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Report of Independent Auditors

To the Office of Inspector General,
Department of Commerce, and
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States
Patent and Trademark Office

We have audited the consolidated balance sheets of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an Agency of the United States with the Department of Commerce as of September 30, 2001 and 2000, and the related consolidating statements of net cost and changes in net position and consolidated statements of budgetary resources, financing, and cash flows for the fiscal years then ended. These financial statements are the responsibility of the USPTO’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits.

We conducted our audits for the years ended September 30, 2001 and 2000 in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States; the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards , issued by the Comptroller General of the United States; and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 01-02, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements . These standards and requirements require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the USPTO as of September 30, 2001 and 2000, and its net costs, changes in net position, budgetary resources, reconciliation of net costs to budgetary obligations, and cash flows for the fiscal years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Our audits were conducted for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the financial statements referred to in the first paragraph. The information in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and the Supplemental Information is not a required part of the USPTO’s financial statements, but is considered supplementary information required by OMB Bulletins 97-01, as amended, and 01-09 as applicable, Form and Content of Agency Financial Statements . Such information has not been subjected to the auditing procedures applied in the audits of the financial statements, and accordingly, we express no opinion on it.

However, we were unable to assess the control risk relevant to USPTO’s intra-governmental transactions and balances with non-Department of Commerce trading partners, as required by OMB Bulletin 01-02, because these procedures were to be performed at the Department level. The Department of Commerce was unable to perform most of the reconciliations with its federal trading partners as required by the January 7, 2000 technical amendments to OMB Bulletin 97-01.

In accordance with Government Auditing Standards , we have also issued our reports as of and for the year ended September 30, 2001, dated December 28, 2001, on our consideration of the USPTO’s internal control over financial reporting and on our tests of its compliance with certain provisions of laws and regulations. Those reports are an integral part of an audit performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and should be read in conjunction with this report in considering the results of our audits.

Ernst & Young LLP Signature

December 28, 2001

 

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