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Report Slams Pay, Finance Offices

Turnover within the Office of Financial Counseling has also skyrocketed in the past couple of years, investigators say. In 2008, the turnover rate was 4.43 percent. In 2009, it jumped to 24.51 percent, and this year it reached 29.03 percent. Three of the five leaders in the office have less than one year of experience in the House.

Investigators offer about 60 recommendations in the report, many based on improved communication. But they also recommend that the CAO improve hiring and training of staff, as well as improve the timing of big changes within the agency.

Beard said his office was already working on training. But Democrats and Republicans on the House Administration Committee want to see him commit to more. Kyle Anderson, spokesman for Chairman Robert Brady (D-Pa.), emphasized in a statement that the Inspector General used “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” for its report, as it has done for more than 100 similar reviews.

“Those long standing and industry accepted standards leave little room for interpretation or error, and the Committee supports the approach the OIG took during this review,” Anderson said in an e-mail. “The Committee hopes that the CAO listens to the recommendations in this report, and continues to work to improve the service it delivers to this House community in these two areas.”

Ranking member Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) also voiced his support for the report. Beard’s response, he said in a statement, “appears to be a criticism of the IG methodology, instead of a substantive response” to the recommendations.

“We’re very confident in the thoroughness and accuracy of the IG’s work, which has greatly benefited the House,” he said.

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