Review of Department of Agriculture Audits and Investigations of the Farmers Home Administration Activities in the State of Maine

CED-77-115: Published: Aug 5, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 1982.

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The scope and thoroughness of the audits and investigations of the Farmers Home Administration activities in Maine by the Department of Agriculture's Office of Audit and Office of Investigation were complete and unrestricted. There were no indications that Agency headquarters officials were involved in or influenced the findings and conclusions reported by Agriculture auditors and investigators. Investigation of the removal of a special agent as the agent-in-charge from the investigation of land transactions in Maine revealed no evidence that the removal was intended to cover up any material findings.

The audit reports reviewed contained valid findings and conclusions which were adequately supported by the workpapers. The investigation reports met the requirements of Agriculture regulations, which state that the Investigation Office issues factfinding reports. These reports contained no conclusions or recommendations for legal or disciplinary action. Although auditors followed the accepted practice of holding preliminary informal discussions with Agency headquarters officials as findings were developed, comparison of the initial draft reports with the final draft reports did not show that any pertinent information was deleted. The decision to remove the special agent as the agent-in-charge resulted from the uncertainty of his availability at that time due to his physical condition. (SC)

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