Bureau of the Public Debt:

Areas for Improvement in Computer Controls

GAO-03-524R: Published: May 1, 2003. Publicly Released: May 1, 2003.

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Gary T. Engel
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In connection with fulfilling the requirement to audit the financial statements of the U.S. government, GAO audited and reported on the Schedules of Federal Debt Managed by the Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2002 and 2001. As part of these audits, GAO performed a review of the general and application computer controls over key BPD financial systems.

As we reported in connection with our audit of the Schedules of Federal Debt for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2002 and 2001, BPD maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control, including general and application computer controls, relevant to the Schedule of Federal Debt related to financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations as of September 30, 2002. BPD's internal control provided reasonable assurance that misstatements, losses, or noncompliance material in relation to the Schedule of Federal Debt for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002, would be prevented or detected on a timely basis. We found matters involving computer controls that we do not consider to be reportable conditions. Our follow-up on the status of BPD's corrective actions to address 14 of the 17 open general and application control recommendations identified in prior years' audits for which actions were not complete as of September 30, 2001, found the following: As of September 30, 2002, corrective action on 12 recommendations had been completed. For 2 of the recommendations, corrective action for 1 was in progress as of September 30, 2002, and for the other, corrective action was taken subsequent to that date. The 3 remaining open recommendations relating to access controls are now encompassed in our fiscal year 2002 recommendations.

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