WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, released the following statement in response to an independent audit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service's asset forfeiture fund (AFF):
"The release of Clifton Gunderson, LLP's independent audit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service's asset forfeiture fund is welcomed progress. Over the past several years, the Department of Commerce's Inspector General has cited concerns with the oversight and management of this fund. A lack of transparency regarding the fund's balance and questionable spending policies have raised doubts among many about whether the money was being handled as Congress intended.
"Today's audit confirms that the asset forfeiture fund's balance is $7.5 million. The audit also gives the fund a clean opinion, meaning all accounting rules have been followed appropriately, and that the financial reports are an accurate representation of the fund's financial status. While this is good news, the auditor also gives recommendations for further improvement that can and should be followed up on by NOAA officials. I look forward to discussing the independent audit's findings with NOAA, the Commerce Inspector General, and the business and fishing communities whose livelihoods rely on our nation's valuable marine resources at my field hearing Boston this week."