Department of Health and Human Services:

Amounts Charged to the Department for Events Attended by the President

GAO-03-791R: Published: Jun 9, 2003. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 2003.

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GAO, answering a request from the House Committee on Ways and Means, compiled information concerning amounts charged by the White House for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) events attended by President George W. Bush and charged to any department within HHS.

GAO determined that the White House entered into agreements to charge HHS for 15 events from January 2001 to January 2003. In total, the White House charged $252,000 dollars for 8 of the 15 events. For those events, several offices within HHS were charged, including the Administration for Children and Families, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, and the Office of Public Health and Science. GAO also found that at least 9 of the events appeared to be campaign related.

Status Legend:

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  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management to establish and institute procedures to ensure that HHS obtains adequate documentation from the White House, including itemized statements that explain and support the propriety of charges made by the White House against HHS appropriations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: HHS and the White House established a memorandum of understanding whereby the White House will submit annotated copies of the Voucher and Schedule of Withdrawals and Credits (SF 1081) when billing the Department. The SF-1081 includes a section for describing related charges and attaching additional support for charges. The memorandum of understanding was finalized in August 2004.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management to issue a policy on how such documentation will be maintained and managed to ensure that it is readily available for examination.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The memorandum of understanding that HHS and the White House established to require the White House to submit SF 1081's indicates that the appropriate HHS operating division's accounting center will maintain the SF-1081s and the Office of Secretary Executive Officer will also maintain a copy.

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