of this year’s audit, McCord said, show support for one of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III’s priorities – caring for people.
Regarding how the DOD pays its staff – both military and civilian – McCord said the processes used by the Defense Finance and Accounting Department have passed the audit.
âThese are separate processes that are validated – the military pay process is separate from the civilian pay process,â he said. âEveryone got an unmodified opinion or passed their test. I emphasize this because – when you combine the fact that our military and civilian compensation processes are successful, as well as the clear opinion on the Military Retirement Fund and a qualified opinion on Medicare – Fund for health care of eligible retirees – I think this shows that we are strongest at auditing where it matters most: and it meets Secretary Austin’s imperative to take care of our employees. “
As of Monday afternoon, a total of eight reporting entities were expected to support unmodified audit opinions, McCord said, including the Military Retirement Fund; the United States Army Corps of Engineers – Civil Engineering; Defense Health Agency – Management of contractual resources; the Defense Commissary Agency; the Working Capital Fund of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service; the Defense Contracts Audit Agency; the DISA Working Capital Fund; and the BIG of DOD.
âWe remain committed to sustaining the progress made to date and increasing the number of unmodified opinions in the years to come,â McCord said.