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Monday, September 09, 2013

GAO's Green Book standards near first revision since 1999

The Green Book, the Government Accountability Office's standards for internal control, is nearing its first revision since 1999.

GAO released a draft (.pdf) of the updated standards Sept. 3. The Green Book outlines the concepts and principles of internal control, which GAO defines as the policies and procedures an organization uses to carry out its objectives.

The standards described in the Green Book are about as broad as that definition. In the draft, GAO divides the standards into five sets of principles, one of which instructs management to demonstrate a commitment to integrity and ethics, establish expectations of competence, and enforce accountability.

The general concepts in the draft are not different from the 1999 version (.pdf), GAO says, but the enumerated principles are a new approach that define the standards in greater detail.

In the draft, GAO requests comments from federal officials, accounting professionals, academics and whoever else is interested by Dec. 2. The forthcoming revision to the Green Book will be the third since 1983, when GAO first issued (.pdf) the standards.

- Zach Rausnitz, FierceGovernment.com

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