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January 30, 2023

SHOCKER: GAO Says the Federal Government Has Weak Internal Controls

Talk about a blow. Everyone here at GC soiled themselves after finding out this piece of news.

The mother of all auditors, the General Accountability Office, released its FY 2009 Financial Report for the U.S. Government last week and things are, shall we say, typical. How typical? How about things are such a mess that the GAO can’t render an opinion on the consolidated financial statements?

“The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) could not render an opinion on the consolidated financial statements of the federal government (other than the Statement of Social Insurance) because of widespread material internal control weaknesses and other limitations.”


That’s from the press release and while we were expecting a shitshow spread amongst all the agencies of the government, it’s due to the weaknesses in four agencies: the Defense Department, Homeland Security, State Department, and NASA.

Here’s the full rundown on the agencies from the report:

You may remember us noting the Defense Department’s audit problems back in the fall when we said:

For one of the 69 reviews the GAO performed, the audit report cited eight significant deficiencies in the contractor’s accounting system but since the contractor wasn’t really cool with that, the auditors dropped five of the [significant deficiencies] and recommended that the other three be “improved without additional work”.

So this really, really, really does come as a surprise. It is good to know that the GAO — never shy on tooting its own horn — is still out there earning it’s “taxpayer watchdog” badge.

At 256 pages, this thing is a beast. We’re plowing through it to find the more interesting tidbits where we can and if you’re on cruise control today, take a gander for yourself to see your tax dollars at work.

Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Report of the United States Government [GAO.gov]
U.S. Government’s 2009 Financial Report Shows Significant Fiscal Challenges [Press Release]
GAO Cites Weak Financial Management in Federal Government [Web CPA Debits & Credits]

Talk about a blow. Everyone here at GC soiled themselves after finding out this piece of news.

The mother of all auditors, the General Accountability Office, released its FY 2009 Financial Report for the U.S. Government last week and things are, shall we say, typical. How typical? How about things are such a mess that the GAO can’t render an opinion on the consolidated financial statements?

“The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) could not render an opinion on the consolidated financial statements of the federal government (other than the Statement of Social Insurance) because of widespread material internal control weaknesses and other limitations.”


That’s from the press release and while we were expecting a shitshow spread amongst all the agencies of the government, it’s due to the weaknesses in four agencies: the Defense Department, Homeland Security, State Department, and NASA.

Here’s the full rundown on the agencies from the report:

You may remember us noting the Defense Department’s audit problems back in the fall when we said:

For one of the 69 reviews the GAO performed, the audit report cited eight significant deficiencies in the contractor’s accounting system but since the contractor wasn’t really cool with that, the auditors dropped five of the [significant deficiencies] and recommended that the other three be “improved without additional work”.

So this really, really, really does come as a surprise. It is good to know that the GAO — never shy on tooting its own horn — is still out there earning it’s “taxpayer watchdog” badge.

At 256 pages, this thing is a beast. We’re plowing through it to find the more interesting tidbits where we can and if you’re on cruise control today, take a gander for yourself to see your tax dollars at work.

Fiscal Year 2009 Financial Report of the United States Government [GAO.gov]
U.S. Government’s 2009 Financial Report Shows Significant Fiscal Challenges [Press Release]
GAO Cites Weak Financial Management in Federal Government [Web CPA Debits & Credits]

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