Senators Request Department of Defense Commit to Timely Completion of FY2019 Audit

Posted Feb 26, 2019 by
John C.

The Department of Defense (DoD) completed its first full department-wide financial audit in November 2018, a massive effort that required a plethora of over 1,200 accountants visiting over 600 DoD sites and valuing DoD assets at $2.7 trillion. U.S. Senators David Perdue, R-Ga., Angus King, I-Me.,, and 24 bipartisan members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Budget committees sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan requesting his commitment for timely completion of a second full audit of the Department of Defense in FY 2019.

With turnover at important positions within the DoD, the bipartisan group of Senators has urged the DoD to ensure that the departure of former defense secretary Jim Mattis does not derail the Pentagon’s efforts to audit its business systems annually. In a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, the Senators said “We commend Mr. (David) Norquist and the Department of Defense for finishing its first-ever complete audit required by the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. This was a critical first step to bring greater transparency and accountability to the Pentagon; however, more progress must be made to reach a clean opinion.”

The Senators noted that, “the benefits of the audit go beyond good stewardship of the taxpayer dollar. Not only will it improve business operations, but also it can enhance national security by ensuring accuracy in inventory and by identifying vulnerabilities in our cybersecurity.”

The DoD faces a November 2019 deadline to complete its second annual department-wide audit. The audit effort could be complicated by the turnover of key DoD personnel. With Mr. Shanahan elevated to the Acting Secretary of Defense, Mr. Norquist is now performing the duties of the deputy defense secretary, along with his comptroller and chief financial officer duties. The DoD expressed confidence that the 2019 audit will proceed unimpeded. Mr. Chris Sherwood, a public affairs officer with the Office of the Secretary of Defense stated, “The FY2019 audits are already underway and leadership changes have, if anything, elevated the priority of the audit. Ms. Elaine McCusker has all the appropriate authorities to carry out all the required functions of the Chief Financial Officer.”

St. Michael’s continues to be an integral player in supporting the DoD and provides demonstrated experience and expertise to overcome audit challenges, implement compliant and sustainable business practices, and prepare organizations to achieve an unmodified audit opinion. Find out more about our audit readiness services here.


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