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TREASURY DIRECTIVE 40-02

 
DATE: February 14, 2000
 
Sunset Review: February 14, 2004 
 
SUBJECT: Corresponding with the General Accounting Office (GAO)
 
1.    PURPOSE. This Directive establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for corresponding with the General Accounting Office (GAO) on: draft and final reports; advance decisions; policy determinations; views on proposed and pending legislation; joint issues with other agencies; and executive branch budget policies. This Directive incorporates Treasury Directive (TD) 32-09, "Correspondence with the General Accounting Office," which is canceled.
 
2.    SCOPE. This directive applies to all bureaus, offices and organizations in the Department of the Treasury, including the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
 
3.    POLICY. The responsible Treasury official(s) must adhere to the following:
    a.    GAO draft and final reports:
        (1)    provide a response when requested by GAO within the time requested, or ask for a reasonable extension;
        (2)    provide a draft response to the following official(s):
            (a)    Bureau of Engraving and Printing and United States Mint will send the draft response to the Office of the Treasurer;
            (b)    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will send the draft response to the Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy) for issues related to tax policy; for non-tax issues, IRS will send the response to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury;
            (c)    Financial Management Service and Bureau of the Public Debt will send the draft response to the Fiscal Assistant Secretary;
            (d)    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, United States Customs Service, United States Secret Service, and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will send the draft response to the Under Secretary (Enforcement);
            (e)    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, OIG and TIGTA will send comments to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.
        (3)    If the issues concern Departmental Offices (DO) and are not Bureau-specific, or the report is addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury, send the response to the Executive Secretary;
        (4)    provide a draft response on reports relating to the Chief Financial Officers Act (CFO Act), Government Management Reform Act (GMRA), Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), and financial management issues to the Office of the Deputy Chief Financial Officer (DCFO);
        (5)    send draft reports, comments and final reports to the GAO Coordinator.
    b.    Other Correspondence with GAO:
        (1)    when sending letters to GAO other than responding to reports, expressing views on proposed and pending legislation, or presenting joint issues with other agencies or executive branch budget policies, contact the DCFO for additional guidance if the matter could potentially have significant Department-wide effect. Otherwise, no additional clearance is required; however, a courtesy copy of the response will be sent to the DCFO.
        (2)    prepare letters concerning financial management issues within the purview of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer for the review and signature of Treasury�s Chief Financial Officer, unless law or regulation requires the Secretary�s signature. This policy is contained in TD 27-01, "Organization and Functions of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer."
        (3)    prepare letters regarding government-wide financial operations within the Fiscal Service�s authority, except requests for advance decisions involving interpretations of laws, or reports on administrative matters, as directed by the Fiscal Assistant Secretary (FAS). See TD 27-02, "Organization and Functions of the Fiscal Service."
        (4)    when sending letters to GAO on policy determinations of the Department, and documents or certifications required by law to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, the appropriate official(s) [see paragraph 3.a.(2)] will sign and send them to the appropriate legal counsel and the Treasury DCFO for clearance. (Refer to Treasury Order (TO) 101-05, "Reporting Relationships and Supervision of Officials, Offices and Bureaus, Delegation of Certain Authority, and Order of Succession in the Department of the Treasury.") Courtesy copies will be sent to the DCFO, and the OIG or the TIGTA, as appropriate.
 
4.    RESPONSIBILITIES.
    a.    The Executive Secretary will assign each GAO report received by the Department to the Appropriate Treasury official(s) for action; will ensure that the Department responds to all GAO reports; and provide a copy of all GAO reports and incoming correspondence to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer and the GAO coordinator for DO.
    b.    Heads of Bureaus, the OIG, and TIGTA, as it relates to DO, their bureaus, OIG, and TIGTA, respectively, will designate a bureau GAO coordinator (GAO coordinator) and will carry out the provisions of this directive within their respective organizations.
    c.    GAO coordinators will ensure that responses to draft and final GAO reports receive the appropriate review. The coordinators will also give copies of the responses to GAO reports to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer, DCFO/Office of Accounting and Internal Control (AIC) and other officials who may be affected by the contents of the report, including the OIG and TIGTA.
    d.    The Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer, through the Director, AIC, will:
        (1)    review and clear responses for CFO Act, GMRA, GPRA, and any other financial management related issues;
        (2)    maintain the available documentation on GAO reports, which includes notification letters, draft and final reports, and bureau responses to these reports;
        (3)    provide guidance on responses to GAO reports, if requested;
        (4)    provide Department-wide coordination of all ongoing Treasury-related GAO activities; and
        (5)    keep the senior Treasury officials informed of GAO activity in the Department.
 
