I'll spend one more day on boring accounting policy tied to auditing government, non-profits, and corporations BECAUSE having the right accounting policy is the only way to REALLY address corporate fraud and government corruption. If citizens KNOW THE DIFFERENCE----they know when corporate pols are posing progressive and not intending to address the real problems.
FDR used the New Deal to install accounting policies geared just to fight the fraud and corruption used to bring down the US economy a century ago leading to the Great Depression. Those are the accounting policies used in the US for decades and these policies not only looked to see if a form or a procedure was followed-----it investigated for the presence of FRAUD AND CORRUPTION. When social Democrats shout----Clinton/Bush/Obama are dismantling all of New Deal-----this policy is included----
THIS IS WHY MASSIVE AND SYSTEMIC FRAUD AND CORRUPTION WAS ALLOWED TO FILL OUR CORPORATE AND GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES AND IT WAS DELIBERATE.
The PRETEND accounting and auditing policies Baltimore City Hall is trying to install are the same used by Bush/Obama that gave us pennies on the dollar of fraud settlements with no charges on executives. Those settlements were never about the fraud---they simply assess fines for falling to have the forms and procedures in place for this PRETEND audit for accountability. Meanwhile trillions of dollars in actual fraud was ignored because these audits do not look for it.
THIS IS WHY OBAMA AND ERIC HOLDER SAID-----'I SEE NO FRAUD'. It is why an auditor of Baltimore City agencies say--'missing documents and procedures does not indicate fraud and corruption.'
The Untouchables: How the Obama administration protected Wall Street from prosecutions
A new PBS Frontline report examines a profound failure of justice that should be causing serious social unrest
Eric Holder talks to DOJ Criminal Chief Lanny Breuer in 2010. Photograph: Jason Reed/ReutersWednesday 23 January 2013 07.27 EST Last modified on Tuesday 26 January 2016 09.35 EST
PBS' Frontline program on Tuesday night broadcast a new one-hour report on one of the greatest and most shameful failings of the Obama administration: the lack of even a single arrest or prosecution of any senior Wall Street banker for the systemic fraud that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis: a crisis from which millions of people around the world are still suffering. What this program particularly demonstrated was that the Obama justice department, in particular the Chief of its Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer, never even tried to hold the high-level criminals accountable.
What Obama justice officials did instead is exactly what they did in the face of high-level Bush era crimes of torture and warrantless eavesdropping: namely, acted to protect the most powerful factions in the society in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious criminality. Indeed, financial elites were not only vested with immunity for their fraud, but thrived as a result of it, even as ordinary Americans continue to suffer the effects of that crisis.
Worst of all, Obama justice officials both shielded and feted these Wall Street oligarchs (who, just by the way, overwhelmingly supported Obama's 2008 presidential campaign) as they simultaneously prosecuted and imprisoned powerless Americans for far more trivial transgressions. As Harvard law professor Larry Lessig put it two weeks ago when expressing anger over the DOJ's persecution of Aaron Swartz: "we live in a world where the architects of the financial crisis regularly dine at the White House." (Indeed, as "The Untouchables" put it: while no senior Wall Street executives have been prosecuted, "many small mortgage brokers, loan appraisers and even home buyers" have been).
As I documented at length in my 2011 book on America's two-tiered justice system, With Liberty and Justice for Some, the evidence that felonies were committed by Wall Street is overwhelming. That evidence directly negates the primary excuse by Breuer (previously offered by Obama himself) that the bad acts of Wall Street were not criminal.
Numerous documents prove that executives at leading banks, credit agencies, and mortgage brokers were falsely touting assets as sound that knew were junk: the very definition of fraud. As former Wall Street analyst Yves Smith wrote in her book ECONned: "What went on at Lehman and AIG, as well as the chicanery in the CDO [collateralized debt obligation] business, by any sensible standard is criminal." Even lifelong Wall Street defender Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chair, said in Congressional testimony that "a lot of that stuff was just plain fraud."
A New York Times editorial in August explained that the DOJ's excuse for failing to prosecute Wall Street executives - that it was too hard to obtain convictions - "has always defied common sense - and all the more so now that a fuller picture is emerging of the range of banks' reckless and lawless activities, including interest-rate rigging, money laundering, securities fraud and excessive speculation." The Frontline program interviewed former prosecutors, Senate staffers and regulators who unequivocally said the same: it is inconceivable that the DOJ could not have successfully prosecuted at least some high-level Wall Street executives - had they tried.
