OIG-AR-22-01 (AmeriCorps OIG)
Since FY 2017, independent auditors have declined to issue an opinion on AmeriCorps’ financial statements. This year, they again issued a disclaimer of opinion, reporting nine material weaknesses and one significant deficiency. Eight of the material weaknesses are recurring, three of them since FY 2017 and five since FY 2018. AmeriCorps acknowledged at the beginning of the audit that it had not made progress in addressing five of the material weaknesses and requested that they be excluded from the scope of the audit. The auditors have therefore continued to report the following findings and the associated recommendations related to: data underlying the Trust Obligations and Liability Model; Undelivered Orders for Procurement; Undelivered Orders for Grants; Recoveries of Prior Year Obligations; and Other Liabilities, as well as noncompliance with the Single Audit Act. Based on their work in FY 2021, the auditors found modified-repeat material weaknesses in AmeriCorps’ Internal Controls Program; Financial System and Reporting; and Grant Accrual Payable and Advances, plus a new material weakness related to AmeriCorps’ Migration to a Shared Services Provider. AmeriCorps has closed ten of the 75 recommendations outstanding since FY 2019. The remaining 65 recommendations continue to be valid, eight of them in modified form. The auditors also made eight new recommendations, for a total of 73. The auditors noted that AmeriCorps lacks a strategic plan to bring the agency to an auditable condition and had not created corrective action plans for most of the material weaknesses and the significant deficiency. In recognition of the pervasive weaknesses, AmeriCorps included in its Annual Management Report (AMR) a Statement of No Assurance, acknowledging that the agency could not provide reasonable assurance as to the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, operations, including programmatic operations, and compliance with laws. FY 2021 AMR, p. 22. This is the second year that AmeriCorps has issued a No Assurance statement. AmeriCorps has been unable to produce auditable financial statements for the last five years. Given the state of internal control at AmeriCorps, the unaudited financial statements published by the agency likely contain material errors and should not be relied upon. AmeriCorps’ response to the audit report acknowledged the findings and recommendations but did not agree or disagree with them. In promising improvements, the Chief Financial Officer stated: AmeriCorps is committed to implementing strategic reforms to the agency’s audit management and resolution efforts, focusing heavily on agency audit readiness, improving operational and programmatic internal controls, and increasing senior leadership engagement in corrective action planning and oversight. Audit Report, p, 27. The independent accounting firm of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, performed the audit of the AmeriCorps FY 2021 consolidated financial statements, under contract with AmeriCorps-OIG.
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