In response to a request from the House of Representatives Appropriations Sub-Committee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, we conducted this audit to (1) assess OPIC’s overall practices and controls to ensure compliance with fiscal year 2018 annual appropriations, and (2) determine whether OPIC complied with select appropriations requirements.
While OPIC had some practices and tools in place, the agency’s approach to appropriations compliance lacked the level of documentation and formality needed to effectively ensure compliance with requirements. For example, OPIC did not have a formal written policy describing assigned roles and responsibilities, procedural steps, and timelines to guide appropriations compliance efforts, and there were gaps in OPIC’s annual appropriations review process. Weaknesses in OPIC’s internal controls led to noncompliance with six of the seven requirements we tested. Instances of noncompliance included the absence of a required clause in project documents, late and incomplete submissions of required reports, failing to publically post certain information on its website, and not tracking or responding to a congressional notification requirement. Some of these issues arose from a pattern of disregard for requirements OPIC officials felt were either duplicative in nature or did not, in their judgment, specifically apply to the agency’s operations.
We made three recommendations to strengthen OPIC’s internal controls for complying with appropriations requirements and better position OPIC and its successor agency to ensure compliance with other applicable legislative requirements.