5.    RESPONDING TO REPORTS.
    a.    Draft Reports. GAO issues draft reports to agencies for review and comment so that final reports may incorporate agency views. Upon receipt of the draft report, the responsible official(s) will:
        (1)    prepare a written response to the GAO, indicating agreement or disagreement with reported findings and recommendations. Comments showing disagreement will fully explain the reasons for disagreement. Where disagreement is based on interpretation of law, regulation or the authority of officials to take or not take action, the response must include the legal basis;
        (2)    submit the response directly to the GAO after clearance by appropriate officials [as specified in paragraph 2.a.(2)]. A copy will be sent to the GAO coordinator, who will provide copies to the Executive Secretary, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer and AIC.
    b.    Final Reports. When the GAO issues a final report, the responsible official(s) will adhere to the following:
        (1)    when a final GAO report contains recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury or a bureau head, the responsible official(s) will submit written planned corrective actions, with estimated completion dates. The statement will be sent to the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, the House Committee on Government Operations, and Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress, within 60 days of the report�s issuance date. Statements should receive clearance as described in paragraph 6. below, if appropriate.
        (2)    responsible official(s) will notify GAO and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in writing, when planned corrective actions have been completed. A copy of the statement will be sent to the DCFO. For more detailed discussion, see TD 40-03, "Treasury Audit Follow-up System."
        (3)    responsible official(s) will submit the response directly to the GAO after clearance by appropriate officials [as specified in paragraph 2.a.(2)]. A copy will be sent to the GAO Coordinator, who will provide copies to the Executive Secretary, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer and AIC.
6.    ADVANCE CLEARANCE AND/OR COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.  A statement subject to advance clearance and/or coordination under this paragraph will be sent to congressional committees, individual members of Congress or GAO.
    a.    If the statement expresses views on proposed or pending legislation, other than tax legislation, the responsible official will:
        (1)    send statements for review to the Office of the Assistant Secretary (Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison) and the Office of the Associate General Counsel (Legislation, Litigation and Regulation) according to TD 28-02, "Legislative Procedures"; and
        (2)    the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will submit statements on legislation according to Title 12 of the United States Code Section 250, or according to this directive.
    b.    Draft statements on tax legislation will be sent to the Office of Tax Policy.
    c.    Two copies each of the above statements will be sent to OMB and GAO.
    d.    If the statement concerns joint issues with other agencies or executive branch budget policies, and does not express views on proposed or pending legislation, the responsible official will forward two copies of the response to the Director, OMB, two copies to GAO and one copy to the Office of the Assistant Secretary (Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison).
    e.    If any of the above statements is a response to a GAO final report, it should be sent to the GAO Coordinator who will provide copies to the Executive Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer, and other appropriate officials.
 
7.    STATEMENTS TO OMB.  Statements to OMB should include copies of the statement prepared according to paragraphs 4.b. (1) and 5.d. These statements may be used to satisfy the reporting requirements to OMB.
    a.    A statement will be sent to the Director, OMB, within 60 days after receipt by Treasury of a final GAO report when comments are requested by OMB or when a report:
        (1)    contains a specific recommendation for the Secretary of the Treasury or bureau head;
        (2)    contains financial statements accompanied by either a qualified audit opinion or a disclaimer of opinion;
        (3)    shows a violation of the Anti-deficiency Act that has not been reported to the appropriate authorities; or
        (4)    suggests a violation of other laws.
    b.    A statement to OMB should identify the GAO report by number and date and be submitted in duplicate. It should inform OMB of the Department's views on the findings and recommendations made by GAO. It should also identify any action taken, or planned, in response to each significant finding or recommendation. When the corrective action is incomplete, still under study or planned, the statement to OMB will include the bureau�s expected completion date.
    c.    If the response to a draft GAO report, accurately and adequately reflects the bureau's current views, as reported in the final report, a copy of that response sent to OMB will be sufficient.
 
8.    REQUESTS FOR ADVANCE DECISIONS.  When writing to GAO with Department requests for advance Comptroller General decisions:
    a.    the letters are signed by either the General Counsel, the Treasury Chief Financial Officer, the Under Secretary or Assistant Secretary, as defined in paragraph 3.a.(2).
    b.    courtesy copies of each request are sent to the DCFO and either OIG or TIGTA, as appropriate.
Note: Advance decision requests are distinguished from individual requests by disbursing and certifying officers as referred to in TD 32-04, "Settlement of Accounts and Relief of Accountable Officers."
 
9.    AUTHORITIES.
    a.    31 U.S.C. 720, Agency Reports.
    b.    31 U.S.C. 3529, Requests for Decisions of the Comptroller General.
    c.    OMB Circular A-50, Revised, Audit Follow-up, dated September 29, 1982.
    d.    The General Accounting Office Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 1, Chapter 3, Functions of the General Accounting Office, Section 11, Legal Services.
 
10.    REFERENCES.
    a.    TO 101-05, "Reporting Relationships and Supervision of Officials, Offices and Bureaus, Delegation of Certain Authority, and Order of Succession in the Department of the Treasury."
    b.    TO 115-01, "Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration."
    c.    TD 27-01, "Organization and Functions of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer."
    d.    TD 27-02, "Organization and Functions of the Fiscal Service."
    e.    TD 28-02, "Legislative Procedures."
    f.     TD 32-04, "Settlement of Accounts and Relief of Accountable Officers."
    g.    TD 40-03, "Treasury Audit Follow-up System."
 
9.    CANCELLATION. TD 32-09, "Correspondence with the General Accounting Office," and TD 40-02, "Coordination of Responses to GAO Reports," both dated August 25, 1995, are superseded.
 
10.    OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST. Office of Accounting and Internal Control, Office of the Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer.
 
 
 
/S/
Lisa Ross
Acting Assistant Secretary for Management
and Chief Financial Officer
Attachment
 
Last Updated: 11/4/2010 10:00 PM

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