First Year Implementation of the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act by the Department of Justice

GGD-84-63: Published: May 8, 1984. Publicly Released: May 8, 1984.

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GAO evaluated the Department of Justice's implementation of the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act.

GAO found that Justice's yearend report on the status of its internal controls was responsive to the requirements of the act. Justice implemented its internal control process using a decentralized approach. GAO determined that: (1) some Justice activities are not covered by the process established to assess them; (2) vulnerability assessments are useful but need improvements; (3) reviews of internal controls vary in quality and usefulness; and (4) not all follow-up and tracking systems are in place. GAO outlined actions that it believes would improve Justice's implementation of the act, including: (1) developing a Department-wide comprehensive training program; (2) providing Department-wide guidance on the documentation required to support the internal control process; (3) strengthening the analysis of automatic data processing internal controls; (4) defining the role of the Justice Management Division's audit staff in the internal control process; and (5) expanding the involvement of field office managers. GAO found that Justice has made a reasonable effort to assess the compliance of its accounting systems with federal requirements and guidelines. GAO believes that the success of future accounting system reviews would be enhanced if Justice: (1) develops a program for the evaluation of its accounting systems; (2) undertakes more extensive reviews; and (3) measures the significance of material system deviations. GAO was unable to determine whether Justice's accounting systems are in overall compliance with federal requirements and guidelines.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department's revised guidance addressed field managers involvement in the Financial Integrity Act process, GAO does not believe it is fully responsive because the guidance only states that consideration must be given to field office implementation of programs and functions. GAO intends to evaluate the implementation of the guidance in 1985.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should incorporate in future Department guidance on the implementation of the internal control process, a requirement that the components provide field office managers with the opportunity to participate in the process. Their level of participation may vary to some degree based on the extent to which a component's operations are decentralized.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice


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