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As of June 17, 2020, there are 4969 open recommendations, of which 518 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To proactively prepare for oversight of future disaster relief funding, the Director of OMB should develop standard guidance for federal agencies to use in designing internal control plans for disaster relief funding. Such guidance could leverage existing internal control review processes and should include, at a minimum, the following elements: (1) robust criteria for identifying and documenting incremental risks and mitigating controls related to the funding and (2) requirements for documenting the linkage between the incremental risks related to disaster funding and efforts to address known internal control risks.
Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: To address the recommendation, OMB should issue guidance on internal control for disaster relief funding, including criteria for identifying additional risks and mitigating controls related to the funding and a requirement to link these incremental risks to ongoing efforts to address known internal control risks. On July 15, 2016, OMB issued the revised Circular No. A-123, Management's Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control. The Circular requires agencies to implement enterprise risk management, which includes the development of a risk profile that analyzes the risks faced in achieving strategic objectives and identifies options for addressing them. In April 2017, OMB staff stated that they believe that the implementation of enterprise risk management through Circular No. A-123 satisfies the intent our recommendation. Because the responsibility for implementing enterprise risk management lies with agency management, Circular No. A-123 does not include specific guidance for identifying risks related to disaster funding. Further discussion and documentation to support OMB's position that the revised Circular addresses our recommendation will be necessary. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Sec. 21208(c) requires OMB to issue standard guidance for Federal agencies to use in designing internal control plans for disaster relief funding in order to proactively prepare for oversight of future disaster relief funds. The Act states this guidance shall leverage existing internal control review processes and shall include, at a minimum, (1) robust criteria for identifying and documenting incremental risks and mitigating controls related to the funding, and (2) guidance for documenting the linkage between the incremental risks related to disaster funding and efforts to address known internal control risks. GAO reviewed OMB's actions to implement the law. On June 28, 2019, GAO, 2017 Disaster Relief Oversight: Strategy Needed to Ensure Agencies' Internal Control Plans Provide Sufficient Information, GAO-19-479 (Washington, D.C.: Jun 28, 2019) reported the 2013 recommendation remains open and that we plan to continue monitoring OMB's progress in implementing this priority recommendation. Further, the report stated that OMB did not have an effective strategy to ensure that agencies timely submitted internal control plans; and OMB's Memorandum M-18-14, Implementation of Internal Controls and Grant Expenditures for the Disaster-Related Appropriations lacked specific instructions to agencies on what to include in their internal control plans. As such, a new recommendation was warranted. As of February 2020, OMB has not provided any new status updates for this recommendation.