Category Archives: Auditing and Financial Management

Will “Hamilton” Win Big? Its Namesake Already Inspired a Lot of GAO Work

Alexander Hamilton has quite the legacy: he was the first Secretary of the Treasury; he created a plan for managing the national debt; and he is now the inspiration behind the Tony Award-nominated musical, Hamilton. In anticipation of this Sunday’s … Continue reading

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Auditing the Government’s Books

Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial information so they can make difficult budget choices and deal with the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Each year, we audit the governmentwide financial statements to help make sure good information … Continue reading

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The DATA Act Turns 2

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, known as the DATA Act, is 2 years old today. This law is supposed to make it easier to get reliable, standardized information on federal spending. Today’s WatchBlog explores what we’ve found … Continue reading

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Unused Federal Grant Dollars (infographic)

The federal government awards grants to states, nonprofits, universities, and others to help meet a variety of national goals. But not all of this grant money reaches its destination. So what happens to the hundreds of millions of unspent grant … Continue reading

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Federal Grants and Other Assistance

Federal grants pay for all manner of things, including highways, health care, and education. Today’s WatchBlog follows the money trail of federal grants, discusses ways to improve grant management, and explores some ways the federal government can help states and … Continue reading

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Getting Closure on Our Recommendations

Last year, we blogged about why agencies implement GAO’s recommendations. Looking at our annual Performance and Accountability Report, you can see that we’ve averaged 1,800 recommendations a year with an average 80% implementation rate between fiscal years 2010-2015. This adds … Continue reading

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All About Agency Financial Statement Auditing

Every year, GAO audits selected agencies’ financial statements and the consolidated financial statements of the federal government. We’ve discussed the results of our federal government audit on the WatchBlog before, but we wanted to provide more context on the agency-level … Continue reading

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Updated Green Book Standards Help Improve Government Accountability and Performance

In an effort to help all federal agencies improve their performance, GAO has issued the 2014 revision of Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, also known as the “Green Book.” The book sets the standards for an effective … Continue reading

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Partnering Strategies for Arts and Cultural Organizations

To mark Art Appreciation Month, we’re highlighting a report that reviewed congressionally-chartered organizations, and identified some strategies that arts and cultural organizations have used to leverage non-federal resources.  In June 2013, we reported on how a few of these organizations—including … Continue reading

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What Exactly Are “Improper Payments”?

Improper payments are always an area of concern for the federal government. These include overpayments, underpayments, payments made to ineligible recipients, or even payments that weren’t properly documented. While fraudulent payments are considered improper, not all improper payments are the … Continue reading

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