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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

50 mins ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.