Article Alleging $1 Trillion Missing From Treasury Annual Report to the Congress Without Adequate Support

FGMSD-80-66: Published: Jul 23, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 1980.

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A newspaper article challenged the accounting accuracy and fiscal completeness of the Department of the Treasury's 1978 annual report to Congress. It objected to the format and content of the statement and alleged that over $1 trillion in financial obligations and fiscal commitments were missing from the report.

After a discussion with the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) which provided the data for the article, GAO concluded that the article's position on the missing amount was inadequately supported. The objection to the Treasury report's content and format was based on the NTU research director's personal views which were inconsistent with generally accepted financial reporting standards. The Office of Management and Budget disputed the article's contention that the taxpayers' future liability was over $8 trillion.

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