Federal Emergency Management Agency: Lack of Controls and Key Information for Property Leave Assets Vulnerable to Loss or Misappropriation

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Prior to the transfer of the functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the newly established Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate (EP&R), FEMA was one of 24 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies required to obtain annual financial statement audits. While DHS obtained a financial statement audit covering the period from March 1 through September 30, 2003, no financial statement audit was performed for FEMA activities for the 5 months prior to March 1, 2003. For fiscal year 2001, ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 15, 2004.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Prior to the transfer of the functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the newly established Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate (EP&R), FEMA was one of 24 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies required to obtain annual financial statement audits. While DHS obtained a financial statement audit covering the period from March 1 through September 30, 2003, no financial statement audit was performed for FEMA activities for the 5 months prior to March 1, 2003. For fiscal year 2001, FEMA received a qualified audit opinion, which was due mostly to the auditor's inability to determine the accuracy of the amount reported for FEMA's equipment as well as other property issues. Although FEMA received an unqualified opinion from its auditor in fiscal year 2002, the auditor reported six material weaknesses (one relating to its real and personal property system processes) and one reportable condition as well as significant year-end adjustments made to property accounts. Furthermore, the audit report noted that FEMA did not have policies and procedures in place to ensure the accuracy of data recorded in its personal property system, the Logistics and Information Management System (LIMS). The previously reported weaknesses as well as the very nature of FEMA's mission, disaster response, which entails the acquisition of new personal property, sometimes very quickly, raise the risk that property may have been acquired but not recorded in LIMS and not accounted for by FEMA in the interim 5 months before the agency functions were transferred to DHS. As such, given the past weaknesses and risks surrounding FEMA's property management, the objectives of our review were to determine (1) whether controls were in place to ensure that property acquired during the 5 months prior to FEMA transferring its functions to DHS was properly accounted for in LIMS and (2) whether FEMA has corrected previously reported property management weaknesses."

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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 15, 2004

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Emergency Management Agency: Lack of Controls and Key Information for Property Leave Assets Vulnerable to Loss or Misappropriation, text, July 15, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302472/: accessed October 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.