Washington (Sept. 14, 2004) — The Government Accountability Office has issued some 25 recommendations to address systemic internal control weaknesses uncovered during the fiscal 2003 audit of the consolidated financial statements for the U.S. government.

The auditor general, which has previously reported on the weaknesses in the seven-year-old auditing process of the CFS, said that 11 of those recommendations pertained to four disclosure areas under generally accepted accounting principles, as well as compilation and financial reporting in another seven areas.

The major areas of the GAO’s concern were:

• Federal employee and veteran benefits;
• Environmental and disposal liabilities;
• Research and development; and,
• Deferred maintenance.

The GAO’s October 2003 report had contained 129 recommendations to address control problems found in the CFS audit, but as of February 2004, 118 of those had remained open.

The GAO also said that many of the reportable conditions that had been identified by staff auditors during their audits of various federal agencies’ financials have been reported with recommendations to those agencies in separate reports.

— WebCPA staff

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