Financial Audit:

Expenditures by Independent Counsels

T-AIMD-96-48: Published: Feb 29, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 29, 1996.

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GAO discussed independent counsel expenditures, focusing on the: (1) financial reporting and auditing requirements governing expenditures; (2) operations expenditures for the 10-year period ended March 1995; and (3) compliance with financial laws and regulations. GAO noted that: (1) independent counsels are required by law to prepare statements of their expenditures from permanent, indefinite appropriations within 3 months of 6-month periods ending March 31 and September 30; (2) GAO is required to audit those statements within 3 months of their due date; (3) independent counsels have used summary expenditure reports prepared by the Administrative Office of United States Courts (AOUSC) to prepare their reports; (4) of the $95.5 million in operating expenditures independent counsels accumulated over the 10-year period, most were personnel expenses; (5) independent counsels have resolved most of the concerns regarding their accounting procedures and internal control weaknesses; and (6) independent counsels have improved their compliance with laws and regulations by developing written guidance and Congress has resolved financial reporting ambiguities when it enacted the Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act.

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