Public Debt

Management Actions Needed to Ensure More Accurate Accounting Gao ID: GGD-90-54 May 31, 1990

GAO reviewed the Bureau of the Public Debt's internal control and accounting control systems, focusing on whether they: (1) enabled the Bureau to accurately account for the public debt and related interest; and (2) conformed to the Comptroller General's standards, as the law required.

GAO found that: (1) inadequate oversight of operations by Bureau management has resulted in long-standing internal control and accounting system weaknesses; (2) the systems do not conform to Comptroller General standards; (3) the weaknesses led to billions of dollars of differences in the records accounting for the outstanding public debt and related interest; (4) the differences were due to untimely reconciliations; (5) Bureau management plans to implement a replacement accounting system in fiscal year 1991; (6) the new system could strengthen internal controls and enable the Bureau to more accurately account for and report the outstanding public debt and interest; and (7) management must better monitor operations to ensure that transactions are accurately and timely recorded, and that errors are corrected promptly.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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