Canceled DOD Appropriations: Improvements Made but More Corrective Actions Are Needed

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Congress changed the law governing the use of appropriation accounts in 1990 because it found that the Department of Defense (DOD) may have spent hundreds of millions of dollars for purposes that Congress had not approved. The 1990 law provided that, 5 years after the expiration of the period of availability of a fixed-term appropriation, the appropriation account be closed and all remaining balances canceled. After closing, the appropriation account could no longer be used for obligations or expenditures for any purpose. DOD has started the ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. July 31, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Congress changed the law governing the use of appropriation accounts in 1990 because it found that the Department of Defense (DOD) may have spent hundreds of millions of dollars for purposes that Congress had not approved. The 1990 law provided that, 5 years after the expiration of the period of availability of a fixed-term appropriation, the appropriation account be closed and all remaining balances canceled. After closing, the appropriation account could no longer be used for obligations or expenditures for any purpose. DOD has started the process of correcting the illegal or improper closed account adjustments made during fiscal year 2000. However, this will require substantial effort and, according to DOD, estimates will not be complete before the end of fiscal year 2002. DOD had upgraded its system control features by the end of fiscal year 2001 to preclude many of the wholesale adjustments that GAO had previously identified. Because its system enhancements were done in stages, including some near the end of fiscal year 2001, DOD continued to make large amounts of illegal and otherwise improper closed account adjustments during the year. However, given the intensity of staff efforts to address these issues, it did not expect to complete the correct accounting for transactions found to be in error until September 2004. A lack of fundamental controls and management oversight over the closed accounts was the primary reason DOD was making so many closed account adjustments. DOD's action to resolve its problems with closed account adjustments is beginning to produce positive short-term results. However, if DOD fails to sustain these positive results, Congress could require DOD to validate and report to the Congress all closed account adjustments."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 31, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Canceled DOD Appropriations: Improvements Made but More Corrective Actions Are Needed, report, July 31, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc291545/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.