Pentagon Gate - Logo
© Kevin Harber
The US Central Command cannot account for $223 million in orders placed during the international operation against Daesh because of inaccurate records-keeping and poor guidance, according to a Department of Defense Inspector General audit released on Monday.

Specifically, the Inspector General said they were unable to verify the accuracy of 72 US Army Central Command ACSA orders valued at more than $202 million "due to a lack of supporting documentation."

US commanders "do not have assurance that deployed forces are obtaining the [logistics support, supplies and services] necessary to effectively and efficiently sustain US and coalition forces during contingencies and operations," Assistant Inspector General for Contract Management and Payments Michael Roark said.

In addition, the accuracy and status of 70 US Air Force Central Command ACSA orders, valued at more than $21 million was unknown because of incorrect or incomplete methods used to post transactions, according to the audit.

Comment: Excuses, excuses. It's highly unlikely that incidents like this happen due to bad accounting. The Pentagon has one of the largest government budgets on the planet. Surely they can afford accurate accounting systems and competent personnel.

The report on the audit, filed March 24 and posted to the Inspector General's website on Monday, concludes that the Defense Department did not have effective controls on Global Automated Tracking and Reporting System (AGATRS).

AGATRS is a web-based records system that tracks, builds and manages Acquisition and Cross-Service Agreement (ACSA) orders in support of efforts against the Islamic State. ACSAs are bilateral agreements between the Defense Department and foreign entities for the exchange of logistics support, supplies and services.

The Defense Department reviewed 175 of 576 ACSA orders placed between June 2014 and September 2015 and found that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "did not have assurance that 142 orders placed by US Army and Air Force personnel, valued at $223 million, were accurate or had been reimbursed."

Personnel did not include minimum essential data elements on ACSA orders, failed to upload source documents justifying line items on the orders and did not close the orders properly within the AGATRS system, the Inspector General noted.

Some of the missing information included the name and mailing address of the organization issuing or receiving the order, as well as signatures or date and place or the original transfer, it said.

As a result, commanders had a limited ability to maintain oversight of ACSA transactions executed in support of the operation against the Islamic State terror group, the report concluded.

Commanders with the Joint Chiefs of Staff have begun to take corrective action to bring the ACSA guidelines into alignment with the Defense Department's requirements, according to the report.