Bureau of the Public Debt:

Areas for Improvement in Computer Controls

GAO-04-681R: Published: May 28, 2004. Publicly Released: May 28, 2004.

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In connection with fulfilling our requirement to audit the financial statements of the U.S. government, we audited and reported on the Schedules of Federal Debt Managed by the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2003 and 2002. As part of these audits, we performed a review of the general and application computer controls over key BPD financial systems.

As we reported in connection with our audit of the Schedules of Federal Debt for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2003 and 2002, BPD maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control, including general and application computer controls, relevant to the Schedule of Federal Debt related to financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations as of September 30, 2003. BPD's internal control provided reasonable assurance that misstatements, losses, or noncompliance material in relation to the Schedule of Federal Debt for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2003, would be prevented or detected on a timely basis. We found matters involving computer controls that we do not consider to be reportable conditions but that nevertheless warrant BPD management's attention and action. Our follow-up on the status of BPD's corrective actions to address 12 open general and application control recommendations identified in prior years' audits for which actions were not complete as of September 30, 2002. As of September 30, 2003, corrective action on 11 of the 12 recommendations had been completed. Corrective action was in progress as of September 30, 2003, on the 1 remaining open recommendation.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In connection with its ongoing requirement to audit the U.S. government's financial statements, GAO reviewed the status of actions taken to address the information technology control recommendations it made in a related "Limited Official Use" report. As detailed in separate accomplishment reports, GAO found that BPD management had taken steps to implement the recommendations and strengthen its information technology controls.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of the Bureau of the Public Debt should direct the implementation of the six detailed recommendations to appropriate BPD officials.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Bureau of the Public Debt

 

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