What's most remarkable about all of this is not even Wall Street had the audacity to expect the generosity of largesse they ended up receiving. "The Untouchables" begins by recounting the massive financial devastation the 2008 crisis wrought - "the economy was in ruins and bankers were being blamed" - and recounts:
"In 2009, Wall Street bankers were on the defensive, worried they could be held criminally liable for fraud. With a new administration, bankers and their attorneys expected investigations and at least some prosecutions."
Indeed, the show recalls that both in Washington and the country generally, "there was broad support for prosecuting Wall Street." Nonetheless: "four years later, there have been no arrests of any senior Wall Street executives."
In response to the DOJ's excuse-making that these criminal cases are too hard to win, numerous experts - Senators, top Hill staffers, former DOJ prosecutors - emphasized the key point: Obama officials never even tried. One of the heroes of "The Untouchables", former Democratic Sen. Ted Kaufman, worked tirelessly to provide the DOJ with all the funds it needed to ensure probing criminal investigations and even to pressure and compel them to do so. Yet when he and his staff would meet with Breuer and other top DOJ officials, they would proudly tout the small mortgage brokers they were pursuing, in response to which Kafuman and his staff said: "No. Don't show me small-time mortgage guys in California. This is totally about what went on in Wall Street. . . . We are talking about investigating senior level Wall Street executives, even at the Board level". (The same Lanny Breuer was recently seen announcing that the banking giant HSBC would face no criminal prosecution for its money laundering of funds for designated terrorist groups and drug networks on the ground that the bank was too big to risk prosecuting).
As Kaufman and his staffers make clear, Obama officials were plainly uninterested in pursuing criminal accountability for Wall Street. One former staffer to both Biden and Kaufman, Jeff Connaughton, wrote a book in 2011 - "The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins" - devoted to alerting the nation that the Obama DOJ refused even to try to find criminal culprits on Wall Street. In the book, this career-Democratic-aide-turned-whistleblower details how the levers of Washington power are used to shield and protect high-level Wall Street executives, many of whom have close ties to the leaders of both parties and themselves are former high-level government officials. This is a system, he makes clear, that is constituted to ensure that those executives never face real accountability even for their most egregious and destructive crimes.
The reason there have been no efforts made to criminally investigate is obvious. Former banking regulator and current securities Professor Bill Black told Bill Moyers in 2009 that "Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong." In the documentary "Inside Job", the economist Nouriel Roubini, when asked why there have been no such investigations, replied: "Because then you'd find the culprits." Underlying all of that is what the Senate's second-highest ranking Democrat, Dick Durbin, admitted in 2009: the banks "frankly own the place".
The harms from this refusal to hold Wall Street accountable are the same generated by the general legal immunity the US political culture has vested in its elites. Just as was true for the protection of torturers and illegal eavesdroppers, it ensures that there are no incentives to avoid similar crimes in the future. It is an injustice in its own right to allow those with power and wealth to commit destructive crimes with impunity. It subverts democracy and warps the justice system when a person's treatment under the law is determined not by their acts but by their power, position, and prestige. And it exposes just how shameful is the American penal state by contrasting the immunity given to the nation's most powerful with the merciless and brutal punishment meted out to its most marginalized.
The real mystery from all of this is that it has not led to greater social unrest. To some extent, both the early version of the Tea Party and the Occupy movements were spurred by the government's protection of Wall Street at the expense of everyone else. Still, Americans continue to be plagued by massive unemployment, foreclosures, the threat of austerity and economic insecurity while those who caused those problems have more power and profit than ever. And they watch millions of their fellow citizens be put in cages for relatively minor offenses while the most powerful are free to commit far more serious crimes with complete impunity. Far less injustice than this has spurred serious unrest in other societies.
The Clinton/Bush/Obama global pols simply abandoned our US first world public justice BEST ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES CALLED GAAP-----and replaced them with a third world pretend to be auditing accounting scheme.
There is more to do than simply change this accounting principle back to one that looks for fraud and corruption. Baltimore City and Maryland have totally dismantled all of the agency functions tied to checks and balances in guarding against this corruption and those agencies need to be rebuilt as well. Below you see the list of all public agencies needing to be staffed to assure an end to corporate fraud and government corruption.
