Defense Secretary James Mattis announced the Department of Defense would be audited for the first time in 70 years.
“I’ve been told I have the 17th largest economy in the world. That is sobering. That is very sobering when I realize all of you are sacrificing for us to have that,” he told the audience at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. earlier this week.
“So what we’re going to do is we’re going to audit for the first time in 70 years, DoD is going through an audit. I hope we find a lot of problems, because every time I find one, I’m going to slap the back of the auditor and tell her ‘Well done,’ we’re going to fix it, and the money we save is going to go into lethality.”
“As we audit this, we’re going to make certain we reform the business practices to ensure that we’re getting the most bang for the buck.”
“Affordability and accountability: that’s what’s going to guide us on our budget,” he added.
Mattis is likely to discover just how staggering the waste is from the DoD’s budget.
Last year, economists discovered nearly $29 trillion missing from the DoD’s and Housing and Urban Development’s budget, without explanation.
The revelations prompted the Pentagon to announce incoming annual audits for the department, under President Trump’s order.
“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” Defense Department comptroller David Norquist said in December.
“It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD’s management of every taxpayer dollar.”