The commonwealth auditor-general has criticised the defence department for taking too long to implement audit recommendations.
In a report released on Wednesday, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) said the issue was a "significant problem" for defence.
It points out that the average time taken by the department to complete audit recommendations was about 400 days - about 175 days longer than the department originally estimated it would take.
"By not implementing agreed audit recommendations in a timely manner, defence is foregoing opportunities to enhance its performance," the report said.
"This does not reflect well on those managers who have the responsibility to act on the agreed recommendations and deliver stronger outcomes for defence."
The ANAO recommended the defence department reinforce managers' responsibilities for implementing audit recommendations.
It also recommended the department's audit committee provide an annual report to the secretary and chief of the defence force about its operation and activities.
Responding to the report, the defence department said it would hold the officers responsible for the delays to account.
"Defence appreciates the value of the audit process and continually seeks opportunities for improvement," the department said.
It said it would implement both of the ANAO's recommendations.