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Highlights

During GAO's fiscal year 2001 audit on accounting procedures and internal controls at the Congressional Award Foundation it found several internal control weaknesses related to processing transactions, maintaining supporting documents, and required reporting. Specifically, GAO found lack of approval for payments to vendors, inaccurate classification of transactions in the general ledger, lack of supporting documents for adjusting journal entries made by the foundation's accounting firm, incomplete personnel files, and lack of congressional reports for fiscal year 2000. The leadership of the Congressional Award Foundation changed near the end of the fiscal year 2001, and this transition may have contributed to the weaknesses found during GAO's audit. Since this transition, the foundation has established the executive position of the Director of Finance and Administration to oversee daily financial and administrative operations.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Congressional Award Foundation The Director of Finance and Administration should implement the use of the check request form and require that requests for payments are clearly documented on this form.
Closed - Implemented
In response to GAO's recommendation, the Director of Finance implemented a check request form that clearly shows the approval of payments by the proper officials, as well as requiring a description of the goods or services requested and supporting documentation. By taking this action, which GAO verified during its audit of the 2002 financial statements, the Congressional Award Foundation has strengthened its control over payments to vendors and reduced the opportunity for incorrect payments being made.
Congressional Award Foundation The Director of Finance and Administration should arrange for training in relevant accounting procedures for staff responsible for the posting of transactions in the general ledger and provide supervision of staff to ensure that transactions are posted correctly.
Closed - Implemented
In response to GAO's recommendation, the Director of Finance has taken the responsibility for posting all transactions in the general ledger. The Director of Finance is a Certified Public Accountant and has adequate knowledge and experience to accurately post transactions. By taking this action, which GAO verified during its audit of the 2002 financial statements, the CAF has strengthened its control over classification of transactions in the general ledger and reduced the opportunity for inaccurate classification.
Congressional Award Foundation The Director of Finance and Administration should adjust policies governing the work of the foundation's accounting firm to provide for the firm to maintain on site all documentation necessary to support the foundation's financial results.
Closed - Implemented
In response to GAO's recommendation, the Director of Finance has taken over the responsibility of posting adjusting journal entries and maintaining the supporting documentation in his office. By taking this action, which GAO verified during its audit of the 2002 financial statements, the CAF has strengthened its ability to document and support financial transactions.
Congressional Award Foundation The Director of Finance and Administration should provide continuing oversight of the maintenance of personnel files to ensure that information in personnel files is current and correct.
Closed - Implemented
In response to GAO's recommendation, the Director of Finance has taken the responsibility for all human resource operations at the foundation including the maintenance of personnel files. By taking this action, which GAO verified during its audit of the 2002 financial statements, CAF will be able to provide better assurance that personnel files are complete, current, and correct.

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