Final Review of Expenses from the Department of Justice Permanent Indefinite Appropriation Covering the 7-Month Period Ending September 30, 2009

GAO-10-524R: Published: Mar 31, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 2010.

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This report presents the results of our review of the expenses paid from the Department of Justice (DOJ) permanent, indefinite appropriation covering the 7- month period ending September 30, 2009. The expenses we reviewed were those paid out of the permanent, indefinite appropriation by DOJ between March 1, 2009, and September 30, 2009, to cover Independent and Special Counsel administrative activities. With the October 2009 repeal of the requirement for a GAO review and report on such expenses, this represents our final report.

Our review of the expenses on behalf of Special Counsel Fitzgerald covering the 7 months ending September 30, 2009, found that DOJ processed and paid expenses totaling $55,433. The expenses consisted of personnel compensation and benefits, travel and lodging, and contractual services. We found that all expenses were supported by appropriate documentation and were properly authorized, approved, and recorded. For the period of our review, personnel compensation and benefits of employees assigned to assist with the archival of the special counsel case files totaled $7,181. The special counsel also incurred travel expenses of $7,049 to assist with the archival of the case files. In addition, the special counsel incurred contractual service expenses totaling $41,978 related to payments to a vendor assisting with the archival process. During our review, we also found several credits totaling $775 related to reversals of National Finance Center payroll processing fees that DOJ erroneously charged to the special counsel. We determined that all credits were supported by appropriate documentation. Our tests for compliance with selected provisions of laws and regulations disclosed no instances of noncompliance with respect to the expenses processed and paid by DOJ that would be reportable under U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards. On September 15, 2009, the AOUSC requested reimbursement of $65,781 for expenses related to the formerly active independent counsels. According to the AOUSC, the vast majority of this amount related to expenses that the AOUSC had previously paid on behalf of Independent Counsel Barrett but for which the AOUSC was not previously reimbursed. However, the AOUSC was unable to provide us with detailed support for these expenses.

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