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United States Access Board Performance and Accountability Report
Independent Auditor's Report and Financial Statements
for Fiscal Years Ended September 30, 2016 and 2015
Prepared By Brown & Company CPAs, PLLC
November 12, 2016


November 1, 2016

I am pleased to present the Access Board's Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2016. This report provides key information on the Access Board's progress in meeting its missions and managing its financial responsibilities. This agency has a proud history of serving the public through its programs devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.

Fiscal Year 2016 was a year of continuing success. The Access Board continues to develop accessibility requirements, provide technical assistance and trainiirg, and enforces access requirements for the Federal government. We will continue to strive for excellence to fuIfilI our responsibilities to provide accessibility for people with disabilities.

David Capozzi signature




David M. Capozzi
Executive Director



The Board was established in 1973 under section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act and is the only federal agency whose primary mission is accessibility for people with disabilities. The Board is responsible for developing guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Architectural Barriers Act, and the Communications Act for ensuring that buildings and facilities, transportation vehicles, and telecommunications equipment covered by these laws are readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. The Board is also responsible for developing standards under the Rehabilitation Act for accessible electronic and information technology procured by federal agencies and standards for accessible medical diagnostic equipment.

Under the Help America Vote Act, the Board serves on the Board of Advisors and the Technical Guidelines Development Committee, which assist the Election Assistance Commission in developing voluntary guidelines for voting systems, including accessibility for people with disabilities. In addition, under the 2012 Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, the Board developed best practices on access to information on prescription rug container labels for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

The Board enforces the Architectural Barriers Act and provides training and technical assistance on each of its guidelines and standards, and on a variety of other accessibility issues. Additionally, the Board maintains a research program that develops technical assistance materials and provides information needed for rulemaking.

The Board’s programs will result in accessible buildings and facilities, transportation vehicles, medical diagnostic equipment, telecommunications equipment, and information and communications technology across our country and, ultimately, the full economic and social integration of people with disabilities into our society. Achieving these results will depend not only on the Board’s activities, but also on the level of commitment and action taken by other federal agencies, State and local governments, and businesses that are required to comply with or enforce the various laws that guarantee the civil rights of people with disabilities.

The Access Board’s strategic plan includes a vision statement (advancing full access and inclusion for all) and a mission statement (lead the development, advancement, and implementation of accessibility through outreach, rulemaking (standards and guidelines) and education). The plan includes three goals:

  • innovate, develop, and maintain accessibility requirements
  • educate about accessibility
  • enforce compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act

The Board has established long and short-range goals and annual objectives that describe the strategies it will implement to achieve the goals. In developing objectives and strategies for achieving its goals, the Board seeks to work together with its stakeholders toward common objectives. The Board’s plan is simple: establish guidelines and standards that are fair, reasonable, and derived from broad consensus among stakeholders; where the Board has enforcement responsibilities over federal agencies, assist those agencies to achieve full compliance; and involve its stakeholders in developing and disseminating materials and manuals that will help them understand and comply with our guidelines and standards.


The Board will continue to develop and update accessibility guidelines and standards and work cooperatively with organizations that develop codes and standards affecting accessibility. We have the following two objectives for this program area:

  • Complete pending rulemakings: Transportation Vehicles; Passenger Vessels; Public Rights-of-Way and Shared Use Paths; Medical Diagnostic Equipment; Information and Communication Technology; and Self-Service Transaction Machines.
  • Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the rulemaking process to ensure “state-of-the-art” accessibility guidelines and standards.

FY 2016 Results – Rulemaking

The status of current guidelines and standards efforts is presented below.

Transportation Vehicles Guidelines Update (buses)

In November 2008, the Board released for public comment a second draft of revisions updating its accessibility guidelines for buses and vans covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The second draft was issued because the format had been significantly changed, provisions for over-the-road buses were added, and changes were made in response to comments on a first draft that was published in April 2007. In 2009, we contracted with the Volpe National
Transportation Systems Center to assist the Board in finalizing the regulatory assessment for this rulemaking. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to revise and update the accessibility guidelines for buses, over-the-road buses, and vans was published in July 2010. Two public hearings were held during the comment period that closed in November 2010.

