We’re pretty surprised that the Defense Department has an audit of its contracts at all but since they do, we’ll give them credit for at least setting up some faux-oversight. That’s where the credit stops however, since the auditors work for “The Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency” (“DCAA”) which just reeks of independence.
As we mentioned, the fact that anyone would attempt to audit the Defense Department is laughable at best. Some problems that the General Accounting Office found, according to Web CPA:
The problems uncovered by the investigation included waste of time and resources by the audit agency. As an example, the GAO noted that DCAA auditors spent 530 hours to support an audit of the cash management system at a research and development grantee, only to discover that the billing system was non-existent.
Awesome. Three months of work to discover a phantom billing system. Oh, but there’s more:
During a separate billing system audit of a supplier of combat systems, “Auditors deleted key audit steps related to the contractor policies and internal controls over progress payments without explanation.” One DCAA auditor told the GAO he did not perform detailed tests because, “The contractor would not appreciate it.”
Testing is rather inconvenient when accountability is involved. Especially in the name of national security.
For one of the 69 reviews the GAO performed, the audit report cited eight significant deficiencies in the contractor’s accounting system but since the contractor wasn’t really cool with that, the auditors dropped five of the SD’s and recommended that the other three be “improved without additional work”.
Buckling to clients isn’t as unusual so we’ll let this one slide and considering the DoD’s track record, they’ll continue doing whatever they hell they want. We just thought we’d bring it up here for the record.
GAO: DOD Audit Oversight Has “Widespread Problems” [Web CPA]