Auditing and Financial Management:

BIA Trust Fund Reconciliations

AIMD-94-110R: Published: Apr 25, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) efforts to correct long-standing trust fund management weaknesses. GAO noted that: (1) although BIA has made progress toward improving its Indian trust fund reconciliation and certification process, long-standing management problems have impeded BIA ability to maintain proper control and accountability over individual Indian trust accounts; (2) the Indian community has expressed concern over BIA trust fund accounting and the effectiveness of BIA investment practices; (3) BIA trust fund account balances lack credibility because BIA trust funds are not properly reconciled; (4) BIA continues to lack adequate strategic planning, staff and training, trust fund management policies and procedures, and accounting and reporting systems; and (5) BIA needs to develop a strategic Indian trust fund financial management plan, and reconciliation procedures to ensure reliable accounting and reporting and to prevent and detect fund losses.

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