One important issue was raised after the close of the comment period. As a result, the Board reopened the comment period for additional public input related to the late comments. The commenters raised issues about the 1:6 ramp slope requirements and a new design that locates the shallower ramp partially inside the vehicle. This design constrains the maneuvering space within the vehicle at the top of the ramp and at the fare box and creates a grade break within the
ramp run. During the extended comment period which ended in October 2102, the Board held two information meetings to gather input on these issues.

We have moved forward with a final rule for the sections that have been vetted through public comment. The final rule was approved by the Board in May 2016 and was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. We received OMB comments and are working to address them. We expect to issue the final rule later this year.

Transportation Vehicles Guidelines Update (rail)

In 2010 we issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise and update our accessibility guidelines for buses, over-the-road buses, and vans. The NPRM noted that we would revise and update our accessibility guidelines for transportation vehicles that operate on fixed guideway systems (e.g., rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, high speed, and intercity rail) at a future date. To begin the process of revising and updating our accessibility guidelines for transportation vehicles that operate on fixed guideway systems, we established a 23-member Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee in May 2013 to make recommendations for revisions and updates to the guidelines. The committee met for two years and provided its final report to the Board in July 2015.

Passenger Vessels

On June 25, 2013, the Board released for public comment proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. Developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the guidelines provide design criteria for large vessels when newly constructed or altered to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines address various features of vessel accessibility and include provisions for onboard routes, vertical access between decks, doorways and coamings, toilet rooms, guest rooms, alarm systems, and other spaces and elements used by passengers. The Board’s guidelines apply to passenger vessels that are permitted to carry more than 150 passengers or more than 49 overnight passengers, all ferries, and certain tenders that carry 60 or more passengers. We received 66 comments, including 10 comments received during a public hearing held in July 2013. An ad hoc committee of Board members and staff are working to develop a final rule.

Public Rights-of-Way and Shared Use Paths

In 2009, we contracted with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to assist the Board in finalizing a regulatory assessment for the public rights-of-way rulemaking. An NPRM was published for public comment in July 2011.

When the Board approved draft final accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas, coverage of shared use paths was deferred to a future rulemaking. Commenters on the outdoor developed areas rule had previously raised concerns about the need for differing guidelines for shared use paths. Commenters noted that shared use paths differ from trails and typically are located in more developed outdoor areas, as opposed to the more primitive trail settings.

Unlike trails, they are designed to serve both bicyclists and pedestrians and are used for transportation and recreation purposes.

In September 2010, the Board held a public information meeting in conjunction with the ProWalk/ProBike 2010 Conference. This meeting provided an opportunity for individuals with disabilities, designers of shared use paths, and others with expertise in this area to share information with the Board to assist in the development of new accessibility guidelines. The Board then published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for shared use paths in March
2011. In February 2013, we published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to include requirements for shared use paths as part of the public rights-of-way rule. The Board approved the text of the final rule in July 2015; a subsequent vote will take place to approve the entire rulemaking package, including the preamble to the final rule and final regulatory assessment.

Medical Diagnostic Equipment

We are developing accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment, including examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological equipment, and mammography equipment. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Board to issue these standards in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration. The standards are to address independent access to, and use of, equipment by people with disabilities to the maximum extent possible.

In July 2010, we held a public information meeting on this rulemaking to gather information from stakeholders, including consumers, equipment manufacturers, the health care industry, government agencies, and others with an interest in the new standards.

A proposed rule was published in February 2012 and two public hearings were held. The commnt period closed in June 2012 and 53 comments were received. In March 2012, we created a 24-member Medical Diagnostic Equipment Accessibility Standards federal advisory committee to advise the Board on matters associated with the comments we received and information requested in the proposed standards. The committee met for 16 months and issued its final
report and recommendations in January 2014. The Board approved the final rule on September 14, 2016. It is currently under review by OMB.

