Single Audit:

Survey of CFO Act Agencies

GAO-02-376: Published: Mar 15, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 2002.

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The federal government awards $300 billion to state and local governments and nonprofit groups each year. The Single Audit Act promotes sound financial management, including effective internal controls, over these federal awards. Before the act, government relied on audits of individual grants to determine if the money was spent properly. The act replaced these grant audits with a single audit--one audit of an entity as a whole. GAO surveyed the 24 federal agencies subject to the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act and found that they have developed processes and assigned responsibilities to meet the requirements of the Single Audit Act. Agencies reported that they are using single audits to monitor compliance with administrative and programs requirements and to determine the adequacy of recipients' internal controls. One or more offices at 22 of the 24 agencies used single audits to monitor compliance with administrative and program requirements in the Circular A-133 Compliance Statement and to monitor recipients' compliance with internal controls. Eleven agencies reported that they routinely use the Federal Audit Clearinghouse database to identify recipients that incurred questionable costs or programs that have significant findings, to identify recipients with recurring findings, or to study subrecipient findings. Individuals at four agencies were unaware of the database or how to use it. Agencies that do not use the database rely on the Federal Audit Clearinghouse to send them the single audit report, which they review for information on their programs.

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