Management Letter:

American Battle Monuments Commission's Financial Statement Audit for Fiscal Year 1998

AIMD-99-125R: Published: Apr 8, 1999. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 1999.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided suggestions for improving internal controls and operations at the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). The suggestions are provided by KPMG LLP, an independent public accounting firm GAO contracted with to conduct the audit of ABMC's consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1998. GAO concurs with KPMG's suggestions.

GAO noted that: (1) KPMG identified two reportable conditions that it considered to be material weaknesses: (a) inadequate controls over information technology systems; and (b) inaccurate recording of accounts payable and other accruals; (2) KPMG suggests that ABMC: (a) take steps to correct file access, change passwords, develop a business continuity plan, and identify a secure off-site storage facility; (b) complete the procurement and implementation of a modern, integrated financial information system, now in progress, that contains features to correct database documentation and provide training; (c) assign a qualified, full-time information systems officer to help correct identified problems; (d) consider common information control procedures promulgated in Joint Financial Management Improvement Program's Framework for Federal Financial System Requirements; and (e) follow its written policy on cut-off procedures at fiscal yearend to ensure proper recording of accounts payable and other accruals; and (3) a draft of KPMG's letter was provided to ABMC officials who agreed with its contents and said that they will consider all the suggestions.

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