Outside review gives MMS royalty auditing program highest possible grade

An independent review of its royalty auditing program resulted in no significant findings, earning it the highest possible rating, the US Minerals Management Service said on Dec. 16.

An independent review of its royalty auditing program resulted in no significant findings, earning it the highest possible rating, the US Minerals Management Service said on Dec. 16.

The peer review by Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates covered the Jan. 1, 2005, to May 31, 2008 period, and examined internal controls associated with audits performed by the US Department of the Interior agency of energy industry payments to the federal government, MMS said. This was the second consecutive peer review resulting in the highest rating possible, it added.

"This review clearly shows that MMS has the process in place to ensure the nation receives fair value for its energy resources," said Randall B. Luthi, the agency's director. He noted that MMS closed 1,423 audits from fiscal 2005 through 2008, and collected $432.6 million of additional revenues for all compliance activities, including late payment interest, from fiscal 2005 through 2007.

The latest review examined quality control procedures and policies in place within the agency's Compliance and Asset Management organization, and whether those controls conformed to general accepted government auditing standards, according to MMS.

It said that Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates said in its written opinion that the quality control system for MMS's federal auditing function during the Jan. 1, 2005, to May 31, 2008 period "has been designed to meet the requirements of the quality control standards established by the [US comptroller general] for a federal government audit organization and was complied with during this period."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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