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.”

WATCH NEXT: