Does the Federal Reserve ever get audited?
Yes, the Board of Governors, the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, and the Federal Reserve System as a whole are all subject to several levels of audit and review:
- The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducts numerous reviews of Federal Reserve activities. As of the end of 2016, more than 125 audits have been conducted since the financial crisis.
- The Board's financial statements, and its compliance with laws and regulations affecting those statements, are audited annually by an outside auditor retained by the independent Office of Inspector General (OIG). The results of this independent audit are released to the Congress and the public.
- The Board's OIG conducts independent audits, evaluations, and criminal investigations relating to the programs and operations of the Board, as well as those Board functions delegated to the Reserve Banks. Completed OIG reports are publicly available as well as a dynamic Work Plan that lists all of the OIG's ongoing and planned audit and evaluation work. In addition, completed and active GAO reviews and completed OIG audits, reviews, and assessments are listed in the Board's Annual Report.
- The financial statements of the Reserve Banks are also audited annually by an independent outside auditor.
- Each week, the Federal Reserve publishes its balance sheet and charts of recent balance sheet trends, as well as provides an interactive guide to the Fed's balance sheet. The balance sheet is included in the Federal Reserve's H.4.1 statistical release, "Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions and Condition Statement of Federal Reserve Banks."
In addition, the Reserve Banks are subject to annual examination by the Board. The Board's financial statements and the combined financial statements for the Reserve Banks are published in the Board's Annual Report.
See our audit page for more information on all of the above audits and more information on the accounting, financial reporting, and internal controls of the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Banks.