Independent Counsels:

Inquiry Regarding Expenditures

AIMD-98-140R: Published: May 1, 1998. Publicly Released: May 1, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the specificity of expenditure data reported by independent counsels, and the extent to which GAO compiles and maintains itemized information and supporting documentation for the expenditures.

GAO noted that: (1) in its most recent audit, GAO reported that the independent counsels' statement of expenditures were reliable in all material respects; (2) in performing its audit, GAO identified expenditures using records compiled and maintained by independent counsels and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which provides administrative support to independent counsels; (3) GAO summarized the expenditures for each independent counsel and, using statistical sampling techniques, selected expenditures for testing; (4) GAO's testing in the payroll area, for example, includes a review of time and attendance records for selected independent counsel employees, a comparison of pay rates with rates allowable under the independent counsel law, tests of the computation of benefit payments, and a recalculation of gross and net pay; (5) GAO also reviewed supporting documentation, such as vendor invoices and travel records, for other expenditures tested; (6) GAO's workpapers contain copies of automated files itemizing independent counsel expenditures, schedules listing the expenditures GAO tested, copies of certain supporting documentation for some of the expenditures GAO tested, and the results of GAO's audit tests; and (7) GAO's workpapers do not contain comprehensive information for all independent counsel expenditures or copies of supporting documentation for all expenditure.

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