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entitled 'Financial Audit: Independent and Special Counsel Expenditures 
for the Six Months Ended March 31, 2004' which was released on 
September 30, 2004.

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Report to Congressional Committees: 

September 2004: 

FINANCIAL AUDIT: 

Independent and Special Counsel Expenditures for the Six Months Ended 
March 31, 2004: 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-1014]: 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Auditor's Report: 

Background: 

Opinion on Statements of Expenditures: 

Opinion on Internal Control: 

Compliance with Laws and Regulations: 

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: Statement of Expenditures for Independent Counsel Barrett: 

Appendix II: Statement of Expenditures for Independent Counsel Thomas: 

Appendix III: Statement of Expenditures for Special Counsel Fitzgerald: 

Abbreviations: 

AOUSC: Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts: 

OIC: Office of Independent Counsel: 

OSC: Office of Special Counsel: 

Letter September 30, 2004: 

Congressional Committees: 

Enclosed is our report on the statements of expenditures of two offices 
of independent counsel and one office of special counsel for the 6 
months ended March 31, 2004. We are sending copies of this report to 
the Attorney General, the Director of the Administrative Office of the 
U.S. Courts, the Independent Counsels and Special Counsel included in 
our audit, and other interested parties. Copies of this report will be 
made available to others upon request. This report will also be 
available at no charge on GAO's Web site at [Hyperlink, http://
www.gao.gov].

If you or your staffs have any questions concerning this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-6906 or Hodge Herry, Assistant Director, at 
(202) 512-9469. You can also reach us at 
[Hyperlink, williamsM1@gao.gov]or [Hyperlink, herryh@gao.gov]. Key 
contributors to this report were Kwabena Ansong, Erik Huff, and Donell 
Ries.

Signed by: 

McCoy Williams: 
Director, Financial Management and Assurance: 

[End of section]

Auditor's Report: 

Congressional Committees: 

This report presents the results of our audits of expenditures[Footnote 
1] reported by two offices of independent counsel and one office of 
special counsel for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004. The Department 
of Justice and the independent counsels are required under 28 U.S.C.  
594 (d)(2), (h) and  596 (c)(1) to report on a semiannual basis 
expenditures from a permanent, indefinite appropriation established 
within the Department of Justice to fund independent counsel 
activities. Under 28 U.S.C.  596 (c)(2), we are required to audit the 
statements of expenditures prepared by the independent counsels. We 
also audited the statement of expenditures of Special Counsel Patrick 
J. Fitzgerald, who is authorized by the Department of Justice to fund 
his operation from the permanent, indefinite appropriation.

In our audits covering the 6 months ended March 31, 2004, we found: 

* the statements of expenditures presented in appendixes I through III, 
for the offices of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett and Independent 
Counsel Julie F. Thomas and for the office of Special Counsel Patrick 
J. Fitzgerald, respectively, are presented fairly, in all material 
respects, in conformity with the basis of accounting described in note 
1 of each counsel's statement, which is principally the cash basis, a 
comprehensive basis of accounting other than U.S. generally accepted 
accounting principles;

* the counsels had effective internal control over financial reporting 
(including safeguarding assets) and compliance with laws and 
regulations for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004; and: 

* no reportable noncompliance with laws and regulations we tested.

The following sections provide background information, outline each 
conclusion in more detail, and discuss the objectives, scope, and 
methodology of our audits.

Background: 

The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 amended title 28 of the United 
States Code to authorize the judicial appointment of independent 
counsels when the Attorney General determines that reasonable grounds 
exist to warrant further investigation of high-ranking government 
officials for certain alleged crimes. The independent counsel law (28 
U.S.C.  591-599), which expired on June 30, 1999, was intended to 
preserve and promote the accountability and integrity of public 
officials and of the institutions of the federal government. Provisions 
of the law allowed the independent counsels serving at the expiration 
date to continue investigating pending matters until they determined 
that the investigations of such matters have been completed.

