Abstract: Effective internal controls to protect government information technology (IT) investments are essential as annual deficits exceed $700 billion dollars, government shutdowns, and sequestrations are threatened. The purpose of this qualitative historical single-case study was to explore, analyze, and describe feedback collected by the United States Government Accountability Office as IT governance and control requirements were rationalized. Prior to publishing an updated Standard for Internal Control in the Federal Government, the federal register requested participants respond to a series of questions directed toward the 2013 Draft Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government. Four major themes emerged from within the 43 correspondents: (a) challenges exist with financial constraints and control documentation requirements, (b) the central oversight body must ensure that federal, state, county, departments, and agencies have shared understanding and objectives, (c) federal regulatory reform includes requirements identifying internal controls for both the Federal Government 2014 General Accountability Offices Standards and the 2013 Committee of Sponsoring Organization Standards, and (d) the implications of adapting a Standards for Internal Control publication to align with the Federal Government rather than adopting the publication. An efficient and effective approach to identify, integrate, and balance regulatory guidelines, stakeholders\' concerns, and technical requirements for government leadership, contractors, and non-federal entity recommendations is proposed for assessment and development. This technique could provide government leadership a method to assess factors affecting or influencing proposed and/or existing regulatory control. Additionally, a conceptual historical narrative construct and a crosswalk between COSO and Federal Standards for Internal Control are included.
Keywords: Activity theory,Coso,Green book,Historical case study,Internal controls, Qualitative