When it came to the Pentagon's first audit, failure was the most likely option, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced on Tuesday.
“We never thought we were going to pass an audit, right?" Shanahan told reporters at the on Thursday, citing the exceedingly low expectations surrounding the Pentagon's first moment of fiduciary introspection in its history. "Everyone was betting against us that we wouldn’t even do the audit.”
While the U.S. government in 1990 established requirements for each federal agency to assess its financial situation, the DoD has long lagged behind other federal departments in meeting the government's standards for financial accountability, as NPR reports when the audit was first announced in December 2017.
“What we’ve been doing since early on in the audit is we’ve been getting preliminary findings and the real work we’ve been doing is: Let’s not count the findings we need to develop the plans to address the findings and actually put corrective actions in place," Shanahan said.
When asked how taxpayers should respond to news of the DoD's failed audit, Shanahan demurred: "Here’s what’s amazing: It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion organization. So the fact that we did the audit is substantial."
"If I’m a taxpayer, what I want to see is: That’s great, you did the audit; you have all these findings," he added. "How long is it going to take for you to fix those and then show me next year that it takes less to audit and you have fewer findings."
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."
Members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepare a seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTRV) to be lifted by a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., on Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Clare J. McIntire)
If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.
Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)