The independent counsel law directs the Department of Justice to pay 
all costs relating to the establishment and operation of any office of 
independent counsel. A permanent, indefinite appropriation was 
established within the Department of Justice to pay all necessary 
expenses of investigations and prosecutions by independent counsels 
appointed pursuant to the independent counsel law or other law. Also, 
the Department of Justice determined that the appropriation established 
by Public Law 100-202[Footnote 2] to fund expenditures by independent 
counsels appointed pursuant to the independent counsel law or other law 
is available to fund the expenditures of U.S. Attorney Patrick J. 
Fitzgerald, who was appointed as a Special Counsel within the 
Department of Justice by the Acting Attorney General.

The independent counsel law also designates specific responsibilities 
to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) for the 
administrative support of independent counsels. The Department of 
Justice periodically disburses lump-sum payments to AOUSC for this 
purpose.

During any 6-month reporting period, there may be other significant 
costs incurred in support of the work of the counsels. These costs are 
paid from appropriations other than the permanent, indefinite 
appropriation established to fund independent counsel activities. These 
costs arise when a counsel uses detailees from other federal agencies, 
such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Independent counsels are 
not required to reflect such costs in their statements of expenditures 
and neither the independent counsels nor special counsel does so. For 
the 6 months ended March 31, 2004, there were no costs reported by the 
independent counsels for other agencies' support activities. However, 
for Special Counsel Fitzgerald, detailees from the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation were involved with the investigation, but the associated 
costs were not readily identifiable.

These statements and related notes do not include certain expenditures 
related to the investigation by Special Counsel John C. Danforth's 
office, which was officially closed effective March 2001, and 
accordingly, no longer prepares financial statements. However, during 
this audit period, $41,000 was paid for telecommunication services used 
while the office was still open.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit also awarded 
reimbursements of approximately $27,992 for attorney fees and expenses 
of individuals who had been investigated by the office of Independent 
Counsel Thomas but not indicted, as authorized by 28 U.S.C.  
593(f)(1). This reimbursement was made from the permanent fund 
established for the payment of judgments.

Opinion on Statements of Expenditures: 

The statements of expenditures, including the accompanying notes, for 
the offices of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett and Independent 
Counsel Julie F. Thomas and for the office of Special Counsel Patrick 
J. Fitzgerald present fairly, in all material respects, the 
expenditures of these counsels for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004, 
on the basis of accounting described in note 1 of each office's 
statement.

The counsels prepared their statements of expenditures principally on a 
cash basis of accounting, which is a comprehensive basis of accounting 
other than U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The basis of 
accounting is described in note 1 of each counsel's statement.

Opinion on Internal Control: 

The counsels maintained, in all material respects, effective internal 
control over financial reporting (including safeguarding assets) and 
compliance as of March 31, 2004, that provided reasonable assurance 
that misstatements, losses, or noncompliance material in relation to 
the statements of expenditures would be prevented or detected on a 
timely basis. Our opinion is based on criteria we established in our 
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government.[Footnote 3]

Compliance with Laws and Regulations: 

Our tests for compliance with selected provisions of laws and 
regulations disclosed no instances of noncompliance that would be 
reportable under U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards. 
However, the objective of our audit was not to provide an opinion on 
overall compliance with laws and regulations. Accordingly, we do not 
express such an opinion.

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

The independent counsels are responsible for preparing statements of 
expenditures in conformity with the basis of accounting described in 
the accompanying notes. Though not required to do so, the special 
counsel also elected to prepare a statement of expenditures. The 
counsels are also responsible for establishing, maintaining, and 
assessing internal control to provide reasonable assurance that the 
following internal control objectives are met and for complying with 
applicable laws and regulations.

* Financial reporting: Transactions are properly recorded, processed, 
and summarized to permit the preparation of the statements of 
expenditures in conformity with the basis of accounting described in 
the notes to the statements, and assets are safeguarded against loss 
from unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition.

* Compliance with laws and regulations: Transactions are executed in 
accordance with laws and regulations that could have a direct and 
material effect on the counsels' statements of expenditures.

We are responsible for obtaining reasonable assurance about whether (1) 
the counsels' statements of expenditures are presented fairly, in all 
material respects, in conformity with the basis of accounting described 
in the notes accompanying their statements of expenditures and (2) the 
counsels maintained effective internal control over financial reporting 
and compliance as of March 31, 2004.

