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Press Release Published: Jul 7, 2023

Comer & Grothman Request Briefing After DOD’s Failure to Properly Track Taxpayer Funds

DOD recently overestimated the value of weapons sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion dollars.

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) are raising concerns following reports indicating the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) failed to properly assess taxpayer funds after overestimating the value of weapons and wartime stockpiles sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion dollars. In a letter to DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin, the lawmakers emphasized that improvements need to be made to DOD’s financial management systems and requests a briefing to understand DOD’s plan to prevent future financial accounting errors.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is continuing to examine the federal government’s administration of U.S. taxpayer-funded assistance to Ukraine,” wrote the lawmakers. “The Committee is alarmed by the Pentagon’s financial management practices, and recent reporting about how it tracks weapon and material stockpiles. DOD’s recently discovered ‘accounting error’ of $6.2 billion is yet another example of the failures within DOD’s financial management systems, and raises more concerns about DOD’s ability to protect taxpayer funds.”

On June 20, 2023, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh stated that DOD substantially overestimated the value of weapons it sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion over the past two years. In May, 2023, DOD announced an additional $3 billion dollar accounting error. Since 1995, financial management at DOD has been included on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s High-Risk List.  To date, DOD has been unable to produce an accurate assessment of spending or physical assets.

“The Committee seeks to understand what caused this ‘accounting error,’ how DOD discovered it, and what is being done to prevent future errors of this magnitude.  Additionally, the Committee would like to know how the Pentagon plans to use the $6.2 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds now available due to the discovery of the ‘accounting error,’ continued the lawmakers. “Ensuring DOD is able to properly account for their assets and equipment is vital to ensuring military readiness and effectiveness, not only for our Ukrainian allies, but for our own services.”

Read the letter to Secretary Austin here.