Treasury Department:

An Assessment of the Need for a Statutory Inspector General

AFMD-86-3: Published: Aug 21, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the audit and investigative activities the Department of the Treasury's organizational units conducted, focusing on the differences and similarities between the organization and operation of those units and those of the statutory offices of inspector general in other executive branch departments and agencies.

GAO found that: (1) Treasury's Inspector General (IG) has audit and investigative responsibility for only 11 percent of Treasury's operating budget, while law enforcement bureaus' internal affairs and inspection staffs audit and investigate 89 percent of the budget; (2) the law enforcement bureaus report the results of their internal audits and investigations to bureau management; (3) since the head of internal affairs determines which audits are significant and reports them to IG, there is no assurance that the Secretary is informed of audit and investigative issues that could have a departmentwide impact; and (4) Treasury does not routinely inform Congress about its audit and investigative activities.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A statutory IG was established by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988, signed into law in October 1988.

    Matter: Congress should amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to establish an Office of Inspector General at Treasury in order to strengthen management's control, promote efficient and effective operation, combat fraud, waste, and abuse, and ensure that the Secretary of the Treasury and Congress are kept fully and currently informed of any serious problems. The Internal Revenue Service should be included under the new statutory IG. Congress could also consider special legislative provisions to accommodate Treasury's concerns over the possible disclosure of sensitive law enforcement and tax information.


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