CINDY WALSH FOR MAYOR OF BALTIMORE WILL SEE ALL THESE AGENCIES ARE STAFFED AND FUNCTIONING FOR CITIZENS.
We must have a functioning ETHICS COMMITTEE----COMPTROLLER----CITY LAWYERS COMMITTED TO IDENTIFYING MISCONDUCT AND CORRECTING IT-----CITY PROFESSIONAL BODIES MUST BE STAFFED WITH PEOPLE WANTING TO ENFORCE STANDARDS-----AND THE CITY MUST HAVE AGENCIES TASKED TO RECEIVE FROM THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ON FRAUD AND CORRUPTION AND FOLLOW UP WITH IT.
- THE RISE IN FRAUD AND CORRUPTION
- THE NEED FOR A CHANGE IN AUDIT EMPHASIS
- ANTICORRUPTION POLICIES
- INTERNAL AUDITORS IN GOVERNMENT
- ETHICS PROGRAMS AND HOTLINES
- PROFESSIONAL BODIES WITH STANDARDS...
- REPORTING FRAUD AND COMMUNICATING...
The article below is long but please glance through to the next articles. It shows how world organizations are trying to meet all of these corruptions around the world and yes, it was spurred by a global Wall Street and US corporations gaming these national systems as they were in the US.
No candidate in this Mayor of Baltimore race will say any of this---they simply say they will do financial audits and look at employee performance--
When candidates say they will do annual financial audits or even delay to a two or three year plan this means they are not building the internal oversight that stops the fraud and corruption before it happens. When I say I will audit MONTHLY-------I am saying I am installing an audit of internal control over financial reporting as this article says is best practice for ending fraud and corruption
'an audit of internal control over financial reporting.
This article was originally titled “Corruption and Fraud Detection by Supreme Audit Institutions” and was published as chapter 10 in Performance Accountability and Combating Corruption published by the World Bank Institute as part of the Bank's Public Sector Governance and Accountability Series.
Because the contents are equally applicable to provincial and municipal internal and external auditors it has been slightly rewritten to focus on their needs as well. This article examines the fraud and corruption issues confronting public sector auditors in Canada and around the world and offers some strategies and ideas for improving internal and external audit performance in detecting fraud and corruption. Some external auditors have already tested some of these strategies, with considerable success. For other auditors they may be new ideas that can help them contain fraud and corruption in their countries, provinces, and municipalities.
The article is written for public sector auditors, with the hope that it will generate debate at conferences and in journals to cause a change in auditing emphases by public sector auditors—sooner rather than later. It is also written for government officials and elected members of governments and councils concerned about good governance, accountability, transparency, and probity, particularly in countries where fraud and corruption are well embedded in the local culture. The ideas and strategies expressed in this article could be the subject of donor support to countries where fraud and corruption interfere with good governance.
Fraud and corruption have devastating effects, especially on the poorest citizens of developing countries. Corruption has no borders and has spread worldwide, even to countries once considered “clean.” Public sector bribery, fraud, and corruption have become leading concerns for elected officials around the globe, as the diversion of public funds undermines democratic control of the public purse. This diversion of public monies robs public policies of resources to do the good they were intended to finance.
Corruption makes no economic distinctions and infects all forms of government. No country, province, or city can afford to sustain the social, political, or economic costs corruption entails. Corruption erodes public confidence in political institutions and leads to contempt for the rule of law, it distorts the allocation of resources and undermines competition in the marketplace, and it has a devastating effect on investment, growth, and development. It also exacts a disproportionately high price on the poor by denying them access to vital basic services.
Detailed rules and norms of behavior govern the behavior of civil servants in most countries. But the process of corruption is so invisible that it leaves little documentary evidence. Despite knowledge of the fact that there is widespread corruption in government departments, public sector audit has not played any effective role to forestall it, except in a few developing countries, notably China. The cases of corruption that come to light are hardly ever taken serious note of. Partly for this reason, society has gradually become more tolerant of corruption. Responsibility is borne by small fries, with the big fish remaining untouched. This has a demoralizing effect on auditors, who believe that it is pointless to detect or report corruption in a society in which accountability is weak.
In developing countries it is common for public sector auditors to report unauthorized expenditures, waste of public funds, abuse of procedures resulting in loss to public treasury, and so forth.
