"The General Services Administration's fiscal 2005 audits capture about eight years of sins and miscalculations of funds that total more than $900 million, an official said in testimony at a congressional hearing June 7.
'The agency had to bite the bullet in one particular year,' Eugene Waszily, acting deputy inspector general of the GSA, told a House Government Reform subcommittee.
The auditors reviewing fiscal 2005 records could not verify some financial information in the statements from GSA, Waszily said. That came after 17 consecutive years of clean audits for GSA.
Signs of a potential problem surfaced in procurement audits conducted in 2004. Reviews found a small number of large procurements made for customer agencies that GSA's acquisition employees lacked the authority to award, Waszily told the subcommittee. Further audits found additional improper awards, several that breached appropriations requirements, including the use of expired funds.
When identified and quantified, the misstated balances total more than $900 million, he said.
Kathleen Turco, GSA's chief financial officer, said at the hearing that she cannot guarantee a clean audit for GSA in fiscal 2006 because the agency is trying to rectify errors in acquisition practices that were uncovered in 2003."