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Independent Auditor's Report

Image of Auditors Logo: the letters K P M G over 4 black rectangles.

 

 


2001 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

 

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Commerce and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an Agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, as of September 30, 2004 and 2003, and the related consolidated statements of net cost, changes in net position, financing, and cash flows, and the combined statement of budgetary resources for the years then ended. The objective of our audits was to express an opinion on the fair presentation of these financial statements. In connection with our audits, we also considered the USPTO's internal control over financial reporting and tested the USPTO's compliance with certain provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements that could have a direct and material effect on its financial statements.

Summary

As stated in our opinion on the financial statements, we concluded that the USPTO's financial statements as of and for the years ended September 30, 2004 and 2003, are presented fairly, in all material respects, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Our consideration of internal control over financial reporting would not necessarily disclose all matters in the internal control over financial reporting that might be material weaknesses under standards issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. However, we noted no matters involving the internal control and its operation that we considered to be material weaknesses.

The results of our tests of compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, and contracts disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards , issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin No. 01-02, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements .

The following sections discuss our opinion on the USPTO's financial statements; our consideration of the USPTO's internal control over financial reporting: our tests of the USPTO's compliance with certain provisions of applicable laws, regulations, and contracts; and management's and our responsibilities.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of the USPTO, as of September 30, 2004 and 2003, and the related consolidated statements of net cost, changes in net position, financing, and cash flows, and the combined statement of budgetary resources for the years then ended.

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, 2004 and 2003, and its net costs, changes in net position, budgetary resources, reconciliation of net costs to budgetary obligations, and cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

The information in the Management Discussion and Analysis and Required Supplementary Information sections is not a required part of the financial statements, but is supplementary information required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America or OMB Bulletin No. 01-09, Form and Content of Agency Financial Statements . We have applied certain limited procedures, which consisted principally of inquiries of management regarding the methods of measurement and presentation of this information. However, we did not audit this information and, accordingly, we express no opinion on it.

Our audit was conducted for the purpose of forming an opinion on the financial statements taken as a whole. The Management and Performance Challenges Identified by the Inspector General and Other Accompanying Information included on pages 105 through 146 are an integral part of the USPTO's Fiscal Year 2004 Performance and Accountability Report . However, this information is not a required part of the financial statements and is presented for purposes of additional analysis. This 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.

Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Our consideration of internal control over financial reporting would not necessarily disclose all matters in the internal control over financial reporting that might be reportable conditions. Under standards issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, reportable conditions are matters coming to our attention relating to significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the internal control over financial reporting that, in our judgment, could adversely affect the USPTO's ability to record, process, summarize, and report financial data consistent with the assertions by management in the financial statements.

Material weaknesses are reportable conditions in which the design or operation of one or more of the internal control components does not reduce to a relatively low level the risk that misstatements, in amounts that would be material in relation to the financial statements being audited, may occur and not be detected within a timely period by employees in the normal course of performing their assigned functions. We noted no matters involving the internal control and its operation that we considered to be material weaknesses as defined above.

* * * * *

However, we noted other matters involving internal control over financial reporting and its operation that we have reported to the management of the USPTO in two separate letters, addressing information technology and other matters, respectively.

Compliance and Other Matters

Our tests of compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, and contracts, as described in the Responsibilities section of this report, exclusive of those referred to in the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA), disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards or OMB Bulletin No. 01-02.

The results of our tests of FFMIA disclosed no instances in which the USPTO's financial management systems did not substantially comply with the three requirements discussed in the Responsibilities section of this report.

Responsibilities

Management's Responsibilities. The Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (GMRA) requires each Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agency to report annually to Congress on its financial status and any other information needed to fairly present its financial position and results of operations. To meet the GMRA reporting requirements, the USPTO prepares annual financial statements.

Management is responsible for the financial statements, including:

  • Preparing the financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America;
  • Establishing and maintaining internal controls over financial reporting, and preparing the Management Discussion and Analysis (including the performance measures) and Required Supplementary Information; and
  • Complying with laws, regulations, and contracts including FFMIA.

In fulfilling this responsibility, estimates and judgments by management are required to assess the expected benefits and related costs of internal control policies. Because of inherent limitations in internal control, misstatements due to error or fraud may nevertheless occur and not be detected.

Auditors' Responsibilities. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the fiscal year 2004 and 2003 financial statements of the USPTO based on our audits. We conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America, the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards , and OMB Bulletin No. 01-02. Those standards and OMB Bulletin No. 01-02 require that we plan and perform the audit 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;
  • Assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management; and
  • Evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.

We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In planning and performing our fiscal year 2004 audit, we considered the USPTO's internal control over financial reporting by obtaining an understanding of the USPTO's internal control, determining whether internal controls had been placed in operation, assessing control risk, and performing tests of controls in order to determine our auditing procedures for the purpose of expressing our opinion on the financial statements. We limited our internal control testing to those controls necessary to achieve the objectives described in Government Auditing Standards and OMB Bulletin No. 01-02. We did not test all internal controls relevant to operating objectives as broadly defined by the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act of 1982 . The objective of our audit was not to provide assurance on internal control over financial reporting. Consequently, we do not provide an opinion thereon.

As further required by OMB Bulletin No. 01-02, with respect to internal control related to performance measures determined by management to be key and reported in the Management Discussion and Analysis section, we obtained an understanding of the design of significant internal controls relating to the existence and completeness assertions. Our procedures were not designed to provide assurance on internal control over performance measures and, accordingly, we do not provide an opinion thereon.

As part of obtaining reasonable assurance about whether the USPTO's fiscal year 2004 financial statements are free of material misstatement, we performed tests of the USPTO's compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, and contracts, and noncompliance with which could have a direct and material effect on the determination of financial statement amounts, and certain provisions of other laws, regulations, and contracts, specified in OMB Bulletin No. 01-02, including certain provisions referred to in FFMIA. We limited our tests of compliance to the provisions described in the preceding sentence, and we did not test compliance with all laws, regulations, and contracts applicable to the USPTO. Providing an opinion on compliance with laws, regulations, and contracts was not an objective of our audit and, accordingly, we do not express such an opinion.

Under OMB Bulletin No 01-02 and FFMIA, we are required to report whether the USPTO's financial management systems substantially comply with (1) federal financial management systems requirements, (2) applicable federal accounting standards, and (3) the United States Government Standard General Ledger at the transaction level. To meet this requirement we performed tests of compliance with FFMIA Section 803(a) requirements.

Distribution

This report is intended for the information and use of USPTO's management, U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of the Inspector General, OMB, the Government Accountability Office, and the U.S. Congress, and is not intended to be and should not be used by anyone other than these specified parties.

Signature of K P M G L L P

November 2, 2004


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