'SEE WHY I SAY GLOBAL POLS ARE TAKING THE US TO THIRD WORLD STATUS'?
These institutions are well respected for their independence and even feared, curbing initiative and encouraging avoidance of decisions. However, audit staff often tend to take a clerical approach, demanding strict compliance with procedures while often missing the objective of the procedures. Minor aberrations and misuse of funds are highlighted, whereas major systemic failures resulting in large losses to the public treasury go unidentified. Audit officers and staff need training to determine what is significant enough to warrant reporting and training for government officials and staff on public procurement concepts, objectives, processes, and their rationale.
There is an increasing desire among elected officials to take the initiative in controlling bribery, fraud, and corruption. This is a difficult challenge, particularly for politicians who lack the institutional support, knowledge, and experience to achieve the conditions necessary to hold their governments to account. The audit community cannot remain indifferent to the special difficulties faced by politicians laboring within the context of corrupt, and often ruthless, regimes.
In recent years major donors have concluded that strengthening the governance capacity of weak nations is a good strategy to support improved accountability, transparency, and probity. Good governance is a strong antidote to corruption and fraud. Donors can bolster good governance by promoting acceptance of international accounting and auditing standards. Politicians and public sector auditors should unite in support of international standards for accounting and auditing. These standards, promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), are now available for the public sector as well as the private sector. The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) also provides useful audit and internal control guidance to SAIs.
Public sector fraud and corruption thrive when accountability and transparency are absent. Good financial reporting and auditing help reduce the misrepresentation that hides fraudulent operations and misleads the reader. Auditing provides the desirable assurance that audited financial statements can be trusted to represent the economic activities they are intended to portray. Auditors can make a constructive difference by auditing the financial statements of governments and government agencies and making their audit opinions available to legislatures and councils on a timely basis.
There is a gap between stakeholder expectations and audit mandates for financial auditors. Traditionally, auditors have agreed that the primary responsibility for preventing and detecting corruption rests with the administrative authorities, such as the police or anticorruption agencies. Financial auditors have not seen fraud and corruption busting as their main goal; the approach has been to prevent corruption in the field rather than detecting illegal activities. The public, however, believes that auditors seek to detect fraud and corruption.
GOOD FINANCIAL REPORTING AND AUDITING HELP REDUCE THE MISREPRESENTATION THAT HIDES FRAUDULENT OPERATIONS AND MISLEADS THE READER.
This gap needs to be addressed by the audit profession representing the public sector auditors, which should put more emphasis on detecting fraud and corruption to shrink the expectation gap. They should continue to play an active role in raising awareness of the risks of fraud and corruption and fostering good governance and standards of conduct, but they should go farther and focus more on detecting fraud and corruption. This can be done by combining controls audit procedures with financial attest audit procedures.
It is easier to prevent fraud and corruption than to detect it. Auditors have been creating and fostering a preventive environment against fraud and corruption, including strengthening financial management systems, evaluating internal control systems, and identifying and correcting weaknesses. Today there is widespread growth in white-collar crime, including both fraudulent financial reporting and misappropriation of asset schemes. Racketeering and terrorist groups often rely on money laundering schemes to finance and disguise their activities. It is time to consider shifting audit emphasis to audit techniques designed to detect fraud and corruption, as well as prevent this scourge on society. This article is not recommending that public sector auditors go so far as to usurp the role of anticorruption agencies. Within the scope of their audit work, however, they should be more vigilant and capable of detecting fraud and corruption.
When giving an audit opinion on financial statements, it is the custom of financial auditors to review internal controls affecting financial statement presentation and then ask the reader of the opinion to assume that all the internal controls are functioning appropriately if nothing specific about controls is mentioned by the auditor. And there are financial audit opinions given with no review of internal control when considerable substantive testing is done. In recent years auditors have been confronted with new technologies with which to select samples to examine as well as new rules and regulations on appropriate accounting methods. These requirements have drawn their attention away from the basics of evaluating and testing the functionality of internal controls. Moreover, because there is no requirement in financial attest audit standards to report specifically on the internal controls present, the auditor remains silent and may place less emphasis in this important audit area.
