A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants the new Defense secretary to follow through on a plan that would facilitate full Pentagon audits by 2019.
On Monday, Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) spearheaded a letter signed by more than 70 lawmakers asking Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to commit to the audit push.
“The Department is entering a new phase — the final push. With less than two full fiscal years left until the September 30, 2017, audit readiness deadline, Secretary Carter’s service comes at a crucial time,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
By that date in 2017, the Pentagon would have to validate that all of its financial statements can be audited. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta set the deadline in 2011.
Once the department completes that phase, the Pentagon will have to audit its finances from fiscal 2018 and submit the results to Congress no later than March 31, 2019.
“With these 2017 and 2019 statutory deadlines fast approaching, momentum must be maintained through continued leadership at the highest levels,” the lawmakers said.
The Pentagon remains the only federal agency that cannot pass an annual audit. Audits of government agencies are an important tool in the budget process because they track how funding appropriated by Congress is distributed.