Weaknesses in Internal Financial and Accounting Controls at the Federal Emergency Management Agency

AFMD-82-87: Published: Jun 17, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the internal controls over the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) financial and accounting operations.

The review identified serious weaknesses in internal controls over most aspects of these operations, including accounts receivable, collections, disbursements, imprest funds, and obligations. Also noted were administrative deficiencies in control over several major areas in the accounting and financial management operations, and the FEMA Office of the Inspector General had not undertaken any comprehensive reviews of the FEMA accounting systems.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of FEMA should instruct the inspector general's office to increase its audit coverage of the agency's internal financial operations, with particular emphasis on internal controls.

    Agency Affected: Federal Emergency Management Agency

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of FEMA should issue instructions emphasizing that the agency's fiscal procedures and instructions must be followed.

    Agency Affected: Federal Emergency Management Agency

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of FEMA should assign qualified staff to all accounting functions of the agency.

    Agency Affected: Federal Emergency Management Agency

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of FEMA should develop and issue written procedures covering all aspects of financial and accounting operations, including related internal controls, to all appropriate department offices.

    Agency Affected: Federal Emergency Management Agency

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of FEMA should ensure that adequate followup actions are taken to correct the identified weaknesses.

    Agency Affected: Federal Emergency Management Agency

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of FEMA should develop an accounting system conforming to the Comptroller General's standards and submit the system's design to GAO for approval.

    Agency Affected: Federal Emergency Management Agency

 

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