The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued two reports on March 31 calling for improved information controls at the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and said the Bureau has not completed corrective actions on many of the problems that GAO found in its prior-year audit.

The Fiscal Service Bureau manages the Schedules of the General Fund, which reports the Federal government’s trillions of dollars of cash activity, and the government’s budget deficit.  The Fiscal Service also oversees the Schedule of Federal Debt, which totaled $22.8 trillion as of September 2019.

GAO said in the report on the Schedules of the General Fund that previously identified weaknesses had not been rectified, and it identified six new information control deficiencies. Three of those relate to access controls, one to configuration management, and two to segregation of duties. Six recommendations were made by GAO in a “limited official use only” report.

Seven of the 25 open recommendations from prior GAO reports on Schedules of the General Fund were completed, and corrective actions were still in progress for the other 18. The open recommendations relate to security management, access controls, and configuration management.

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GAO said that Fiscal Service has made “some progress” since the last audit, but listed unresolved deficiencies in the report regarding the Schedules of the Federal Debt, and found new control deficiencies as well.

Of GAO’s 14 recommendations for the Schedules of the Federal Debt from the prior-year audit, corrective action was completed on three of those, and in progress on the other 11 items.

“We continued to identify instances in which Fiscal Service did not remediate on a timely basis or adequately track for remediation known information system vulnerabilities and deviations from baseline security requirements,” the report said.

The Bureau of Fiscal Service, responding to the “limited official use only” version of the two reports, stated that it continues to work to address all prior-year recommendations, and has established plans to address the new recommendations.

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.