It is time for public sector auditors to consider giving an opinion on whether or not the internal controls present are appropriate and sufficient to ensure that the systems support the accuracy and fairness of the financial systems and that fraud and corruption opportunities are minimized. In the conduct of a financial attest audit, public sector auditors could now be providing:
- □an evaluation of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting against a suitable control framework;
- □evidence providing reasonable support for the evaluation of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting;
- □reports of material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting; and
- □an audit of internal control over financial reporting.
- □pertain to the maintenance of records that in reasonable detail accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the entity;
- □provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with the entity's Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles (GAAP) and that revenues and expenditures of the issuer are being made only in accordance with government rules and regulations; and
- □provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the issuer's assets that could have a material effect on the annual financial statements or interim financial statements.
Exposure to fraud and corruption can be mitigated if a government has a set of relevant anticorruption policies. Auditors should encourage adoption of anticorruption policies for government and assist in the development of antifraud programs.
Auditors can audit the implementation of the policy. Such a policy might include features such as the following:
- □All losses of money and allegations of offences, illegal acts against the government, and other improprieties must be fully investigated.
- □Suspected offenses should be reported to the responsible law enforcement agency.
- □Departments should ensure that employees are aware of and periodically reminded of their personal responsibility to report any knowledge of a contravention of government laws or its regulations, a contravention of any revenue law, or any fraud against the government.
- □Departments should take reasonable measures to protect the identity and reputations of both the people reporting offences and improprieties and the people against whom allegations are made.
- □Departments should establish and ensure that employees are aware of procedures to deal with tips about alleged losses, offenses, improprieties, and improper practices, however obtained or received and whether anonymous or otherwise.
- □Managers who fail to take appropriate action or directly or indirectly, tolerate, or condone improper activity should be personally held to account.
EXPOSURE TO FRAUD AND CORRUPTION CAN BE MITIGATED IF A GOVERNMENT HAS A SET OF RELEVANT ANTICORRUPTION POLICIES.
Auditors can test compliance with policies such as these to determine if the government has enabled an appropriate anticorruption and antifraud regime to be set up throughout government and audited by the auditors.
Internal audit is not well developed in many countries in the world; where it is part of the culture, it is often underfunded in government. Internal auditing has thus not played the important role it should in helping government managers manage better and improve systems of accountability. Seldom do public sector external auditors rely on the work of government internal auditors, whose work has rarely been sufficiently reliable and whose activities are not focused on the same areas as financial audits.
It would be very desirable to have the internal audit community in government recognized for their expertise in financial management systems and their valuable contributions to management. In Canada the government has recognized that internal audit capacity has not been well maintained. Despite some weakness, internal auditors in the Department of National Defence determined that a Can$100 million contract fraud in which services were paid for but not delivered. The internal audit work done by the internal auditors at the Department of Public Works and Government Services identifying the sponsorship scandal (described later), has educated the government on the value of good internal auditing. It will take some time before the internal audit communities in most governments receive that much recognition.
Internal Auditing in North America
In Canada a federal sponsorship scandal was revealed by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada after two internal audit reports were not acted on appropriately and issues were left unaddressed. The media got wind of the problem when one of the internal auditors became a whistleblower. The government called in the auditor general to investigate in 2002. Her first report was a scathing denunciation of abuse in which financial administration systems and rules were ignored. The explosive report used words such as “scandalous” and “appalling” to describe how the government abused the system.
The auditor general found that Can$100 million was paid to a variety of communications agencies, in the form of fees and commissions and that the program was designed to generate commissions for these companies rather than to produce any benefit for Canadians. She told the Public Accounts Committee that officials in Canada's Public Works Department and Government Services “broke just about every rule in the book” when it came to awarding contracts to a marketing agency. She found instances in which the government paid Can$550,000 for reports that did not exist.
A year later the auditor general went even farther, tracking the flow of funds and assisting the national police. Additional abuses were revealed, and the Public Accounts Committee held inconclusive hearings. The new prime minister set up a commission to investigate. The televised hearings and the report of the commission engrossed Canadian taxpayers during much of 2005. In the end, several recipients of fraudulent funds pleaded guilty, went to jail, and provided some restitution. Most Canadians believe that the auditor general's report on the scandal played a major role in toppling the government, which fell following these revelations.
Recently, the media reported a large (more than Can$100 million) procurement fraud regarding software development in the Department of Defence, in which companies were apparently paid for work not done. The fraud occurred despite repeated management letters from the auditor general pointing out weaknesses in the procurement processes.
