Ernst to Pentagon: Conduct Audit to Ensure Accountability, Transparency

The Iowa senator joined a bipartisan letter to SecDef Austin, “An unqualified opinion audit of the Department of Defense is critical for keeping our budget on mission, finding savings for taxpayers, and ensuring military success.”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and a leading foe of government waste, is calling for a timely completion of a financial audit of the Department of Defense (DOD) to ensure accountability and transparency and identify savings for hardworking Iowa taxpayers.
 
In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ernst and a bipartisan group of her fellow senators write, “We write to encourage the timely completion of a fourth consecutive, financial statement audit of the Department of Defense. Financial statement audits are critical to bringing accountability to our budget through identifying taxpayer savings and guaranteeing mission focus of the budget.
 
They go on to say, “Audits have significantly improved transparency of the budget each year. Through the audit in fiscal year 2020, auditors reviewed approximately $2.9 trillion in assets. Additionally, the audit identified more than $700 million in savings to be made through process improvements, and the DoD was able to resolve over 530 findings from the previous year’s audit in fiscal year 2019… An unqualified opinion audit of the Department of Defense is critical for keeping our budget on mission, finding savings for taxpayers, and ensuring military success. Again, we urge the [timeliest] completion of a thorough financial statement audit of the Department of Defense in fiscal year 2021 and maintain the significance of this action in achieving a transparent budget.”
 
For the full letter, click here.
 
Background:
Under the previous administration, Ernst and 25 bipartisan members of the Senate Armed Services and Budget Committees requested then-Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan for his commitment to the timely completion of a full audit of the Department of Defense in FY2019.
  
Ernst has also called for the Department of Defense (DoD) to address massive inefficiencies in its storage and inventory that is costing taxpayers in Iowa and across the country hundreds of millions of dollars. Ernst has also put forward legislation to allow DoD to consolidate unneeded and underutilized warehouses and storage centers to reduce costs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their supply chain.
 
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