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Friday, June 09, 2006

GSA cleans up processes that led to $900m accounting problems

"The General Services Administration has changed policies and standardized processes so it can achieve a clean audit this year after statements about its accounting of $900 million in budgetary resources sank last year's audit.

For eight years GSA's Federal Technology Service had misapplied and miscounted a total of $900 million in fund obligations transferred to it from other agencies for services.

'GSA in its 2005 audit captured the sins of eight years of misapplying funds. I think the agency is righting the ship now,' Eugene Waszily, GSA acting deputy inspector general, told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Management, Finance and Accountability yesterday.

The inaccurate accounting practices included neglecting to close out project accounts after project completion, placing funding that had a one-year life span into an IT revolving fund and awarding contracts using expired funds, Waszily said. He added that GSA has put in place policies to avoid this in the future and cleaned up residual problems of the past. GSA can't really account for each individual antideficiency violation.

'So this is a global mea culpa for the tremendous misaccounting of funds, ' Waszily said.

Newly confirmed GSA Administrator Lurita Doan, who attended the hearing, said later that GSA will look at its issues and come up with honest solutions.

'Transparency and accountability - they're twin pillars for a high performance organization,' she said. "

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