Clean Audit

Posted March 28, 2008 at 5:46pm

The Architect of the Capitol has received a clean audit opinion of its financial statements from Kearney & Co., an Alexandra, Va.-based public accountant and consultant group.

[IMGCAP(1)]The audit, which was conducted in January but made public last week, found that the AOC accurately presented its financial position over fiscal 2006 and 2007, including its net cost of operations, changes in net position and budgetary resources.

“Over the past several years we have continued to improve our cost accounting procedures and internal controls,” AOC spokeswoman Eva Malecki said. “As a result of our efforts, we are pleased to have received our fifth consecutive clean audit opinion on our financial statements.”

In its report, Kearney & Co. did recommend that the agency make several

improvements to its internal controls. Among those recommendations: developing a component in the control structure to monitor and identify changing risks; assigning formal authority for oversight and monitoring of the agency’s disbursement process; and studying ways to improve its internal security programs.

Take Me Back. Long ago, before the new Nationals stadium and the famous RFK, Washington had Griffith Stadium.

Built in 1911, the stadium was home to the Washington Senators and drew a crowd to Georgia Avenue and W Street Northwest for 50 years.

Now visitors to a new Library of Congress Web page can see pictures from the stadium’s heyday, along with newspaper accounts and official game guides from throughout baseball’s history.

The launch of the site came just days before the March 30 opening of Nationals Park, a $611 million effort in Southeast Washington.

The site, loc.gov/topics/baseball, has images of more than 2,000 baseball cards, features on baseball’s origins and pictures of historic moments. Visitors also can learn about the creation of baseball’s favorite song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

It’s all part of the Library’s ongoing efforts to digitize its more popular collections and draw more visitors to its Web site. In January, the agency put thousands of photos on Flickr, and last month its blog was a finalist in the SXSW Web Awards.

Enterprising Information. The Government Printing Office is hoping to set out a plan for its future in the digital age.

Earlier this month, the agency began the bidding process for the creation of “enterprise architecture” to help set the parameters for the GPO’s information technology system.

The contractor’s job will be to set the “basic blueprint” for the system, a spokesman said. It will help guide the agency in building an IT system that meets its needs.

The agency has set an initial annual maximum price tag of $650,000.

Jointly Diverse. Members from both the House and Senate will look into the diversity of the top spots in the federal work force Thursday.

A joint hearing of the House and Senate oversight committees will focus on efforts to increase diversity among the government’s Senior Executive Service. Witnesses from several diversity offices, the Government Accountability Office and employee organizations will testify.

It’s a topic often brought up in the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia. In November, Chairman Danny Davis (D-Ill.) conducted a review of the diversity of the top ranks in legislative branch agencies — and was disappointed with the results.

Tear it Up. While Members were away this March recess, the Architect of the Capitol got busy.

Taking advantage of the quiet halls, the AOC installed audio visual system upgrades in the Foreign Affairs Committee hearing room — the most recent to get the treatment. The office has been working to update all committee rooms with the technology, while also taking care of any other needed upgrades.

Foreign Affairs, in the Rayburn Building, also got new carpet, a paint job and a refinished dais.

Campus Changes. With the opening of the Capitol Visitor Center slated for November, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday will study how the new space will affect life on Capitol Hill.

The Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management will host the hearing, titled “A Growing Capitol Complex and Visitor Center: Needs for Transportation, Security, Greening, Energy, and Maintenance.”

A number of Capitol Hill officials are expected to testify, including acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, who is officially charged with overseeing the CVC project.

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