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Property Management: Opportunities Exist to Improve Personal Property Accountability and Visibility

OIG-17-4 Published: Mar 09, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 09, 2017.
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This is a publication by GAO's Inspector General that concerns internal GAO operations. This report addresses the extent to which GAO maintained efficient and effective accountability over personal property acquired with GAO purchase cards.

What OIG Found

GAO’s policy and procedures allow for flexibility when determining whether personal property will be recorded in GAO’s centralized property database (Asset Manager). However, we found that decisions regarding whether property would be recorded in Asset Manager were primarily based on cost and nature of the property and did not fully support operations, including key programs and activities. Further, offices were relying on ad hoc spreadsheets to identify and track personal property purchased with a purchase card.

What OIG Recommends

OIG is making one recommendation intended to strengthen the efficiency of personal property accountability controls. Specifically, we recommend that the Managing Director of Infrastructure Operations complete efforts to identify and assess ad hoc tracking mechanisms (e.g., spreadsheets) to determine how GAO’s central accountability database can be used to provide accountability over personal property consistent with GAO policy, program needs, and privacy considerations. In its written comments to the report GAO agreed with our recommendation and has initiated steps to address and strengthen its personal property controls.

For more information, please contact Adam Trzeciak  at (202) 512-5748 or

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AccountabilityAssetsData collectionDatabasesInformation managementInternal controlsPersonal propertyPolicies and proceduresReal property