Internal Control:

Essential for Safeguarding Assets, Compliance With Laws and Regulations, and Reliable Financial Reporting

T-AIMD-98-125: Published: Apr 1, 1998. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1998.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Robert W. Gramling
(202) 512-3000
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the subject of internal control, focusing on: (1) what internal control is; (2) its importance; and (3) what happens when it breaks down.

GAO noted that: (1) internal control is concerned with stewardship and accountability of resources consumed while striving to accomplish an agency's mission with effective results; (2) although ultimate responsibility for internal controls rests with management, all employees have a role in the effective operation of internal controls established by management; (3) effective internal control provides reasonable, not absolute, assurance that an agency's activities are being accomplished in accordance with its control objectives; (4) internal control helps management achieve the mission of the agency and prevent or detect improper activities; (5) the cost of fraud cannot always be measured in dollars; (6) in 1982, Congress passed the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act requiring: (a) agencies to annually evaluate their internal controls; (b) GAO to issue internal controls standards; and (c) the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidelines for agencies to follow in assessing their internal controls; (7) more recently, Congress has enacted a number of statutes to provide a framework for performance-based management and accountability; (8) weak internal controls pose a significant risk to the government--losses in the millions, or even billions, of dollars can and do occur; (9) GAO and others have reported that weak internal controls over safeguarding and accounting for government property are a serious continuing problem; and (10) GAO's 1997 high-risk series identifies major areas of government operations where the risks of losses to the government is high and where achieving program goals is jeopardized.

Sep 20, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 19, 2016

Aug 12, 2016

Jul 29, 2016

Jul 28, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Jul 11, 2016

Jun 13, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here