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Investigation by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by RealClearInvestigations.com and RealClearWire.com
The Department of Defense made a formidable accounting mistake when it overvalued by $3 billion weaponry it gave to Ukraine, freeing up more money for additional aid without needing Congressional approval, according to Reason magazine.
The Wall Street Journal initially broke the story, reporting that the $3 billion mistake was a result of using book valuations for new equipment, while the equipment sent was older and used. A Pentagon spokesperson said, “In some cases, ‘replacement cost’ rather than ‘net book value’ was used, therefore overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from U.S. stocks.”
The error was discovered in an internal audit last March, and now frees up an $3 billion in additional aid to Ukraine, since the U.S. effectively sent $3 billion less in aid than previously thought. Officials cautioned that the overvalued amount could grow as it continues to audit its programs.
Reason noted allowing the White House to send more to Ukraine without Congressional approval comes as lawmakers have shown increasing skepticism of sending military aid.
While there is no evidence of any malfeasance, it raises an important point: Americans need to have confidence in where their tax dollars are going and how they are accounted for.
The Pentagon has a budget of $842 billion in 2023, but it still has yet to pass an audit with a clean opinion. Americans are right to be suspicious of other spending figures from the DOD, given the frequency and magnitude of its accounting errors.
It’s essential that taxpayers have confidence that their money is being used and accounted for in an accurate and ethical way, and mistakes like these undermine that confidence in some of our largest and most important institutions.
By Adam Andrzejewski – The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com
This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.