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Financial Details | Report of Independent Auditors

U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General letterhead Letter dated November 15, 2005

Honorable Margaret Spellings
Secretary of Education
Washington, D.C. 20202

Dear Madam Secretary:

The enclosed reports present the results of the annual audits of the U.S. Department of Education’s financial statements for fiscal years 2005 and 2004, to comply with the Government Management Reform Act of 1994 (GMRA). The reports should be read in conjunction with the Department's financial statements and notes to fully understand the context of the information contained therein.

We contracted with the independent certified public accounting firm of Ernst & Young, LLP (Ernst & Young) to audit the financial statements of the Department as of September 30,2005 and 2004, and for the years then ended. The contract required that the audit be performed in accordance with U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards; OMB’s bulletin, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements; and the GAOPCIE Financial Audit Manual.

In connection with the contract, we monitored the performance of the audits, reviewed Ernst & Young’s reports and related documentation, and inquired of its representatives. Our review was not intended to enable us to express, and we do not express, an opinion on the Department’s financial statements, or conclusions about the effectiveness of internal control, whether the; Department’s financial management systems substantially complied with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996, or on compliance with laws and regulations.

Ernst & Young is responsible for the attached auditor’s report and the conclusions expressed in the related reports on internal control and compliance with laws and regulations. Our review disclosed no instances where Ernst & Young did not comply, in all material respects, with U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards.

John Higgins, Jr Signature and Office of Inspector General address and mission statement