United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 09, 2022

§ 3521.
Audits by agencies
(a)
Each account of an agency shall be audited administratively before being submitted to the Comptroller General. The head of each agency shall prescribe regulations for conducting the audit and designate a place at which the audit is to be conducted. However, a disbursing official of an executive agency may not administratively audit vouchers for which the official is responsible. With the consent of the Comptroller General, the head of the agency may waive any part of an audit.
(b)
The head of an agency may prescribe a statistical sampling procedure to audit vouchers of the agency when the head of the agency decides economies will result from using the procedure. The Comptroller General—
(1)
may prescribe the maximum amount of a voucher that may be audited under this subsection; and
(2)
in reviewing the accounting system of the agency, shall evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the procedure.
(c)
A disbursing or certifying official acting in good faith under subsection (b) of this section is not liable for a payment or certification of a voucher not audited specifically because of the procedure prescribed under subsection (b) if the official and the head of the agency carry out diligently collection action the Comptroller General prescribes.
(d)
Subsections (b) and (c) of this section do not—
(1)
affect the liability, or authorize the relief, of a payee, beneficiary, or recipient of an illegal, improper, or incorrect payment; or
(2)
relieve a disbursing or certifying official, the head of an agency, or the Comptroller General of responsibility in carrying out collection action against a payee, beneficiary, or recipient.
(e)
Each financial statement prepared under section 3515 by an agency shall be audited in accordance with applicable generally accepted government auditing standards—
(1)
in the case of an agency having an Inspector General appointed under the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), by the Inspector General or by an independent external auditor, as determined by the Inspector General of the agency; and
(2)
in any other case, by an independent external auditor, as determined by the head of the agency.
(f)
For each audited financial statement required under subsection (a) of section 3515 of this title, the person who audits the statement for purpose of subsection (e) of this section shall submit a report on the audit to the head of the agency and the Controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management. A report under this subsection shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
(g)
The Comptroller General of the United States—
(1)
may review any audit of a financial statement conducted under this subsection by an Inspector General or an external auditor;
(2)
shall report to the Congress, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the head of the agency which prepared the statement, regarding the results of the review and make any recommendation the Comptroller General considers appropriate; and
(3)
may audit a financial statement prepared under section 3515 of this title at the discretion of the Comptroller General or at the request of a committee of the Congress.
An audit the Comptroller General performs under this subsection shall be in lieu of the audit otherwise required by subsection (e) of this section. Prior to performing such audit, the Comptroller General shall consult with the Inspector General of the agency which prepared the statement.
(h)
Each financial statement prepared by an executive agency for a fiscal year after fiscal year 1991 shall be audited in accordance with this section and the plan required by section 3512(a)(3)(B)(viii) of this title.
(i)
(1)
If the Government Accountability Office audits any financial statement or related schedule which is prepared under section 3515 by an executive agency (or component thereof) for a fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 2009, such executive agency (or component) shall reimburse the Government Accountability Office for the cost of such audit, if the Government Accountability Office audited the statement or schedule of such executive agency (or component) for fiscal year 2007.
(2)
Any executive agency (or component thereof) that prepares a financial statement under section 3515 for a fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 2009, and that requests, with the concurrence of the Inspector General of such agency, the Government Accountability Office to conduct the audit of such statement or any related schedule required by section 3521 may reimburse the Government Accountability Office for the cost of such audit.
(3)
For the audits conducted under paragraphs (1) and (2), the Government Accountability Office shall consult prior to the initiation of the audit with the relevant executive agency (or component) and the Inspector General of such agency on the scope, terms, and cost of such audit.
(4)
Any reimbursement under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be deposited to a special account in the Treasury and shall be available to the Government Accountability Office for such purposes and in such amounts as are specified in annual appropriations Acts.
(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 961; Pub. L. 101–576, title III, § 304(a), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2852; Pub. L. 103–356, title IV, § 405(b), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3416; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, § 101(f) [title VIII, § 805(a)], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–314, 3009–392; Pub. L. 106–531, § 4(b), Nov. 22, 2000, 114 Stat. 2539; Pub. L. 110–323, § 6(a), Sept. 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 3547.)
cite as: 31 USC 3521