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Appropriation Act for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, if otherwise entitled thereto.
SEC. 317. The provisions of law prohibiting the transfer of employees of executive departments and independent establishments until after service of three years shall not apply during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, to the transfer of employees to the General Accounting Office.
Sec. 318. This Act shall take effect upon its approval by the President: Provided, That sections 301 to 317, inclusive, relating to the General Accounting Office and the Bureau of Accounts, shall take effect July 1, 1921.
Approved, June 10, 1921.
(A copy of a letter from Leonard Spacek, one of the senior partners of Arthur Andersen & Co., and an outstanding public accountant, addressed to the Comptroller General of the United States, dated March 27, 1950, was received for insertion in the hearing and is as follows:)
ARTHUR ANDERSEN & Co.,
Chicago 3, March 27, 1950. Mr. LINDSAY C. WARREN,
Comptroller General of the United States, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. WARREN: If you will refer to my letter of December 20, you will recall our discussions regarding our assistance to the General Accounting Office.
Recent news reports lead me to believe that one of the Hoover recommendations is to separate the GAO auditing function from the responsibility for putting in systems and procedures for governmental accounting. If I am wrong in this understanding, this letter has no purpose, but if I am right, I hope that you and your Division will oppose this proposal vigorously. I am making this statement as a result of actual experience on this type of work.
Assuming that your Division has competent men who maintain high standards and have thorough knowledge of accounting procedures, systems, and auditing work, they would be in the best position to judge the adequacy of the methods and the systems involved and the possibilities for improving them. As a matter of fact, that is a prerequisite to a complete and proper audit. It is possible, in case of a controversy that you might have to seek outside arbitration, if some differences of opinion arose between a governmental department and your Department, but that should not be difficult to resolve. In general, your Department should take the responsibility for prescribing the systems and procedures installed as well as the auditing under that system because a substantial portion of your opinion on auditing results should be your check of the system. Without the responsibility for the adequacy of the accounting systems the efficiency of your Department would be greatly curtailed and your audit reports would lose a great deal of their significance. If a separate systems and procedures department were established, it could be satisfied with a particular procedure to which you took exception from an auditing point of view and there would be no way in the world to bring you and the systems department together or get an effective operation. As a consequence, the operating departments would be caught in a cross fire of differences of opinion which would merely create confusion.
The only reason I am writing is, as I told you in my previous letter, that we are desirous of giving the Government the benefit of our experience in everyday accounting business and to us it is necessary that these functions to which we refer be under the direction of a single executive to be workable. If I am right in my understanding that an effort is being made to separate them, I hope you will oppose the move. Please give my best regards to Mr. Delk. Sincerely yours,