Procedures and Practices of GSA and OMB for Following-Up on GAO Report Recommendations

LCD-79-311: Published: Apr 5, 1979. Publicly Released: May 29, 1979.

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While the General Services Administration (GSA) has been prompt in responding to recommendations contained in GAO audit reports relating to the agency, its record for compliance with these recommendations is quite poor. Since Appropriations Committees in both houses of Congress only require compliance statements from agencies seeking appropriations more than 60 days after the issuance of GAO recommendations, the committees have no means of gauging agencies' responses to more recent recommendations. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also requires agencies to correct deficiencies singled out in GAO audit reports and to conduct their internal audits in accordance with GAO guidelines; GSA has promulgated its own audit procedures which parallel GAO's requirements. Yet, a recent letter from the GSA Administrator to the Director of OMB deemphasized prompt and systematic program review in favor of a selective basis, and replaced written reports with oral briefings because of staff limitations. GAO also summarized recommendations to GSA contained in seven audit reports issued over the last 3 years, and detailed failures of GSA to comply with them. A list of questions was also provided by GAO to assist the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee in questioning GSA spokesmen during hearings on the agency's budget.

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