What GAO found
Based on GAO’s limited procedures to review the Independent Public Accountant’s (IPA) audit of the Congressional Award Foundation’s fiscal year 2020 financial statements, GAO did not identify any material issues that, according to him, requires special attention. Had GAO carried out additional procedures, other matters might have been brought to its attention that it would have flagged. The IPA has provided an unmodified audit opinion on the Foundation’s fiscal year 2020 financial statements. Specifically, the IPA has found that the Foundation’s financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with US generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, for the 2020 financial year, the IPA did not identify any (1) deficiency that it considers to be a material weakness in the Foundation’s internal control in terms of financial reporting or (2) cases of non-compliance. – reportable compliance or other matters as a result of its testing of the Foundation’s compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, contracts and grant agreements. The Foundation endorsed the findings of the IPA.
GAO’s review of the audit of the Foundation’s financial statements for fiscal 2020, as opposed to an audit of the financial statements, was not intended to provide GAO with an opportunity to express, and it does not express , an opinion on the Foundation’s financial statements or to conclude on the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting. In addition, GAO does not express an opinion on the Foundation’s compliance with the provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts and grant agreements. The API is responsible for its reports on the Foundation as of April 6, 2021 and the conclusions expressed therein.
GAO has provided a draft of this report to the Foundation and IPA for review and comment. The National Foundation Director and IPA Audit Director each replied by email that they had no comments on the draft report.
Why GAO did this study
This report presents the results of GAO’s review of the audit of the Foundation’s financial statements for fiscal year 2020. The Congressional Award Act established the Congressional Award Board to implement a program to promote excellence among the country’s youth in the fields of public service, personal development, fitness and expedition or exploration. The Board of Directors established the Foundation as a non-profit corporation to assist in the realization of this program. The Congressional Award Act, as amended by the Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014, requires the Foundation to obtain an annual audit of the financial statements of an IPA. The law also requires the GAO to review the audit and report the results to Congress each year. GAO’s goal was to review the audit of the Foundation’s fiscal year 2020 financial statements. To meet this objective, the GAO (1) has read and reviewed various documents relating to the independence, objectivity and qualifications of the API; (2) analyzed the main audit documents of the IPA; (3) read the Foundation’s financial statements for fiscal year 2020, the IPA audit report on the Foundation’s financial statements and the IPA report on internal control over financial reporting and on compliance or other matters based on its audit; and (4) met with representatives of the API and those responsible for the management of the Foundation.