B-132994, JUL. 13, 1959

B-132994: Jul 13, 1959

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WE HAVE REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS IN FEBRUARY 1958 ON CONDITIONS AT THE SOUTHERN AREA MATERIEL AREA. IN OUR REPORT WE POINTED OUT THE NEED FOR MORE EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF DEPOT STOCKS AND WE WERE ADVISED THAT IMMEDIATE STEPS WERE BEING TAKEN TO CARRY OUT THE CORRECTIVE ACTION RECOMMENDED. SIMILAR REVIEWS HAVE BEEN MADE AT OTHER SUPPLY ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE. WE ARE CURRENTLY PREPARING A REPORT SUMMARIZING OUR WORK IN SUPPLY ACTIVITIES OF THE AIR FORCE INCLUDING ACTIVITIES IN THE EUROPEAN THEATER. WE HAVE LEARNED THAT THE OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL USAF HAS ISSUED A REPORT ENTITLED . WERE ADVISED THAT NO COPY WAS AVAILABLE IN EUROPE AND. THAT THEY WERE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO MAKE SUCH A REPORT AVAILABLE TO US.

B-132994, JUL. 13, 1959

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE DURING THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS HAS BEEN REVIEWING SUPPLY AND PHASE-OUT OPERATIONS OF AIR MATERIEL FORCE, EUROPEAN AREA (AMFEA). BASICALLY, OUR OBJECTIVE HAS BEEN TO REVIEW THE EFFECTIVENESS OF POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND MANAGEMENT CONTROLS ESTABLISHED BY THE AIR FORCE TO ASSURE THE ECONOMICAL AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF THOSE OPERATIONS.

IN PARTICULAR, WE HAVE REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS IN FEBRUARY 1958 ON CONDITIONS AT THE SOUTHERN AREA MATERIEL AREA, EUROPE (SAMAE), NOUASSEUR, MOROCCO. IN OUR REPORT WE POINTED OUT THE NEED FOR MORE EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF DEPOT STOCKS AND WE WERE ADVISED THAT IMMEDIATE STEPS WERE BEING TAKEN TO CARRY OUT THE CORRECTIVE ACTION RECOMMENDED. WE INDICATED AT THAT TIME THAT WE WOULD EVALUATE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE REVISED PROCEDURES IN OUR NEXT REVIEW. SIMILAR REVIEWS HAVE BEEN MADE AT OTHER SUPPLY ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE. WE ARE CURRENTLY PREPARING A REPORT SUMMARIZING OUR WORK IN SUPPLY ACTIVITIES OF THE AIR FORCE INCLUDING ACTIVITIES IN THE EUROPEAN THEATER.

WE HAVE LEARNED THAT THE OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL USAF HAS ISSUED A REPORT ENTITLED ,SURVEY OF EFFECTIVENESS OF DEPOT CLOSE-OUT PROCEDURES IN EUROPE AND NORTH AFRICA, 13 JANUARY--- 20 FEBRUARY 1959.' IN VIEW OF OUR WORK AT THESE ACTIVITIES, OUR EUROPEAN BRANCH INFORMALLY REQUESTED AMFEA OFFICIALS TO FURNISH US A COPY OF THE REPORT FOR OUR REVIEW. WERE ADVISED THAT NO COPY WAS AVAILABLE IN EUROPE AND, FURTHERMORE, THAT THEY WERE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO MAKE SUCH A REPORT AVAILABLE TO US. IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT WE OBTAIN THE REPORT AT DEPARTMENTAL LEVEL.

WE BELIEVE IT IS ESSENTIAL IN OUR REVIEW OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE REVISED PROCEDURES AND ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS TAKEN AS THE RESULT OF OUR RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE REVIEW THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT. THIS WILL ENABLE US TO AVOID ANY REPETITION OF WORK ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED BY THE AIR FORCE AND WOULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMPLETENESS AND OBJECTIVITY OF OUR EVALUATION OF AIR FORCE ADMINISTRATION.

WE CANNOT FULLY DISCHARGE OUR STATUTORY RESPONSIBILITIES WITHOUT ACCESS TO THE REPORTS RESULTING FROM INTERNAL REVIEWS OF ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES AND ACTIVITIES MADE BY THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE AIR FORCE, INSPECTOR GENERALS OF AIR FORCE COMMANDS, AND OTHER MANAGEMENT REVIEW GROUPS. AS WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY ADVISED YOU, THE CONGRESSIONAL POLICY SET FORTH IN SECTION 111 (D) OF THE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING ACT OF 1950 PROVIDES THAT OUR AUDIT WILL BE DIRECTED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TO DETERMINING THE ADEQUACY OF THE AGENCIES' INTERNAL FINANCIAL CONTROL OPERATIONS. ALSO, THE REPORTS ON INTERNAL REVIEWS OF ACTIVITIES ARE CLEARLY A PART OF "INTERNAL AUDIT AND CONTROL" WITHIN SECTION 117 (A) OF THE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING ACT OF 1950, AND SO SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS AUDITS.

SUCH INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE WITHHELD OR SUBJECT TO PROCEDURES DESIGNED TO SCREEN OR UNNECESSARILY DELAY THE RELEASE OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS, PAPERS, OR RECORDS TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THE AIR FORCE REQUIREMENT THAT INDIVIDUAL REQUESTS FOR ACCESS TO SUCH REPORTS AND RECORDS BE CONSIDERED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE SERIOUSLY DELAYS THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS DUTIES AND IS AN EXTREMELY COSTLY AND WASTEFUL PRACTICE FOR BOTH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THE AIR FORCE.

YOUR COOPERATION IS REQUESTED IN PROVIDING PROMPTLY A COPY OF THE REPORT ENTITLED "SURVEY OF EFFECTIVENESS OF DEPOT CLOSE-OUT PROCEDURES IN EUROPE AND NORTH AFRICA, 13 JANUARY--- 20 FEBRUARY 1959" TO THE DEFENSE ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE FOR USE IN THEIR REVIEW OF SUPPLY ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE AND NORTH AFRICA. WE REQUEST, ALSO, THAT YOU RECONSIDER YOUR POLICY AND PROCEDURES IN MAKING SUCH REPORTS AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.