Information and Communication Technology Update

In July 2006, the Board created an advisory committee to update and revise the Section 508 standards and the Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines. Forty-one organizations served on the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee. The committee’s membership included representatives from industry, disability groups, standard-setting bodies in the U.S. and abroad, and government agencies, among others. The committee completed its work and presented its report to the Board in April 2008. In March 2010, we published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to update our Information and Communication Technology guidelines and standards based on the committee’s report. A second ANPRM was published in December 2011. Then a notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register in February 2015. Three public hearings and a webinar on the proposed rule were held during the comment period. We received comments from 141 unique commenters. The Board approved the final rule on September 14, 2016. It is currently under review by OMB.

Self-Service Transaction Machines

The Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Transportation (DOT) have related rulemakings on selfservice transaction machines. As a result, we have worked collaboratively with them to develop a single set of technical requirements that can be referenced and scoped by each participating agency. In November 2013 DOT published its rule on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Accessibility of Web Sites and Automated Kiosks at U.S. Airports. The DOT requirements for automated kiosks at U.S. airports are derived from the technical requirements we helped develop and are consistent with our requirements for automatic teller machines and fare machines, as well as the current requirements of section 508 for selfcontained, closed products. In 2010, DOJ published an ANPRM on Equipment and Furniture
that would cover kiosks, interactive transaction machines, and point-of-sale devices, among other things. Our rulemaking will follow the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) final rule after it is completed, capitalizing on what we learn from the rule for ICT with closed functionality. Our intent is to maintain consistency between updated technical requirements for ICT subject to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act or Section 255 of the Communications Act
and self-service transaction machines – a form of ICT with closed functionality subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

FY 2016 Results – Codes and Standards

Adoption of Board Guidelines as Enforceable Standards

In order for the Board’s accessibility guidelines to become enforceable, other federal agencies must generally complete rulemaking to adopt the guidelines as standards. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service use the Board’s guidelines to develop enforceable standards under the Architectural Barriers Act. The Departments of Justice and Transportation use the Board’s guidelines to develop enforceable standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The U.S. Postal Service, General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Departments of Justice and Transportation have adopted the Board’s guidelines as standards. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has not acted yet to adopt the Board’s guidelines.

Voluntary Consensus Standards

Our long-range goal is to take a leadership role in the development of codes and standards for accessibility. The Board works with model codes organizations and voluntary consensus standards groups that develop and periodically revise codes and standards affecting accessibility. We have voting membership in several codes and standards organizations, and monitor or are actively involved in the development or revision of dozens of other codes and standards affecting
accessibility. Some of the codes and standards groups that we work with include the ICC/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117 Committee; American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A18 Platform Lift and Stairway Chair Lift Committee; National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Disability Access Review Advisory Committee; National
Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS); World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee on Playground Surfacing Systems.

We believe this goal enhances the Board’s credibility as a knowledgeable source of information regarding technical aspects of accessibility. Additionally, by working cooperatively with model codes organizations and standards-setting organizations, federal and private codes and standards will be more similar, or harmonized, and the Board will be more alert to non-federal influences affecting its constituencies. Harmonization between federal and private requirements will make it more likely that buildings and facilities will be accessible, thus reducing the necessity for complaints and litigation.

Two Access Board members serve as members of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee and the Board of Advisors, which provide recommendations to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) under the Help America Vote Act. We are also a member of the Interagency Committee on Standards Policy, which is the body that is responsible for overseeing the use of standards by federal agencies in accordance with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act.


The Board provides technical assistance to a wide variety of people regarding the accessibility guidelines and standards it issues. Our customers include architects, builders, designers, manufacturers, people with disabilities, State and local governments, and federal agencies. The Board’s technical assistance program has four components:

Responding to customer inquiries. We respond to about 13,000 customer inquiries each year. We have toll-free telephone lines for customers to call with questions. Customers also e-mail and occasionally fax us questions. Many literally are sitting at a drawing table or computer with a design problem. They want accurate, reliable, and timely advice. Our customers value being able to discuss their questions directly with our accessibility specialists who developed the guidelines and standards.

