GAO can’t render opinion on government financials• mises.org / Douglas French
The federal government released its 2010 financial statements as prepared according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) a few days before Christmas. The public isn’t clamoring for this information and the government’s numbers don’t seem to be keeping anyone awake at night.
For those looking for scary numbers to wash down with their bubbly tonight, according to GAAP, the government’s deficit in 2010 was $2.08 trillion, a considerable widening from the $1.254 trillion deficit in 2009.
If these numbers weren’t bad enough, the U.S. Government Accountability Office says it can’t render an opinion on the federal government’s financials “because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.”
Specifically the GAO won’t weigh in because of three areas: “(1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense (DOD) that made its financial statements unauditable, (2) the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.”