News | July 19, 2018

DLA director spurs audit advancement team

By Chris Erbe

Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams thanked and encouraged members of the Audit Advancement Team responsible for day-to-day delivery of audit goals for the agency at DLA Headquarters, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, July 16.

The team consisted of more than 150 audit specialists from the DLA Finance directorate as well as contractors from locations around the globe directly responsible for addressing Notices of Findings and Recommendations and closing out Corrective Action Plans in support of DLA’s agencywide audit initiative.

“I know you’ve heard this from your senior leaders, but I wanted you to hear it from me,” Williams said. “Your work is important, it’s meaningful and it’s beginning to pay dividends.”

In August 2016 independent public accountant Ernst & Young began work to conduct DLA’s first audit. In June 2017, the IPA announced its intent to issue a disclaimer of opinion on DLA’s fiscal 2017 working capital fund, general fund and transaction fund financial statements, a result not unexpected for agencies undergoing a first-year audit.

DLA hopes to show major improvement in fiscal 2018 for high-priority areas identified in the audit. The goal is to achieve unmodified opinions in the transactional fund by fiscal 2020; the general fund by 2023; and the working capital fund by 2025.

Williams explained how a clean audit improves efficiency and support to the warfighter, as well as upholds DLA’s goal to be accountable to the American taxpayer, Congress and the Department of Defense. He referred to the fact that DLA has been undergoing its audit initiative longer than any other agency in the DoD.

“In being the audit leader, there is both pleasure and pain,” he said. “There is pain in being on the leading edge because we’re taking all the headwinds. But there is pleasure in our role because other agencies who are not as far into their audit journeys look to DLA for guidance and lessons learned.”

Currently, DLA’s efforts are focused on validating real property and physical records at 766 sites around the globe. Williams said that next year the team will focus on inventory of material goods, most of which is on the shelves of DLA-owned or contracted warehouses.

DLA’s audit work will never end, Williams said. “DLA is a $35.5 billion business, and now that we are on this journey, we cannot let up. Once we reach a clean audit opinion, our focus will shift to audit sustainment so that we can undergo successful audits year after year. It’s important for our warfighters and for the American public.”