The second audit of the Department of Defense ended the same way as the first one: with a failing grade.
The fiscal 2019 audit examined more than $2.9 trillion in assets and $2.8 trillion in liabilities, the Pentagon said. The process involved about 1,400 auditors conducting 600 site visits, at a cost of nearly $1 billion.
The Pentagon comptroller, Elaine McCusker, said defense officials knew they would fail the audit this year, and expect to do so for years to come. Nevertheless, McCusker said this year’s result was an improvement over last year, with the department closing more than 550 of the 2,300 issues found in the 2018 audit.
"We made progress in our priority areas while focusing on the importance of sustainable solutions," McCusker said. "But as expected, we will receive an overall disclaimer again this year," she added, referring to the negative result.
The Pentagon’s acting inspector general, Glenn Fine, said the department has clearly improved its performance, but much work still needs to be done. “The Department of Defense still has a long way to go before it will be able to obtain a clean opinion,” Fine said in a statement.