GAO Reports on CAS Board

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 00:00 Nick Sanders

It doesn’t say much. Or at least it doesn’t say much to people who are following CAS Board activities by (say) following a blog. Still, if you are out of the loop and want to learn more about what the CAS Board has been up to, then it may prove somewhat interesting.

We’re talking about GAO Report GAO-20-266, published in February. The Report was published because Congress directed GAO to evaluate how well the CAS Board has been doing at the Congressional direction to “conform CAS with GAAP.” It’s a 27 page-long report, but it doesn’t really say much unless you know nothing about CAS or the CAS Board—in which case, it might be helpful.

Examples of sections that likely add little to your knowledge include:

And even that second bullet is problematic, because GAO saw fit to throw in the Section 809 Panel’s activities. It even saw fit to throw a bit of a dig at the Section 809 Panel, stating that the Panel “largely reiterated the recommendations in the 1999 GAO-led panel report.” Okay.

Finally on page 12 we get to the meat of the matter. GAO reported that “The CAS Board generally has complied or is in the process of complying with the administrative and reporting requirements prescribed by Section 820 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, including initial efforts to assess the extent to which CAS can be conformed with GAAP.”

GAO could have stopped right there, but of course that’s not how government auditors do things. They added this bit: “The Board’s initial efforts focus on the extent to which two of the 19 standards might be modified or eliminated; however, Board members indicated that these efforts may take several more years to complete.”

In other words, don’t hold your breath.

The only other interesting bit was a statement that “OMB recently submitted a legislative proposal to raise the [CAS] threshold from $2 million to $15 million.” We didn’t know that, but now we do!

Otherwise, nothing of substance was communicated from GAO to Congress. GAO fulfilled its role and submitted the required report; nothing in the statute required that report to be meaningful.