Financial Audit:

Aggressive Actions Needed for Air Force to Meet Objectives of the CFO Act

T-AFMD-92-5: Published: Feb 19, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Air Force's and Department of Defense's (DOD) attempts to correct financial management problems. GAO noted that: (1) the Air Force made $62 billion in adjustments to its 1989 Treasury financial reports after a GAO audit identified serious accounting errors; (2) Air Force inventory control problems include incompletely or inaccurately recorded transactions, duplicate reporting, failure to compare records with physical inventory results, failure to correct known errors, noncompliance with recount guidelines, adjustments made to force general ledger balances, inadequate systems controls, poor billing systems, excess inventory, and significantly increased surcharge rates; (3) the Air Force does not follow a legislative requirement to report such identified internal control weaknesses as its failure to investigate unreasonable amounts and large variances in account balances and failure to perform reconciliations between subsidiary and control accounts; and (4) although the Air Force emphasizes budgetary fund control to ensure that its obligations and expenditures do not exceed appropriation limits, it does not sufficiently emphasize accounting to ensure proper resource control and management, and its general ledger design does not support DOD accounting requirements and policies. GAO believes that, while DOD and the Air Force are slowly implementing financial management improvements, more short-term actions are needed to bring better accountability to current operations and to ensure the success of long-term initiatives.

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