H.R. 2176 provides for GAO auditing of the three independent banking institutions; an act long advocated by GAO. Because of objections raised by the institutions concerning the possibility of such an audit hampering their independence, GAO has suggested several restrictions on its authority. It will not object to being restricted from making recommendations on the economic effects of open market and discount operations, or from auditing foreign central banks. GAO also suggests that langauge be included in the bill to exclude it from the Congressional prerogative of disclsoure of borrowers' names. H.R. 2176 would provide for the much needed authority to have access to FDIC's bank examination records, previously unattainable. The bill is well written in regard to the mechanics of the audit operations, which are left to GAO's discretion. The rules set down in Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 would be followed. The three institutions do perform some auditing activities on their own, but no complete audit is done. GAO's audit includes (1) examination of financial transactions, accounts, and reports, including an evaluation of compliance with applicable laws and regulations; (2) review of efficiency and economy in the use of resources; and (3) review to determine whether desired results are effectively achieved. No additional authority is needed for GAO to hire personnel to complete the audit functions.
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