We are also responsible for testing compliance with selected provisions 
of laws and regulations that have a direct and material effect on the 
statements of expenditures.

In order to fulfill these responsibilities, for each counsel, we (1) 
examined, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and 
disclosures in the statement of expenditures; (2) assessed the 
accounting principles used by management; (3) evaluated the overall 
presentation of the statement of expenditures; (4) obtained an 
understanding of internal control related to financial reporting 
(including safeguarding assets) and compliance with laws and 
regulations; (5) tested relevant internal control over financial 
reporting (including safeguarding assets) and compliance, and evaluated 
the design and operating effectiveness of internal control for the 6 
months ended March 31, 2004; and (6) tested compliance with selected 
provisions of 28 U.S.C.  591-599, 5 U.S.C. Chapter 55, and 
regulations relating to pay administration.

We did not evaluate controls relevant to operating objectives, such as 
controls relevant to ensuring efficient operations. We limited our 
internal control testing to controls over financial reporting and 
compliance. Because of inherent limitations in internal control, 
misstatements due to error, fraud, losses, or noncompliance may 
nevertheless occur and not be detected. We also caution that projecting 
our evaluation to future periods is subject to the risk that controls 
may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the 
degree of compliance with controls may deteriorate.

We did not test compliance with all laws and regulations applicable to 
the offices of independent and special counsel. We limited our tests of 
compliance to those laws and regulations that we deemed applicable to 
the statements of expenditures for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004. 
We caution that noncompliance may occur and not be detected by these 
tests and that such testing may not be sufficient for other purposes.

We performed our audits in accordance with U.S. generally accepted 
government auditing standards.

Agency Comments: 

We provided drafts of this report to the offices of independent 
counsel, the office of special counsel, the Department of Justice, and 
AOUSC for review and comment. These entities agreed with the facts and 
conclusions in our report.

Signed by: 

McCoy Williams: 
Director, Financial Management and Assurance: 

September 15, 2004: 

List of Committees: 

The Honorable Ted Stevens: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Robert C. Byrd: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Susan M. Collins:
Chairman: 
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on the Judiciary:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable C.W. Bill Young: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable David R. Obey: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Tom Davis: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Henry A. Waxman: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Government Reform: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on the Judiciary: 
House of Representatives: 

[End of section]

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: Statement of Expenditures for Independent Counsel Barrett: 

DAVID M. BARRETT:
Office of Independent Counsel:

Statement of Expenditures (Cash basis):

Six Months Ended March 31, 2004:

Personnel compensation and benefits; $436,989.
Travel (note 2): $26,784.
Rent, communications, and utilities (note 3): $246,655.
Contractual services (note 4): $82,789.
Supplies and materials (note 5): $1,168.
Administrative services (note 6): $76,819.
Total expenditures: $871,204.

[End of table]

The accompanying notes are an integral part of this statement.

DAVID M. BARRETT: 
Office of Independent Counsel: 

Notes to Statement of Expenditures:

Note 1 - Accounting policies:

Reporting entity: The accompanying statement of expenditures presents 
the expenditures of the Office of Independent Counsel-David M. Barrett 
(OIC-Barrett) for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004. The statement of 
expenditures includes only expenditures made from the permanent, 
indefinite appropriation for the OIC that are processed through the 
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) and the OIC. Mr. 
Barrett was appointed on May 24, 1995, to investigate certain 
allegations against the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. On 
March 17, 2003, the Special Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals for 
the D.C. Circuit ordered that the Independent Counsel continue his work 
to the extent necessary or appropriate to perform the non investigative 
and non prosecutorial tasks remaining as required to conclude the 
functions of his office. Expenditures during this period principally 
relate to preparing the final report for submission to the court and to 
closing the office.

Basis of accounting: The accompanying statement of expenditures was 
prepared principally on the cash basis of accounting, which is a 
comprehensive basis of accounting other than U.S. generally accepted 
accounting principles. Under this method, except for personnel 
compensation and benefits, expenditures are recorded when the funds are 
disbursed by AOUSC or, for noncash transfers, when charged by AOUSC. 
Most personnel compensation and benefits are recorded at the end of the 
pay period when earned.

Note 2 - Travel:

Travel includes expenditures for temporary duty travel for OIC-Barrett 
personnel.

