THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
The General Accounting Office Report on the White House Travel Office Operations confirms the conclusions reached by the White House Travel Office Management Review, issued by the Chief of Staff on July 2, 1993.
The GAO Report finds that "the FBI and IRS officials' actions during the period surrounding the removal of the Travel Office employees were reasonable and consistent with the agencies' normal procedures." The Report also finds "no evidence that White House staff made any contact with the IRS about the Travel Office matter." The GAO report states that the GAO believes that "some White House officials' actions in conveying to the FBI officials a sense of urgency and high level interest in the matter created an appearance of inappropriate White House pressure." As the GAO Report notes, the Management Review reached the same conclusion.
The GAO Report also confirms the May 1993 assessment of the Travel Office's financial management practices by KPMG Peat Marwick, which "found significant financial management weaknesses, including the lack of formal guidelines and procedures for procurement, poor accounting systems, inadequate documentation and billing practices, and ineffective controls over cash management." The GAO's Report states that its "review of records from the Travel Office and KPMG's workpapers, as well as discussions with KPMG and former and current White House officials, confirmed that serious financial weaknesses existed."
The GAO Report recognizes that the White House has made improvements in the financial operation of the Travel Office since May 1993. The Report also identifies certain management weaknesses that it believes still remain. The White House worked with the GAO during the course of its investigation to implement the GAO's suggestions to improve the operation of the Travel Office. The White House is in the process of addressing those remaining weaknesses identified in the Report in an effort to produce a highly professional and reliable operation in the Travel Office.