OK, so we’ve all read about those missing rocket launchers and their supposed targets – but just how much other military hardware is missing?
Just after Christmas, The Age reported Auditor-General Ian McPhee found it cannot adequately account for inventory and “repairable items” worth $3.9 billion.
The annual investigation of government agencies by the Australian National Audit Office concludes that Defence has breached federal financial management controls.
The Auditor-General has also criticised the Defence Materiel Organisation, the body responsible for managing defence equipment, for opening and operating foreign bank accounts without official approval. In addition, the Auditor-General has reported that the DMO artificially fixed the exchange rate when buying equipment for Australian troops overseas, causing the value of projects to be “misstated”.
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But back to those rocket launchers. In November last year Alfredo Reinado, a self-styled East Timorese rebel soldier who has been accused of murder by UN investigators, was pictured with a M72 rocket launcher – the missing model.
Perhaps the Australian military is going to get their hardware back.