Note 3 - Rent, communications, and utilities:

Approximately $215,000 in office rent is included in rent, 
communications, and utilities.

Note 4 - Contractual services:

Contractual services primarily consist of expenditures for the services 
of contractors and other experts in areas related to the investigation.

Note 5 - Supplies and materials:

The supplies and materials expenditures are primarily for supplies for 
office use, including those for archiving records.

Note 6 - Administrative services:

AOUSC receives an administrative fee equal to 3 percent of OIC 
expenditures for performing disbursement and accounting functions for 
OIC-Barrett. Payment of these fees generally occurs in the month 
following the services. Also included in administrative services are 
other costs incurred by AOUSC in providing administrative guidance and 
support to independent counsel offices. These costs were certified by 
AOUSC, paid from the independent counsel appropriation, and allocated 
to the OIC.

[End of section]

Appendix II: Statement of Expenditures for Independent Counsel Thomas: 

JULIE F. THOMAS:
Office of Independent Counsel:

Statement of Expenditures (Cash basis):

Six Months Ended March 31, 2004:

Personnel compensation and benefits: $306,643.
Travel (note 2): $32,522.
Rent, communications, and utilities (note 3): $99,454.
Contractual services (note 4): $78,219.
Acquisition of capital assets (note 5): $(300).
Supplies and materials (note 6): $2,035.
Administrative services (note 7): $52,300.
Total expenditures: $570,873.

[End of table]

The accompanying notes are an integral part of this statement.

JULIE F. THOMAS: 
Office of Independent Counsel: 

Notes to Statement of Expenditures:

Note 1 - Accounting policies:

Reporting entity: The accompanying statement of expenditures presents 
the expenditures of the Office of Independent Counsel-Julie F. Thomas 
(OIC-Thomas) for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004. The statement of 
expenditures includes only expenditures made from the permanent, 
indefinite appropriation for the OIC that are processed through the 
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) and the OIC.

Kenneth W. Starr (OIC-Starr) was appointed on August 5, 1994, to assume 
the investigation of possible violations of federal criminal law in Re: 
Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association and other entities 
(Whitewater), which was begun by regulatory Independent Counsel Robert 
B. Fiske, Jr. The U.S. Court of Appeals subsequently expanded OIC-
Starr's jurisdiction to include selected White House Travel Office and 
access-to-personnel-file issues on March 22, 1996, and June 21, 1996, 
respectively. On October 25, 1996, it further expanded OIC-Starr's 
jurisdiction to include issues related to statements made on June 26, 
1996, before the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, U.S. House 
of Representatives. On January 16, 1998, the court expanded OIC-Starr's 
jurisdiction to include issues related to whether, in a civil case 
(commonly referred to as the Lewinsky matter), certain individuals 
suborned perjury, obstructed justice, intimidated witnesses, or 
otherwise violated federal law in dealing with witnesses, potential 
witnesses, attorneys, or others.

On October 18, 1999, Mr. Starr resigned his appointment, and was 
succeeded by Robert W. Ray as Independent Counsel effective the same 
date. On March 16, 2000, Mr. Ray submitted to the Special Division of 
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit two final reports on (1) 
the access-to-personnel-file issues and (2) the issues related to 
statements made before the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. 
On July 28, 2000, the court ordered the public release of the two 
reports. Further, on June 22, 2000, Mr. Ray submitted to the court a 
final report on the White House travel matter. On October 18, 2000, the 
court ordered the public release of that report. On January 19, 2001, 
Mr. Ray announced the conclusion of all current matters before the OIC.

On August 21, 2001, the Special Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals 
for the D.C. Circuit, at the request of the Independent Counsel, 
ordered the termination of the investigative functions of the 
Independent Counsel as of March 31, 2002, except to the extent 
necessary to conclude any remaining non investigative and non 
prosecutorial tasks required by statute. On March 2, 2001, and May 18, 
2001, Mr. Ray submitted to the court the final reports on the 
Whitewater and Lewinsky matters, respectively. On March 6, 2002, the 
court ordered the publication and release of the report on the Lewinsky 
matter. On March 20, 2002, the court ordered the publication and 
release of the Whitewater report. On March 12, 2002, Mr. Ray resigned 
his appointment and was succeeded by Ms. Julie F. Thomas as Independent 
Counsel effective that same date. In November 2003, the Special 
Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the 
termination of the office within 20 weeks. The office was permanently 
closed on March 23, 2004. Expenditures during this period were for 
final preparation of records for transfer to the National Archives.

