The Pentagon Can't Account for $21 Trillion (That's Not a Typo)

Rumsfeld briefly mentioned accounting problems in a speech on 9/10/2001 titled DOD Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week Kickoff—Bureaucracy to Battlefield: "Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it's stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible." The 2.3 trillion dollar figure comes from this audit report from the year 2000 about fiscal year 1999 (Oct. 1998-Sep. 1999).

The "Pentagon accounting office", DFAS — the Defense Finance and Accounting Service , has about 12,000 employees. The audit report was produced by the Inspector General. The Defense Department's finances are overseen by the Comptroller.

The headquarters for DFAS are located in Indianapolis, And, if you look at the audit report, most of the $2.3 trillion was because of bad communication between the DFAS offices in Kansas City and Cleveland. The Defense Department has extensive backups and records that are also stored with the National Archives and Records Administration.

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