Census Monitoring Board:

Review of Congressional Side Shutdown Activities

GAO-02-367R: Published: Feb 1, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 2002.

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Gregory D. Kutz
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Because the activities of the Congressional side of the Census Monitoring Board (CMBC) ceased to exist on September 30, 2001, CMBC entered into an interagency agreement with the Government Printing Office (GPO) to pay CMBC bills and to provide administrative support services. GAO examined CMBC documents to determine financial cutoff procedures and conducted other audits as necessary. GAO found four CMBC personnel were present at CMBC's former office on October 1, 2001, but performed no substantive government action. More than $14,000 was obligated and paid for telephone, cable, Internet, computer, copier, and water services to be provided after CMBC's statutory termination date. These prepayments were improper and should not have been certified and paid. GPO was requesting reimbursement from vendors for services that were not properly provided. GPO acquired CMBC property and supplies after September 30, 2001. A November 2001 GPO inventory found that some CMBC property had not been returned, was reported stolen, or was missing. The use of government owned property after CMBC termination was not proper, and GPO is seeking the return of some property. GPO was arranging for CMBC records disposal. CMBC internal controls existed to protect Title 13 census data. GPO had not certified and paid about $4,000 in CMBC invoices received after September 30, 2001, primarily for phone service. GPO is reviewing the invoices for valid services provided before the CMBC shutdown. Census and House security badges issued to CMBC personnel expired at midnight on October 1, 2001. Some badges were not collected.

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