Basis of accounting: The accompanying statement of expenditures was 
prepared principally on the cash basis of accounting, which is a 
comprehensive basis of accounting other than U.S. generally accepted 
accounting principles. Under this method, except for personnel 
compensation and benefits, expenditures are recorded when the funds are 
disbursed by AOUSC or, for noncash transfers, when charged by AOUSC. 
Most personnel compensation and benefits are recorded at the end of the 
pay period when earned.

Note 2 - Travel:

Travel includes expenditures for temporary duty travel for OIC-Thomas 
personnel.

Note 3 - Rent, communications, and utilities:

Approximately $79,000 in office rent is included in rent, 
communications, and utilities.

Note 4 - Contractual services:

Contractual services primarily consist of expenditures for computer 
support and maintenance and the repair and maintenance of office 
equipment.

Note 5 - Acquisition of capital assets:

A refund was provided for office equipment purchased in a prior 
reporting period.

Note 6 - Supplies and materials:

The supplies and materials expenditures are primarily for office 
supplies used in the archiving of records.

Note 7 - Administrative services:

AOUSC receives an administrative fee equal to 3 percent of OIC 
expenditures for performing disbursement and accounting functions for 
OIC-Thomas. Payment of these fees generally occurs in the month 
following the services. Also included in administrative services are 
other costs incurred by AOUSC in providing administrative guidance and 
support to independent counsel offices. These costs were certified by 
AOUSC, paid from the independent counsel appropriation, and allocated 
to the OIC.

[End of section]

Appendix III: Statement of Expenditures for Special Counsel Fitzgerald: 

PATRICK J. FITZGERALD:
Office of Special Counsel:

Statement of Expenditures (Cash basis):

Six Months Ended March 31, 2004:

Personnel compensation and benefits: $13,330.
Travel (note 2): $11,751.
Contractual services (note 3): $5.
Supplies and materials (note 4): $1,506.
Total expenditures: $26.592.

[End of table]

The accompanying notes are an integral part of this statement.

PATRICK J. FITZGERALD:
Office of Special Counsel: 
Notes to Statement of Expenditures:

Note 1 - Accounting policies:

Reporting entity: The accompanying statement of expenditures presents 
the expenditures of the Office of Special Counsel-Patrick J. Fitzgerald 
(OSC-Fitzgerald) for the 6 months ended March 31, 2004. The statement 
of expenditures includes only expenditures made from the permanent, 
indefinite appropriation for OSC-Fitzgerald that are processed through 
the Department of Justice. On December 30, 2003, the Acting Attorney 
General appointed U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald as a Special 
Counsel to investigate whether officials of the current administration 
illegally disclosed the identity of an undercover Central Intelligence 
Agency officer.

Basis of accounting: The accompanying statement of expenditures was 
prepared principally on the cash basis of accounting, which is a 
comprehensive basis of accounting other than U.S. generally accepted 
accounting principles. Under this method, except for personnel 
compensation and benefits, expenditures are recorded when the funds are 
disbursed by the Department of Justice. Personnel compensation and 
benefits are recorded at the end of the pay period when earned.

Note 2 - Travel:

Travel generally includes expenditures for investigation-related 
travel for OSC-Fitzgerald personnel.

Note 3 - Contractual services:

Contractual services primarily consist of expenditures for research 
services in areas of interest to the investigation.

Note 4 - Supplies and materials:

The supplies and materials expenditures are primarily for supplies for 
office use. 

[End of section]

(195039): 

FOOTNOTES

[1] The term expenditures as used in this report generally means cash 
disbursed.

[2] The permanent, indefinite appropriation was established by Pub. L. 
No. 100-202,  101(a), title II, 101 Stat. 1329,1329-9 (Dec. 22, 1987), 
28 U.S.C.  591 note.

[3] GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO/
AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999).

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