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Audit of AmeriCorps’ Fiscal Year 2021 National Service Trust Fund Financial Statements
OIG-AR-22-02 (AmeriCorps OIG)
The National Service Trust holds the funds set aside to pay the education awards of national service members who successfully complete their service terms. Responsibility for the education awards that have been earned or will be earned in the near future is the largest liability on AmeriCorps’ financial statements at $356 million.
Since FY 2017, independent auditors have declined to issue an opinion on the financial statements of AmeriCorps and the National Service Trust. This year, they again issued a disclaimer of opinion, reporting four material weaknesses and one significant deficiency. Three of the material weaknesses date back to FY 2017.
AmeriCorps acknowledged at the beginning of the audit that it had not made progress in validating the data underlying the Trust Obligation and Liability Model (TOLM), which AmeriCorps uses to estimate its future education award payments. Accordingly, the TOLM remains listed as a material weakness. The auditors also found modified-repeat material weaknesses in AmeriCorps’ Internal Controls Program and its Financial System and Reporting, plus a new material weakness related to AmeriCorps’ Migration to a Shared Services Provider.
AmeriCorps has closed seven of the 37 prior year recommendations outstanding since FY 2019. The remaining 30 recommendations remain unimplemented, six of them in modified form. The auditors also made seven new recommendations, for a total of 37.
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.
AmeriCorps 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 National Service Trust Fund financial statements, under contract with AmeriCorps-OIG.