Financial Management:

Financial Audit Results at GSA, EPA, and DOT

T-AIMD-99-301: Published: Sep 30, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the results of the financial statement audits of the General Services Administration (GSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

GAO noted that: (1) GSA is the federal government's business manager and is responsible for space acquisition and management, retail and wholesale supply sales, fleet management, travel and transportation management, telecommunications and information management, and governmentwide policy on procurement, travel and transportation, and electronic commerce; (2) GSA's expenses for fiscal year (FY) 1998 totalled $11.7 billion; (3) GSA received an unqualified audit opinion on its FY 1997 and FY 1998 financial statements; (4) for FY 1998, GSA's independent public accountant (IPA), whose audit report was timely issued, concluded that internal controls over financial reporting were effective; (5) however, the IPA identified three reportable conditions and reported noncompliance with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA) of 1996 financial systems requirements related to weak information technology access controls and application of security policies and procedures; (6) EPA is responsible for carrying out various statutory authorities directed at controlling pollution and other human health and environmental risks; (7) EPA's expenses for FY 1997 totalled $6.9 billion; (8) although EPA received an unqualified opinion on its timely issued FY 1997 financial statements, as of September 27, 1999, it had not released its audited FY 1998 financial statements, which were due March 1, 1999; (9) although EPA received an unqualified opinion on its FY 1997 financial statements, the EPA's Inspector General (IG) reported one material weakness which related to the difficulties encountered by EPA in estimating the Superfund Trust Fund's year-end unbilled oversight costs for monitoring the cleanup of hazardous waste sites; (10) at the request of the IG, the agency performed additional analyses and recalculated the accounts receivable balance related to these unbilled oversight costs; (11) the Office of Inspector General also cited eight reportable conditions and three areas of noncompliance with laws and regulations; (12) DOT establishes and implements national transportation policy for the federal government; (13) DOT's reported net costs for FY 1998 were $41 billion; (14) DOT's IG was unable to express an opinion on DOT's FY 1998 and FY 1997 consolidated financial statements; (15) both reports were issued about 1 month after they were due; and (16) DOT's IG found that DOT was not in compliance with FFMIA and two other laws and regulations.

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