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Highlights

Federal government grants to state and local governments have risen substantially, from $7 billion in 1960 to almost $450 billion budgeted in 2007. The single audit is an important mechanism of accountability for the use of federal grants by nonprofit organizations as well as state and local governments. However, the quality of single audits conducted under the Single Audit Act, as amended, has been a longstanding area of concern since the passage of the act in 1984. The President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) recently issued its Report on National Single Audit Sampling Project, which raises concerns about the quality of single audits and makes recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of those audits. This testimony provides (1) GAO's perspective on the history and importance of the Single Audit Act and the principles behind the act, (2) a preliminary analysis of the recommendations made by the PCIE for improving audit quality, and (3) additional considerations for improving the quality of single audits.

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