Congressional Award Foundation:
Review of the Audit of the Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2018
GAO-19-472R: Published: May 21, 2019. Publicly Released: May 21, 2019.
The Congressional Award Foundation is a privately-funded charity established by Congress to recognize our nation’s youth for voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition or exploration.
The Foundation is required to have its financial statements audited annually, and we're required to review those audits. The Foundation's auditor issued an unmodified (clean) opinion on its fiscal year 2018 financial statements, concluding that these fairly presented the Foundation's financial position and activities.
We reviewed certain aspects of this financial audit and found no significant issues requiring attention.
Congressional Award Medals
Congressional Award Medals arranged on a table
What GAO Found
Based on the limited procedures GAO performed in reviewing the independent public accountant's (IPA) audit of the Congressional Award Foundation's (Foundation) fiscal year 2018 financial statements, GAO did not identify any significant issues that it believes require attention. Had GAO performed additional procedures, other matters might have come to its attention that it would have reported. The IPA provided an unmodified audit opinion on the Foundation's fiscal years 2018 and 2017 financial statements. Specifically, the IPA found that the Foundation's financial statements were presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Further, for fiscal year 2018, the IPA did not identify any (1) deficiencies in the Foundation's internal control over financial reporting that the IPA considered to be material weaknesses or (2) instances of reportable noncompliance or other matters as a result of its tests of the Foundation's compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements. The Foundation concurred with the IPA's conclusions.
GAO provided a draft of its report to the Foundation and the IPA for review and comment. The Foundation's National Director and the Congressional Award Board's Audit Committee Chair stated in an email that the Foundation was pleased that GAO found no significant issues related to the IPA's audit of the Foundation's fiscal year 2018 financial statements. In addition, the IPA's Audit Manager stated in an email that the IPA had no comments on the draft report.
Why GAO Did This Study
This report presents the results of GAO's review of the Foundation's fiscal year 2018 financial statement audit. The Congressional Award Act (Act) established the Congressional Award Board to carry out a program to promote excellence among the nation's youth in the areas of public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition or exploration. The Congressional Award Board created the Foundation as a nonprofit corporation to assist in carrying out this program. The Act, as amended by the Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014, requires the Foundation to obtain an annual financial statement audit from an IPA. The Act also requires the Comptroller General of the United States to annually review the audit and report the results to the Congress. GAO's objective was to review the audit of the Foundation's fiscal year 2018 financial statements. To satisfy this objective, GAO performed the following procedures: (1) read and considered various documents with respect to the IPA's independence, objectivity, and qualifications; (2) analyzed key IPA audit documentation; (3) read the Foundation's fiscal years 2018 and 2017 financial statements, the IPA's audit report on the Foundation's financial statements, and the IPA's report on internal control over financial reporting and on compliance and other matters based on its audit; and (4) met with IPA representatives and Foundation management officials.
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