Auditing and Financial Management:

Information on Audit of Independent Counsels

AFMD-93-46R: Published: Dec 22, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on a recent audit of independent counsels, focusing on: (1) the amount of expenditures found to be inconsistent with laws and regulations; and (2) whether independent counsels requested waiver of any reimbursements related to those expenditures. GAO found that: (1) serious internal control weakness at independent counsel offices and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts made it difficult to verify the accuracy and completeness of independent counsel expenditures; (2) some expenditures were inconsistent with laws and regulations; (3) overpayments were attributable to an oversight or ambiguities in the independent counsel law, a lack of comprehensive guidance to help independent counsels understand and follow operational administrative legal requirements, and erroneous advice from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; (4) overpayments for lodging and meals ranged between $44,000 and $78,000; (5) overpayments for employees of the independent counsel totalled $5,000 for lodging and meals and $3,700 for relocation expenses; (6) the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts procured more than $100,000 of computers with special security features for the counsel on a sole-source basis without required justification; and (7) waiver of reimbursement for the overpayments will be considered.

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