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Monday, March 21, 2011

Fiscal 2010 DHS Audit Reveals Deficiencies in Financial Practices

A financial audit of the balance sheet of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal 2010 was inconclusive but yielded a number of recommendations for the department to improve its financial management practices, according to a recent letter released by the DHS inspector general (IG).

DHS hired the major accounting firm KPMG LLC to audit its books for fiscal 2010 and to make recommendations on how to improve financial operations. In a letter released Friday, KMPG indicated that it could not produce an opinion on financial competencies at DHS.

"As stated in our report on internal control over financial reporting, we were unable to perform procedures necessary to form an opinion on DHS' internal control over financial reporting of the balance sheet as of September 30, 2010, and the related statement of custodial activity for the year then ended," KPMG said in its letter, included in the IG report Management Letter for the FY 2010 DHS Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting Audit.

"We aim, however, to use our knowledge of DHS' organization gained during our work to make comments and suggestions that we hope will be useful to you," the firm added.

The audit broke down recommendations by the eight operational components of DHS as well as overall issues. It cited a large number of deficiencies at the various components but the US Secret Service escaped relatively unscathed, receiving only one major criticism. (The audit also turned up relatively few deficiencies at the Management Directorate and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.)

-Mike McCarter, HSToday.com

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