united states GAO General Accounting Office washington, DC. 20548 Accounting and Information Management Division B-282703 June 4,1999 Senator Fred Thompson Chairman Committee on GovernmentalAffairs United StatesSenate Subject: ‘IndependentCounsels:GAO Audit ResnonsibilitiesAfter OIC Termination Dear Mr. Chairman: This letter is in responseto a question from your office regarding our audit responsibilities for independentcounselswho have completed their investigations or whose offices have been officially terminated. Public Law 100202establisheda permanent, indefinite appropriation to fund independent counsel operations. Independent counsels are required under 28 U.S.C. 696(c)(l) to prepare reports on their expenditures from the appropriation for each 6 month period in which they have operations, including the periods in which they complete their investigations,and to provide the reports to us within 3 months after the end of the 6month reporting period. Independent counsels whose offices are officially terminated have 3 months from the date of the termination to provide us their final reports. To satisfy the requirements of 28 U.S.C.696(c)(Z) and Public Law 100-202,we audit the expenditure reports and issue our audit report by March 31 and September30 of eachyear in which expenditures occur. Independent counselscontinue to have expenditures from the appropriation between the time they completetheir investigations and the time their offices are officially terminated. Theseexpenditurestypically occur due to the need to archive records and becauseof the time lags between the dates (1) vendors or others provide goods and services,(2) invoices or bills are received, verified, and authorized for payment, and (3) expendituresare made. Expenditures can also occur after an independent counsel’soffice has been officially terminated. For example, one independent counsel who completedhis investigation in 1996and whose office was officially terminated in 1998received a bill in 1999for travel qenses incurred by detailees from another federal agencyduring the independent counsel’s investigation. Another independent counsel who completed his investigation in 1997and whose office was officially terminated in 1998had not received final bills for office rent as of May 1999. The timing of the completion of an investigation or the termination of an office of B-282703 independentcounsel has no bearing on our audit responsibilities. Our audit responsibilitiesare driven by the expenditure of funds from the permanent, indefinite appropriation. For purposesof efficiency, we perform much of our audit work at the Admi&trative O ffice of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC). AOUSCprovides administrative support to all the independentcounselsand processesand maintains a centralized record of all independentcounsel expenditures. Our interaction with independent counsels after they have completedtheir investigations or after their offices have been officially terminated has been limited to reviewing documentation for the remaining expendituresand obtaining representationsregarding final expenditure reports. ----- We are sendingcopies of this letter to the Members of the SenateCommittee on Governmenta Affairs and the Director of the Administrative O ffice of the U.S. Courts. We will make copies available to others upon request. Please contact me at (202) 612- 9489if you or your office have any questions. Sincerelyyours, +Qz?yff& . David L. Clark Director, Audit Oversight and Liaison (911941) 2 GAOMMD-99-164R Independent Counsels Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and Mastercard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders by mail: U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 37050 Washington, DC 20013 or visit: Room 1100 700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW) U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC Orders may also be placed by caliing (202) 512-6000 or by using fax number (202) 512-6061, or TDD (202) 512-2537. Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and testimony. To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any list from the past 30 days, please caR (202) 512-6000 using a touchtone phone. A recorded menu wi.II provide information on how to obtain these lists. For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET, send an e-mail message with “info” in the body to: infoQwww.gao.gov or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at: http:flwww.gao.gov United States Bulk Rate General Accounting Office Postage & Fees Paid Washington, D.C. 20548-0001 .GAO Permit No. GlOO Off’cial Business Penalty for Private Use $300 Address Correction Requested
Independent Counsels: GAO Audit Responsibilities After OIC Termination
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-06-04.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)