Financial Audit:

Expenditures by Three Independent Counsels

AFMD-93-60: Published: Apr 21, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1993.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO examined three independent counsels' statements of expenditures during 6-month periods ended on or before September 30, 1992.

GAO found that: (1) the three independent counsels have reported spending $5.7 million; (2) their statements of expenditures present fairly, in all material respects, the expenditures of their offices; (3) serious internal weaknesses have included inadequate procedures for properly charging expenditures and inadequate segregation of duties; (4) one counsel has hired a financial officer to track financial expenditures and maintain detailed accounting records for verification of financial information; (5) in response to GAO concerns, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts has improved its automated systems and internal procedures to ensure that it properly charges the counsels' expenditures; (6) two counsels have segregated financial duties and improved procedures for authorizing and reviewing expenditures; (7) although the counsels report that they have taken action to strengthen internal controls and ensure compliance, instances of noncompliance continue for travel expenditures not specifically authorized by independent counsel law; and (8) if Congress reauthorizes independent counsel law, it needs to delineate the administrative responsibilities of independent counsels, the Department of Justice, and any other government agencies involved and assign responsibility for developing comprehensive guidance for the independent counsels on applicable laws and regulations.

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