Independent Counsels: GAO Audit Responsibilities After OIC Termination Page: 1 of 4
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G A O General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
Accounting and Information
June 4, 1999
Senator Fred Thompson
Committee on Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
Subject: Independent Counsels: GAO Audit Responsibilities After OIC Termination
Dear Mr. Chairman:
This letter is in response to a question from your office regarding our audit
responsibilities for independent counsels who have completed their investigations or
whose offices have been officially terminated.
Public Law 100-202 established a permanent, indefinite appropriation to fund
independent counsel operations. Independent counsels are required under 28 U.S.C.
596(c)(1) 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 6-month 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. 596(c)(2) and Public Law
100-202, we audit the expenditure reports and issue our audit report by March 31 and
September 30 of each year in which expenditures occur.
Independent counsels continue to have expenditures from the appropriation between
the time they complete their investigations and the time their offices are officially
terminated. These expenditures typically occur due to the need to archive records
and because of 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) expenditures are made. Expenditures can also occur after an independent
counsel's office has been officially terminated. For example, one independent
counsel who completed his investigation in 1995 and whose office was officially
terminated in 1998 received a bill in 1999 for travel expenses incurred by detailees
from another federal agency during the independent counsel's investigation. Another
independent counsel who completed his investigation in 1997 and whose office was
officially terminated in 1998 had 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
/G GAO/AIMD-99-164R Independent Counsels
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United States. General Accounting Office. Independent Counsels: GAO Audit Responsibilities After OIC Termination, text, June 4, 1999; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299502/m1/1/: accessed December 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.