Neither of the Canadian fraud reports arose from a financial audit. Both were originally identified by internal auditors.
In the United States, the General Accounting Office faulted a defense contractor's performance in Iraq. The contractor had been awarded more than $10 billion in contracts. The auditors found significant cost overruns, the overcharging of the Defense Department by $61 million, illegal kickbacks, failure to police subcontractors billing, and unauthorized expenses at the Kuwait Hilton Hotel. The General Accounting Office reported that the federal government's accounting practices are unreliable and may not meet widely accepted accounting standards.
Internal Auditing in Europe
Britain's National Audit Office (NAO) reported that the government's innovative individual learning account (ILA) failed because corners were cut, causing a £80 million ($200 million) training scandal. The ILA program collapsed after ministers rushed the program into place without a business plan, crafted an imperfect contract, and used insecure information technology systems, all of which contributed to fraud and abuse.
The European Union (EU) has suffered a number of highly public fraud and corruption scandals. A recent one involved funding diverted by the Palestinian Authority into the pockets of terrorists. Auditors allege that money intended for use by the Palestinian Authority for legitimate purposes was siphoned off by corrupt officials to pay the wages of 7,000 nonexistent public servants.
European Court and internal auditors reported fraud in almost all EU institutions and all of its funding programs. Recently, 230 cases were sent to court for filing false expenses, submitting claims for work not done, evading customs duties, misappropriating funds, and padding contracts to suppliers, leading to kickbacks
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING SAI ANTICORRUPTION PERFORMANCE
Public sector auditors can take many actions to improve their anticorruption and fraud performance. Many progressive auditors are already doing the following:
- □making more courses and conferences on combating fraud and corruption;
- □strengthening investigative powers;
- □establishing forensic audit units;
- □establishing fraud auditing standards;
- □encouraging more professional designation;
- □supporting Transparency International;
- □supporting and cooperating with national antifraud agencies;
- □encouraging ethics and fraud awareness training programs;
- □encouraging ministries, departments, and agencies to create fraud control plans;
- □encouraging ministries, departments, and agencies to contract out fraud control (hotlines, fraud risk assessment, fraud training, fraud control plan, and fraud investigation) if resources are unavailable in-house;
- □encouraging lawmakers to pass whistle-blower legislation to protect people who provide legitimate information to public control agencies.
Much more can be done by public sector auditors that have not amended their approaches to fraud and corruption in recent years.
'SEC Charges General Electric With Accounting Fraud GE Agrees to Pay $50 Million to Settle SEC's Charges'
Clinton/Bush/Obama dismantled all of this government oversight and accountability including these accounting principles that kept corporations and government honest under the guise of small government and VALUE-ADDED legislation that said it was too costly to fund all these fraud and corruption structures ----but those costs were nothing to the lost tens of trillions of dollars taken in fraud over just a few decades.
WE HAD TO CUT GOVERNMENT COSTS SO WE DISMANTLED ALL THE STRUCTURES OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO ALLOW CORPORATIONS TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS WITH FRAUD.
AS WELL AS---------------------------------------The focus of an audit of internal control should cover all purposes and objectives of an audit of internal control and risk management. To do so, ask and answer: (1) how the organization's processes/activities relate to its surroundings, (2) how work components are designed, performed and integrated, and (3) how internal control and risk management are preformed and maintained. A tool to answer each of these three questions is explained.
If you are no doing monthly audits in these regards----you are not catching problems as they occur. So, the fraud and corruption may operate in a window that is completely missed when audits are annual and/or over years. That is why corporations create these audit structures.
You see below how they are working these corruptions. The national media declares Eric Holder has held a corporation accountable----but here again-----this $50 million fine was only for failing to have forms or follow procedures---they never audited to find the frauds that were no doubt occurring 100 times that amount paid.
This is why they never charge these executives criminally and no admission to guilt of crime is allowed.
SEC Charges General Electric With Accounting Fraud
GE Agrees to Pay $50 Million to Settle SEC's Charges
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2009-178 Washington, D.C., Aug. 4, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed civil fraud and other charges against General Electric Company (GE), alleging that it misled investors by reporting materially false and misleading results in its financial statements.
The SEC alleges that GE used improper accounting methods to increase its reported earnings or revenues and avoid reporting negative financial results. GE has agreed to pay a $50 million penalty to settle the SEC's charges.
