Financial Audit of the District of Columbia Office on Aging

GGD-80-70: Published: Jul 17, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 1980.

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GAO reviewed the financial operations of the District of Columbia's Office of Aging, particularly programs operated by nonprofit community-based organizations which receive Office funds to provide services such as nutritional meals to the District's senior citizens. For the fiscal year 1978, the Office received about $2.7 million in Federal grants and about $600,000 in District appropriated funds to operate programs for the elderly. The nonprofit organizations (subgrantees) generally accounted for the funds properly. But about $8,600 was reportedly embezzled by one of the subgrantees before the review began.

The Office on Aging has not adequately monitored subgrantees' operations to ensure that they are in compliance with grant provisions. More effective monitoring through regular site visits and evaluations and verification of unusual expenditures would help deter improper use of funds and ensure that weaknesses identified earlier are corrected. Also, the Office is not effectively using public accountant audit reports and management letters and subgrantee fiscal reports to monitor and evaluate subgrantees' activities and fund uses. The Office's Executive Director agreed that more frequent visits are needed and that unusual expenditures should be verified. He stated that lack of resources has greatly hindered the Office from adequately monitoring and performing onsite evaluation of subgrantee operations. Public accounting firms have recommended to the subgrantees that they reconcile bank accounts and general ledger accounts monthly, develop an office procedures manual detailing employees' duties and responsibilities, prepare an accounts payable listing, improve payroll review procedures, and prepare an accounting manual.

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