GAO Again Finds Shortcomings in Government's Financial Reporting

December 29, 2011

Deep-rooted problems continue to hobble the federal government's ability to reckon accurately its financial assets and liabilities, the Government Accountability Office found in a newly released review.

Although 21 of the 24 agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers Act had fully auditable books in fiscal 2011, two of the largest — the Defense and Homeland Security departments — still did not. The State Department's books also were not fully auditable. As a result of those and other problems, GAO was again unable to provide a clean audit opinion on the government's consolidated financial statements.

DoD, for example, could not provide solid estimates for key parts of its environmental cleanup liabilities, GAO said in its "auditor's report." 

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