Office of Special Trustee for American Indians: Financial Statement Audit Recommendations and the Audit Follow-Up Process

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 1994, Congress enacted the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 103-412, recognizing the federal government's fiduciary responsibilities toward American Indians. The act called for more effective management of the Department of the Interior's (Interior) fiduciary responsibilities, required an annual audit of Indian trust funds, and created the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) in Interior. In 1996, the Secretary of the Interior ordered the transfer of responsibility for trust fund management, including preparation of the financial statements of the Tribal and ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 19, 2007.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 1994, Congress enacted the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 103-412, recognizing the federal government's fiduciary responsibilities toward American Indians. The act called for more effective management of the Department of the Interior's (Interior) fiduciary responsibilities, required an annual audit of Indian trust funds, and created the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) in Interior. In 1996, the Secretary of the Interior ordered the transfer of responsibility for trust fund management, including preparation of the financial statements of the Tribal and Other Trust Funds and Individual Indian Monies Trust Funds (Indian trust funds), from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to OST. Since then, OST has prepared and independent public accountants have audited the financial statements of the Indian trust funds. The auditors have issued qualified audit opinions each year since 1996 because of inadequacies in Interior's trust-related systems, controls, and processes, disagreements between Interior and the trust funds' beneficiaries on amounts owed, and potential claims against the government. Congress expressed concern about deficiencies identified and reported in the Indian trust funds' annual financial statement audits for fiscal years 1996 through 2005. Congress asked us to determine (1) the reported status of OST management's responses to financial statement audit recommendations from fiscal years 1996 through 2005 and (2) whether financial statement audit follow-up procedures and controls for OST are designed to meet the requirements of applicable guidance and whether controls are in place to reasonably assure that audit follow-up objectives are achieved. This letter transmits our slides we used to brief Congressional staff on October 5, 2006."

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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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  • January 19, 2007

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Office of Special Trustee for American Indians: Financial Statement Audit Recommendations and the Audit Follow-Up Process, text, January 19, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299631/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.