The Government Accountability Office is making a dozen new recommendations to address the compilation and reporting weaknesses that the agency identified during its audit of the 2005 fiscal year federal government financials.
For the past nine years, the GAO has refused to vouch for the accuracy and completeness of the government's financial statements.
In a report issued last week, the Office of Management and Budget said that it generally agreed with the findings of the GAO, while the Treasury stated that it concurs with 11 of the recommendations and offered a proposal for the final recommendation that should address the problem.
The GAO said that the weaknesses in the financial statement impair the ability to gauge whether the government is in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles . Among the identified weaknesses:
- D irectly linking audited federal agency financial statements to the overall financial statement;
- A lack of comparability between financial statements;
- Inconsistent audit assurance over certain federal agencies' closing packages;
- Poor internal control monitoring;
- Providing little consolidated reporting guidance to federal agencies; and,
- Inconsistent reconciliation of intragovernmental activity and balances.
Of the 154 recommendations the GAO reported in May 2005 regarding the process for preparing the financial statement, 131 remained open as of Dec. 2, 2005, when the GAO completed its fieldwork for the audit. All told, 76 of the 131 recommendations relate to specific disclosures required under GAAP.The full report is available at www.gao.gov/new.items/d06415.pdf.
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