Audit finds DHS weak in balance sheet reporting
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Dec 08, 2008
The Homeland Security Department’s financial balance sheets showed
eight cases of noncompliance with laws and regulations, six material
weaknesses and three other significant deficiencies as of Sept. 30,
according to an audit released by DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner.
firm KPMG performed the audit for the fiscal 2007 and 2008 balance
sheets, and DHS’ IG posted the report on its Web site Dec. 4.
weaknesses cover a broad range including financial reporting, general
financial and application controls, fund balances, capital assets and
supplies, and budget accounting, the audit states.
auditors noted improvement toward correction of internal control
weaknesses, the department was unable to represent that its financial
statements as of, and for the year ended, Sept. 30, 2008, were
presented in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting
principles,” the document states.
The Coast Guard,
Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Emergency
Management Agency were unable to provide evidence to support the data
they presented on the balance sheets, the audit states.
Coast Guard contributed to all six weaknesses even though it performed
an in-depth root cause analysis that identified 17 areas for
For example, the audit identified 22 findings -- of
which 21 were repeated from prior years -- related to general and
application controls for the Coast Guard’s information technology
The audit revealed control deficiencies in three
general control areas that, when combined, present a risk of affecting
financial data integrity, the audit states. The problems included weak
password controls, excessive access to Coast Guard financial accounts
and poor design in the controls over changes to the application.
David Norquist, DHS’ chief financial officer, agreed with the conclusions, according to the report.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.