Independent Counsels:

Expenditures for Independent Counsels Fiske and Starr

AIMD-99-153R: Published: May 12, 1999. Publicly Released: May 12, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the total expenditures for the investigations conducted by independent counsels Robert B. Fiske, Jr., and Kenneth W. Starr.

GAO noted that: (1) independent counsels are required to report their expenditures from the permanent, indefinite appropriation established within the Department of Justice to fund their expenditures; (2) GAO is required to audit the expenditures from that appropriation and to report its findings to appropriate congressional committees; (3) on January 24, 1994, the Attorney General appointed Mr. Fiske to investigate criminal and civil violations of the U.S. Code in Re: Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan; (4) on August 5, 1994, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia appointed Mr. Starr to conduct the investigation; (5) after completing a transition of operation to Mr. Starr, Mr. Fiske's appointment ended on October 6, 1994; (6) the court subsequently expanded Mr. Starr's jurisdiction to include selected White House Travel Office and access-to-personnel-file issues; issues related to statements made before the former House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; and whether, in a civil case, certain individuals suborned perjury, obstructed justice, intimidated witnesses, or otherwise violated federal law in dealing with witnesses, potential witnesses, attorneys, or others; (7) during any 6-month period, other significant costs resulting from an independent counsel's investigation are paid from appropriations other than the permanent, indefinite appropriation established to fund independent counsel activities; (8) these costs arise, for example, from an independent counsel's use of detailees from other federal agencies; (9) independent counsels are not required to and do not include such costs in their statements of expenditures; (10) however, GAO has included these costs in its analysis as other operating costs-unaudited; and (11) for the period January 24, 1994, through September 30, 1998, expenditures for Mr. Starr totalled over $39 million and expenditures for Mr. Fiske totalled over $6 million.

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