Review of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund's Financial Statements for the Year Ended December 31, 1981

AFMD-82-108: Published: Sep 21, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 1982.

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The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund is a federally chartered, privately funded, nonprofit corporation. It was established in 1973 to ensure the payment of allowed claims for damages that result from discharges of oil from vessels loaded with oil from the trans-Alaska pipeline. According to Federal regulations, the Fund is subject to an annual audit by the Comptroller General. However, for the calendar year 1981 a private certified public accounting firm audited and rendered an opinion on the Fund's financial statements.

To avoid duplication and unnecessary expense and to make the best use of limited resources, GAO reviewed and relied on the work of the Fund's independent certified public accountant. GAO stated that this approach provided a reasonable and cost-effective means of assuring Congress that the Fund's financial activities were fairly presented. GAO tested the workpapers and audit reports to ensure that: (1) the Fund's financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; (2) the audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards; and (3) the independent auditor had established the necessary policies and procedures to comply with other applicable professional standards. GAO found nothing to indicate that the independent auditor's opinion of the Fund's financial statements could not be relied upon. Therefore, the opinion was submitted to Congress along with the Fund's financial statements.

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