Saturday, January 13th, 2007

The Department of Homeland Security just underwent an independent audit by KPMG, a huge and well known international accounting firm. A lot of money is unaccounted for. Thanks to looseheadprop at Firedoglake, who has looked through the accountant speak of the report, PDF version here, we learn that:

FEMA was unable to fully support the accuracy and completeness of certain unpaid obligations, and accounts payable . . . These unpaid obligations, as reported in the accompanying DHS balance sheet as of September 30, 2006, were $22.3 Billion or 46% of DHS consolidated unexpended appropriations at September 30, 2006.

The auditors revealed $22.3 billion unaccounted for, due to:

“financial reporting problems at four bureaus and at the department level.” The auditors found ten material problems, two other reportable conditions, violation of eight separate laws.
. . .
FEMA has lost and/or failed to account for a sum of money that is almost half of DHS’s entire budget and 130 times greater than the amount of money that the Department of Homeland Security is willing to spend to secure the homeland.

And ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is “undocumented”, does not have records, according to the audit:

According to the auditors, ICE could not support $1.2 billion in accounts payable and undelivered ordered.

So what is the source of the problem? A major reason for the missing money is the political appointments in top managerial positions:

The auditors found that:

While the OFM is staffed with exceptionally dedicated management and staff, additional managerial skill sets are needed to fully accomplish OFM responsibilities. OFM does not have a sufficient number of management personnel who have the requisite financial accounting background, knowledge and expertise to do the long list of things necessary to perform their jobs.

Translation: They mean well, but have no clue what they are doing. And by they, I mean the managerial appointees. You know, the people hand picked by Chertoff and Cheney…with Rove getting vetting rights. See how this all works?
. . .
This audit report reads like a prosecution memo.

Read looseheadprop‘s entire post if you would like a more thorough understanding.

With Bush proposing to kill many more Americans in Iraq, today’s cartoons are not exactly funny, but they are some real zingers.