B-115333, B-115398, AUG. 21, 1964

B-115333,B-115398: Aug 21, 1964

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TO POSTMASTER GENERAL: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 30. CONCERNING THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACCOUNTING SYSTEM FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WHICH WILL CONFORM TO THE PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS PRESCRIBED BY THIS OFFICE. WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION. WE WILL. REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAVE MET WITH OFFICIALS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS IN THE PAST 5 YEARS TO DISCUSS THE DEPARTMENT'S PROBLEMS IN CONFORMING ITS ACCOUNTING SYSTEM TO THE PRESCRIBED PRINCIPLES. WE WILL BE IN A POSITION TO EVALUATE THE NEED FOR DEPARTURES FROM THE PRESCRIBED PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS AND TO CONSIDER THE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE DEPARTMENT'S STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND STANDARDS.

B-115333, B-115398, AUG. 21, 1964

TO POSTMASTER GENERAL:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 30, 1964, CONCERNING THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ACCOUNTING SYSTEM FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WHICH WILL CONFORM TO THE PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS PRESCRIBED BY THIS OFFICE. IN YOUR LETTER YOU REQUEST THE ASSIGNMENT OF A FULL-TIME TEAM FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO WORK WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN COMPLETING ITS ACCOUNTING SYSTEM.

REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR OFFICE MET WITH OFFICIALS OF THE BUREAU OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, ON JULY 23, 1964, TO DISCUSS YOUR REQUEST AND OTHER MATTERS RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT'S ACCOUNTING SYSTEM. AS INDICATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS AT THAT MEETING, THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEVELOPING AN ACCEPTABLE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM RESTS WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT (39 U.S.C. 2208/A/), AND WE BELIEVE THE DEPARTMENT SHOULD TAKE SUCH STEPS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THIS RESPONSIBILITY. WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION, NOR DO WE CONSIDER IT A FUNCTION OF THIS OFFICE, TO PROVIDE FULL-TIME TEAMS TO THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST THEM IN DEVELOPING THEIR ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS. WE WILL, HOWEVER, CONTINUE TO COOPERATE WITH THE DEPARTMENT, AS IN THE PAST, BY PROVIDING ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE ON SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS THAT MAY ARISE IN RELATION TO THE ACCOUNTING PRINCPLES, STANDARDS, AND RELATED REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED BY US.

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAVE MET WITH OFFICIALS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS IN THE PAST 5 YEARS TO DISCUSS THE DEPARTMENT'S PROBLEMS IN CONFORMING ITS ACCOUNTING SYSTEM TO THE PRESCRIBED PRINCIPLES, STANDARDS, AND RELATED REQUIREMENTS. OUR RECORDS OF MEETINGS AND CORRESPONDENCE INDICATE THAT THE FACT THAT THE DEPARTMENT'S ACCOUNTING SYSTEM HAS NOT YET BEEN APPROVED CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE COMPLEXITIES OF DEVISING AN ACCEPTABLE SYSTEM FOR THE LARGEST CIVIL AGENCY IN THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE FAILURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OT SUBMIT FULL JUSTIFICATION FOR DEVIATIONS FROM OUR REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ACCEPTABLE SYSTEM. THE TYPE OF INFORMATION NEEDED TO JUSTIFY SUCH DEVIATIONS HAS BEEN OUTLINED IN SEVERAL WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT, THE MOST RECENT BEING OUR LETTER TO YOU DATED APRIL 16, 1964.

WHEN WE RECEIVE THE JUSTIFICATIONS IN THE FORM AND DETAIL REQUESTED, WE WILL BE IN A POSITION TO EVALUATE THE NEED FOR DEPARTURES FROM THE PRESCRIBED PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS AND TO CONSIDER THE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE DEPARTMENT'S STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND STANDARDS.