"GE bent the accounting rules beyond the breaking point," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "Overly aggressive accounting can distort a company's true financial condition and mislead investors."
David P. Bergers, Director of the SEC's Boston Regional Office, added, "Every accounting decision at a company should be driven by a desire to get it right, not to achieve a particular business objective. GE misapplied the accounting rules to cast its financial results in a better light."
The SEC uncovered the accounting violations in a risk-based investigation of GE's accounting practices. In a risk-based investigation, the SEC identifies a potential risk in an industry or at a particular issuer and develops an investigative plan to test whether the problem actually exists. In this case, the SEC identified the potential misuse of hedge accounting as a possible risk area. The SEC's investigation ultimately uncovered four separate accounting violations, and GE corrected the last of the violations in 2008.
The SEC's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleges that GE met or exceeded final consensus analyst earnings per share (EPS) expectations every quarter from 1995 through filing of its 2004 annual report. However, on four separate occasions in 2002 and 2003, high-level GE accounting executives or other finance personnel approved accounting that was not in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). In one instance, the improper accounting allowed GE to avoid missing analysts' final consensus EPS expectations.
The four accounting violations were:
- Beginning in January 2003, an improper application of the accounting standards to GE's commercial paper funding program to avoid unfavorable disclosures and an estimated approximately $200 million pre-tax charge to earnings.
- A 2003 failure to correct a misapplication of financial accounting standards to certain GE interest-rate swaps.
- In 2002 and 2003, reported end-of-year sales of locomotives that had not yet occurred in order to accelerate more than $370 million in revenue.
- In 2002, an improper change to GE's accounting for sales of commercial aircraft engines' spare parts that increased GE's 2002 net earnings by $585 million.
# # #
David P. Bergers
Regional Director, SEC's Boston Regional Office
'The Hurricane Sandy Oversight Unit is a first of its kind initiative that will hold government accountable in the rebuilding of New York City from Superstorm Sandy'.
Cindy Walsh for Mayor of Baltimore is not going to change the world----or our Federal government in 4 years. She is only interested in building these structures all citizens want as they shout for oversight and accountability and to end fraud and corruption. Citizens must stop listening to Republicans and Wall Street global neo-liberals telling us it is too expensive to fund these structures!
IT IS NOT TOO EXPENSIVE TO FUND AND HIRE PEOPLE TO DO THESE THINGS BECAUSE AS WE ALL KNOW NOW----WE WERE FLEECED OF TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS---THAT WOULD BE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN BALTIMORE OVER A FEW DECADES.
Below you see how a candidate claiming to be ready to audit shows all kinds of reports and you know what? They do not use our first world finding fraud and corruption accounting and auditing standards so citizens do not know if or how much was lost to fraud and corruption. Remember when 'blue-collar Joe Biden' stated HE WOULD make sure all that Federal stimulus was tracked and accounted for? Joe Biden is the top global corporate pol in Congress who would never use real accounting and auditing principles.
This starts at the local level. If we do not address this NOW---we will devolve into third world standards as is the goal of global Clinton/Obama Wall Street neo-liberals and Bush/Hopkins global Wall Street neo-conservatives.
This is where having a Baltimore Comptroller who will use real accounting and auditing principles is critical and I do not hear Mr King telling us as a candidate for Comptroller he will do this----he says audits, audits, audits---but does not detail why the current system used is bad. We know current Comptroller Pratt does not. Whoever is elected as Baltimore City Comptroller under a Cindy Walsh for Mayor and Baltimore administration had better be ready to install these policies.
The Hurricane Sandy Oversight Unit
is a first of its kind initiative that will hold government accountable in the rebuilding of New York City from Superstorm Sandy. OH, REALLY?????
The unit will review and audit Sandy spending and programs, identify areas where performance can be strengthened and fraud and waste can be prevented, and issue recommendations to improve the rebuilding process for communities.
Audits and ReportsAudit Report on the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Controls over Its Disaster-Related Costs That Could Be Reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Audit Report on the Administration of the New York City Build It Back Single Family Program By the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations
On the Frontlines: $129 Billion in Property At Risk From Flood Waters
Audit Report on the Department of Homeless Services’ Oversight of Contractors Hired to Assist Individuals and Families Displaced by Hurricane Sandy
July 16, 2014