Policy and Scope

416 FW 1
FWM Number
Originating Office
Branch of Risk Management

1.1 Purpose. This chapter provides policy and responsibilities for cooperating with the General Accounting Office (GAO) in the audit of Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) programs and operations.

1.2 Authority. The authority under which General Accounting Office audits are conducted is found in the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 as amended (64 Stat. 832); the Government Corporation Control Act (59 Stat. 597); section 236 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1140, 1171); and OMB Circular No. A-50.

1.3 Policy. It is the policy of the Service to:

A. Fully cooperate with the GAO in the conduct of its audits.

B. Develop and submit responses to the GAO within required time frames for draft reports and as required by legislation for final reports.

C. Provide timely, objective consideration of GAO findings and recommendations. Information, advice, and guidance from GAO reviews will be used for the maximum benefit to the Service.

1.4 Responsibilities. See 415 FW 1.5.

1.5 Scope of Audits. See 415 FW 1.6

1.6 Classification of GAO Reports. Normally, reviews accomplished by the General Accounting Office are done at the request of a Congressional committee, subcommittee, or a member of Congress. Reports issued by the GAO are classified as:

A. Code 1A. Written report to the Chairman of a congressional committee.

B. Code 1B. Written report to an individual member of the Congress.

C. Code 1C. Report to the Congress (President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives).

D. Code 2. Written report to the head of a Department or agency or other top headquarters official (including letters signed by the Comptroller General approving agency accounting principles and standards and systems design). Within the Department of the Interior, a Code 2 report will normally be addressed to a Secretarial officer.

E. Code 3. Written report to the head of a field activity or to a lower level agency official in Washington. Within the Department, a Code 3 report will normally be addressed to a bureau or office head or senior regional official.

1.7 Initiation of GAO Audits.

A. In accordance with Departmental and GAO instructions, all GAO work involving Department of the Interior (Department) bureaus must be formally coordinated in writing. Prior to beginning work, the Service should receive a transmittal from the Department announcing that GAO has been cleared to begin its audit. The transmittal should include the following information:

(1) Title of the assignment and job code number.

(2) Basis for assignment; e.g., basic legislative responsibility or Congressional request, including the name of the requestor(s) if permission has been given to use names.

(3) Statement of assignment objective(s).

(4) Interior bureaus, field offices, and other locations to be visited or contacted.

(5) Estimated start and completion dates of the jobs.

(6) GAO headquarters division and regional offices involved in the assignment.

(7) Name and telephone number of the appropriate GAO staff person who can answer questions or provide further information about the assignment.

B. Any employee of the Service who is contacted by GAO prior to receipt of such a transmittal is requested to advise the GAO to contact either the Departmental Audit Coordination Staff or the Service Audit Liaison Officer prior to its initiation of an audit.