Skip to Highlights

What GAO Found

Based on the limited procedures GAO performed in reviewing the independent public accountant's (IPA) financial audit of the Congressional Award Foundation's (Foundation) fiscal year 2016 financial statements, GAO did not identify any significant issues related to the financial statement audit that it believes require attention. Had GAO performed additional procedures, other matters might have come to its attention that GAO would have reported. The IPA provided an unmodified audit opinion on the Foundation's fiscal years 2016 and 2015 financial statements. Specifically, the IPA found that the Foundation's financial statements were presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Further, for fiscal year 2016, the IPA did not identify any deficiencies in internal control that it considered to be material weaknesses or any reportable noncompliance with the selected provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements it tested. For fiscal year 2015, the IPA identified a deficiency in internal control related to cash disbursements cutoff that it considered to be a significant deficiency. During its fiscal year 2016 audit, the IPA determined that the Foundation had addressed this significant deficiency. The Foundation did not disagree with the IPA report's conclusions.

GAO provided a draft of its report to the Foundation and the IPA for review and comment. The Foundation's National Director and Audit Chairman stated in an e-mail that they were pleased that GAO found no significant issues related to the IPA's audit of the Foundation's fiscal year 2016 financial statements. In addition, the IPA provided its views through e-mail, in which the IPA's Audit Principal stated that the IPA had no comments in regard to the report.

Why GAO Did This Study

This report presents the results of GAO's review of the financial audit of the Foundation's fiscal year 2016 financial statements. The Congressional Award Act established the Congressional Award Board to carry out a program to promote excellence among the nation's youth. The Foundation was created to assist the Congressional Award Board in carrying out this program. 

The Congressional Award Act, as amended by the Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014, requires the Foundation to obtain an annual financial statement audit from an IPA. It also requires the Comptroller General of the United States to annually review the audit of the Foundation's financial statements and report the results to the Congress. GAO's objective was to review the financial audit of the Foundation's fiscal year 2016 financial statements. To satisfy this objective, GAO performed the following procedures: (1) read and considered various documents relating to the IPA's independence, objectivity, and qualifications; (2) analyzed key IPA audit documentation; (3) read the Foundation's fiscal years 2016 and 2015 financial statements, the IPA's audit report on such financial statements, the IPA's report on internal control over financial reporting and on compliance, and the IPA's schedules of audit findings; and (4) met with IPA representatives and Foundation management officials.

For more information, contact J. Lawrence Malenich at (202) 512-3406 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts