What GAO Found
Based on the limited procedures GAO performed in reviewing the independent public accounting firm's (IPA) financial audit of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute's (PCORI) fiscal year 2017 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 it would have reported. The IPA provided an unmodified audit opinion on PCORI's fiscal years 2017 and 2016 financial statements. Specifically, the IPA found that PCORI's financial statements were presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Further, for fiscal year 2017, the IPA did not identify any deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that it considered to be material weaknesses or any reportable noncompliance with the selected provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements it tested. PCORI did not disagree with the IPA report's conclusions.
GAO provided a draft of its report to PCORI and the IPA for review and comment. In response, PCORI's Director of Finance and an IPA Partner had no comments in regard to GAO's report.
Why GAO Did This Study
This report presents the results of GAO's review of PCORI's fiscal year 2017 financial statement audit. PCORI was created in 2010 by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as a federally funded, nonprofit corporation that is neither an agency nor establishment of the United States government. According to PPACA, PCORI's purpose is to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policymakers in making informed health decisions by advancing the quality and relevance of evidence concerning the manner in which diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, monitored, and managed through research and evidence synthesis.
PPACA requires PCORI to obtain an annual financial statement audit from a private entity with expertise in conducting financial audits. PPACA also requires the Comptroller General of the United States to annually review the audit of PCORI's financial statements and report the results to the Congress. GAO's objective was to review the financial audit of PCORI's fiscal year 2017 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 PCORI's fiscal years 2017 and 2016 financial statements, the IPA's audit report on such financial statements, and the IPA's report on internal control over financial reporting and compliance; and (4) met with IPA representatives and PCORI management officials.
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