Financial Management: Information on the Mandated Transfer of HUD's Appropriation Law Function to the Chief Financial Officer

GAO-04-272R Published: Nov 21, 2003. Publicly Released: Dec 09, 2003.
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The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2003 (the Appropriation Act) gave HUD's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in consultation with the HUD Budget Officer, the "sole authority" to investigate potential or actual violations under the Anti- Deficiency Act and all other statutes and regulations related to the obligation and expenditure of funds made available in any act. Further, the Appropriations Act provided that the CFO shall determine whether violations occurred and submit the final reports required by law. Finally, the Appropriation Act required the Secretary of HUD to transfer no fewer than four appropriation law attorneys from its Office of General Counsel (OGC) to its Office of Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). These provisions and HUD's actions to implement the Appropriation Act's requirements raised a number of potential implementation issues and led to a Congressional request that we review and provide information on the impact that these provisions have had at HUD. Specifically, Congress asked for information pertaining to five questions, which we have provided in a question and answer format in this report. As discussed, the responses to these questions are primarily based on information obtained from interviews with various HUD and HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) officials who were affected by the Appropriation Act.

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