House Republicans Demand Answers From Cardona on Student Loan Audit

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The House Education and Labor Committee is looking to question Education Secretary Miguel Cardona after an annual audit once again was unable to render an opinion of the department’s fiscal year 2023 financial statements.

The report was published in November 2023 by KPMG, an independent certified public accounting firm contracted by ED’s Office of Inspector General. KPMG reviewed the department’s financial report for fiscal year 2023, and for the second year in a row highlighted concerns with the department’s cost estimates.

“KPMG has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion because of unresolved errors KPMG identified in the underlying data used to calculate the subsidy re-estimates for the Department’s direct loan and loan guaranty programs,” KPMG wrote.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and a group of House Republicans are now demanding Cardona testify before the committee sometime during the month of February.

“[T]he Department has failed an audit two years in a row, been derelict in its duties, and continues to make up estimates it cannot defend to its auditor,” Foxx wrote to Cardona. “We are deeply disturbed by this administration’s bungling, general ineptness, and deliberate wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.”

In response to the audit, the department wrote that it will address the issues raised by KPMG.

“​​This year, the independent auditor issued a disclaimer of opinion on the Department’s FY 2023 balance sheet. The Department will develop and implement additional corrective action strategies to address the issues highlighted in the FY 2023 report,” Cardona wrote. “We remain committed to continually evaluating our programs, current business processes, and our internal controls for improvement opportunities in FY 2024 and beyond.”


Publication Date: 1/22/2024

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