Friday, February 04, 2011

When will someone be indicted?

If a company’s financial reporting were so bad that its auditor had pointed out significant weaknesses in its accounting for seven years running, the Securities and Exchange Commission would most likely be all over it.

But what if the company were the S.E.C. itself?

Since the commission began producing audited statements in 2004, the Government Accountability Office has faulted its reporting almost every year. Last November, the G.A.O. said that the commission’s books were in such disarray that it had failed at some of the agency’s most fundamental tasks: accurately tracking income from fines, filing fees and the return of ill-gotten profits.

“A reasonable possibility exists that a material misstatement of S.E.C.’s financial statements would not be prevented, or detected and corrected on a timely basis,” the auditor concluded.

Once again, if this were a private company, someone would be catching a little hell. When it's the government............ they call it business as usual.


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