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The Pentagon. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency hasn’t been accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxpayer’s money, according to a review conducted by Ernst & Young, Politico reported Monday. The report includes the fiscal year ending September of 2016.

Why it matters: This is the first agency “of its size and complexity” that has been audited at the Pentagon, as the agency put it, and it won’t be the last. It comes after The Washington Post and the GAO reported in the last two years of “administrative waste” and “financial management problems” at the Department of Defense.

What the DLA fell short in documenting, per Politico:

  • The agency didn’t properly document over $800 million in construction projects as well as misstatements about $465 million in construction projects.
  • The agency couldn’t produce evidence for $100 million worth of assets in its computer systems.
  • The agency “inappropriately recorded” $46 million in computer assets.

Response:

  • The agency’s director, Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams: "The initial audit has provided us with a valuable independent view of our current financial operations.”
  • The DLA: "DLA is the first of its size and complexity in the Department of Defense to undergo an audit so we did not anticipate achieving a 'clean' audit opinion in the initial cycles.”
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has been critical of auditing at the Pentagon, told Politico in an interview "I think the odds of a successful DoD audit down the road are zero.”

The audit, announced in December, will issue reports each November.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.