01:45 GMT +309 December 2019
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    This is an aerial view of the five-sided Pentagon building, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Va., in 1975

    US DoD Can't Spend $27.7bln Fast Enough, Returns Funds to Congress - Audit

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    A recent audit, praised as one of the largest in history, has found major weaknesses in the US defence spending. This development follows Congress' refusal to give Donald Trump $5.7 billion for his much talked about border wall, which led to the current partial government shutdown.

    The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has undergone a financial audit which assessed, simply put, what the agency spent its 2018 budget on. 

    According to a report, published by the DoD Office of Inspector General, which conducted the audit, the Pentagon had to return $27.7 billion to Congress in unspent funds in 2018 alone.

    "If the DoD does not spend its funds within the legal timeframes, the funds expire. In FY 2018, the DoD reported $27.7 billion of expired funds, meaning that, generally, the DoD can no longer use those funds for new spending," the report reads.

    READ MORE: US Republican Senators Reintroduce Bill to Fully Fund Border Wall

    As huge as the sum seems, it accounts for less than one percent of the DoD's annual budget: in the 2018 fiscal year, the agency received $863.6 billion in congressional appropriations.

    Moreover, the watchdog said the Pentagon is the wealthiest public agency as it owns the majority of the government's financial assets, worth $2.7 trillion, accounting for nearly 77 per cent of the federal government's assets.

    The report came at a time when the US government is partially shut down due to a clash over border security spending between Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives.

    Donald Trump, whose request for an additional $5.7 billion for his cherished border wall was flatly rejected by the majority Democrats House of Representatives, has threatened to call "a national emergency" to gain the upper hand in his battle over border wall funding.


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    government shutdown, border wall, audit, spending, Department of Defense, Donald Trump, United States
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