Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has fought for transparency and accountability within government since he was elected. Paul is the leading proponent of auditing the Federal Reserve, an issue championed by his father, but a lesser known proposal of Paul’s is to audit the Pentagon. Paul will be getting his wish from the Trump administration, as the Pentagon recently announced they would be conducting an annual audit.
“The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history,” the Pentagon’s news service announced.
The Pentagon is using news of this new annual audit to boast about their supposed dedication to saving resources for the American public.
Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, “It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us.”
The audits will begin in 2018 and become a regular annual occurrence from that point forward.
“Beginning in 2018, our audits will occur annually, with reports issued Nov. 15,” said David L. Norquist, Defense Department comptroller.
NPR reports that this has been a long, delayed effort by the Pentagon, who despite proclaiming fiscal responsibility has stalled on providing specific details of their expenditures even though rules were passed requiring bureaucracies to do so back in the 1990s.
Last year, it was exposed that the Pentagon “buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget,” according to a Washington Post report. While the Pentagon lauds their accountability, the facts of the matter indicate that they resisted this effort for transparency tooth and nail.
Nevertheless, Paul – who is still recovering from ambush injuries after a terrorist attack at his home – is seeing significant movement on an issue that he helped push to the mainstream.
“Republicans need to acknowledge that not every dollar is well-spent or sacred in the military and we have to look for ways to make every department accountable,” Paul said back in 2012.
It may have taken awhile, but Paul’s message is finally resonating within the Trump administration.