oversight

Status of Information Needed to Complete Financial Audit of the District of Columbia's Dedicated Highway Fund for Fiscal Year 1996

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-04-03.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

~~   ~
         United States
GAO      General Accounting Office
         Washington, D.C. 20548

         Accounting and Information
         Management Division


         B-275698


         April 3, 1997

         Congressional Committees

         Subject:     Status of Information Needed to Comnlete F%.uu~eialAudit of the
                      District of Columbia’s Dedicated Highwav Fund for Fiscal Year 1996

         In August 1995, the Congress enacted the District of Columbia Emergency
         Highway Relief Act, Public Law 10421. The act temporarily waived the
         requirement for the District to provide matching funds for federal-aid highway
         projects for fiscal years 1995 and 1996. The act requires that the District
         establish a Highway Fund’ to repay the waived amounts and to make future
         matching share payments. The act also requires that we review and report2 on
         the District’s implementation of requirements to (1) expeditiously process and
         execute federal-aid highway contracts, (2) establish a revolving fund account,3
         and (3) ensure that the necessary resources and expertise are available for
         highway projects.

         The act further requires that we annually audit the Highway Fund’s financial
         condition and results of operations for fiscal years ended September 30, and
         report on the results of the audit by December 31 of each year, beginning with
         December 31, 1996. GAO’s audit report is also to include the Highway Fund’s
         expected condition and operations for the succeeding 5 fiscal years.



          ‘F’unds collected from the District’s motor vehicle fuel taxes are to be deposited
          in the Highway Fund. The District estimated that fiscal year 1996 collections of
          motor vehicle fuel taxes will total about $34 million.
          ‘Our regort entitled, DC. Emergenev Highwav Relief Act (GAO/RCED-96196R,
          June 28, 1996), provided our interim assessment of the emergency highway
          program.

          ?Ihe revoking fund account was established to ensure that funds are reserved to
          make timely payments to contractors completing federal-aid highway projects.
                                               GAO/AIMD-97-73R DC. Highway F’und Audit
B-275698
This letter is to update you on the status of our work on the fiscal year 1996
financial audit of the District of Columbia’s dedicated Highway Fund. To
perform our work, we requested the District provide us with certain accounting
information by November 15, 1996. But as we reported to you on November 4,
1996,4the District’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in a letter dated October 18,
 1996, stated that the District would be unable to provide the relevant information
by November 15. The CFO stated that the closing process for the Highway Fund
is time consuming and identified key elements and associated time frames for
completing the process:

-       6 weeks after year-end to receive vendor invoices,

-       45 to 75 days to record the invoices and perform internal reviews, and

-       30 days to post accruals and prepare final trial balances.

The CFO indicated that significant parts of the information needed to complete
our audit would not be available until the end of January 1997. Based upon this
time tiame, our November 4 letter noted that the earliest date we would be able
to complete our work and report to you would be March 31, 1997.

As of March 31, 1997, however, we had still not received all the required data
from the District to perform our audit work, including critical information on the
accounting procedures for the Highway Fund, detailed Highway Fund
expenditure transactions, and the Highway Fund’s expenditure forecast and
related assumptions for the succeeding 5 fiscal years (fiscal years 1997 to 2001).
District officials have advised us that they are in the process of compiling this
information. Therefore, we are currently targeting completion of this audit and
issuance of our report no earlier than July 31, 1997. We will keep you informed
of our progress.

    We are sending copies of this letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Minority
    Members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on
    the District of Columbia; the Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of the
    House Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on the District of
    Columbia; the Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of the Senate Committee
    on Governmental Affairs and its Subcommittee on Oversight of Government
    Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia; and the Chairmen and
    Ranking Minority Members of the House Committee on Government Reform and


    ‘Highwav Fund Audit (GAO/AIMD-97-14R, November 4, 1996).

    2                                     GAO/AIMD-97-73R D.C. Highway Fund Audit
  B-275698
  Oversight and its Subcommittee on the District of Columbh In addition, copies
  will be sent to the District of Columbia’s Mayor, Chief Financial Officer,
  Inspector General, and the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and
                                                     at (202) 512-9510, if you or




” Director, Governmentwide Audits




  3                                  GAO/W-97-73R       D.C. Highway F’und Audit
B-275698
List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable John H. Chafee
Chairman
The Honorable Max S. Baucus
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Environment and Public Works
United States Senate

The Honorable John W. Warner
chairman
The Honorable Max S. Baucus
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Transportation and In&&ructu.re
Committee on Environment and Public Works
United States Senate

The Honorable Bud Shuster
Chairman
The Honorable James L. Oberstar
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
House of Representatives

The Honorable Thomas E. Petri
Ch&n.an
The Honorable Nick J. Rahall, II
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Surface Transportation
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
House of Representatives




  (901741)

  4                                 GAO/AIMD-97-73R D.C. Highway Fund Audit
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