Developing and disseminating manuals and other publications. We maintain numerous publications on accessibility issues. These range from manuals on the Board’s guidelines and standards to an online guide to the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards.

Providing training. We conduct numerous training sessions each year. Training usually is provided at conferences and seminars sponsored by other organizations; it also includes a series of webinars. Training sponsors generally reimburse us for travel expenses.

Maintaining the Board’s website. Our website ( has become a very effective way to distribute information to the public. Customers can download our publications and view our accessibility guidelines and standards from our website. We have the following two objectives in this program area:

  • Broaden education and outreach efforts.
  • Use new technologies to deliver training and guidance.

The Board’s long-range goal is to be known as the leading source of information about accessibility and to disseminate information to our customers in effective ways. As we develop guidelines for new areas such as passenger vessels and public rights-of-ways, there will be increased demands for technical assistance from existing and new customer groups. The Board has informal partnerships with organizations such as the National Association of ADA Coordinators and the ten Regional ADA National Network Centers to disseminate information about the Board’s programs. Many of the Board’s guidelines, standards, and publications are available through these organizations’ on-line networks. The Board also provides training for these organizations. As we develop new guidelines and standards, there will be opportunities to
use existing partnerships and establish new partnerships with customer groups to disseminate information about the Board’s rulemaking.

FY 2016 Results

In June 2016, we released a new installment of our online guide to accessibility standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Architectural Barriers Act. The new material, which covers Chapter 5 of the standards, features an animation and technical bulletins on accessible parking and passenger loading zones. It also includes a technical bulletin on stairways. This guidance clarifies and illustrates provisions in the standards, answers frequently asked questions, and offers best practice recommendations. Sections of the guide released earlier cover the first four chapters of the standards, including application and scoping, building blocks, and accessible routes. They also include animations on wheelchair maneuvering, entrances and doors, toilet and bathing facilities, and protruding objects.

Future installments to the guides will be published as they become available. Users can sign-up on our website to receive email updates on the release of new technical guides in the series. We continue to offer our very successful monthly webinar series through a partnership with the National Network of ADA Centers. Sessions are conducted on a monthly basis for built environment issues and on a bi-monthly basis for information and communication technology issues (in conjunction with the Chief Information Officers Council Accessibility Community of Practice) with most webinars scheduled for 90 minutes. Sessions also provide an opportunity to earn continuing education credits (CEUs) for a fee, but general attendance is free. In FY 2016, we conducted 17 webinars that were attended by approximately 7,040 people. We responded to 12,374 customer inquiries and conducted 47 training sessions that were
attended by approximately 4,836 people.

We have used our website to provide copies of the Board’s guidelines and standards and answers to frequently asked questions so that more customers can get the information they need. The usage of our website continues to grow. There were approximately 839,800 unique visitors and 82.8 million hits. We also distributed six issues of Access Currents, a free newsletter we issue every other month by e-mail.


The Board enforces the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which requires that most buildings designed, constructed, altered, or leased by the federal government and certain other federally financed facilities be accessible to people with disabilities. Complaints received by the Board concern post offices, national parks, military facilities, veterans hospitals, courthouses, and a variety of other facilities. When we have jurisdiction and find that the applicable accessibility standards were not followed, we request a corrective action plan and monitor the case until the barrier is removed. Even when the Board does not have jurisdiction or no violation is found, we attempt to negotiate voluntary barrier removal.

We have the following three objectives in this program area:

  • Expand partnerships with federal agencies, state and local governments, advocacy
    groups, and others.
  • Increase ABA compliance.
  • Develop strategies for better compliance using ABA compliance performance

In addition to enforcement, we work with federal agencies and others to ensure compliance with the Architectural Barriers Act and make the federal government a model of accessibility. Our experience with resolving complaints is that most violations are not intentional. When violations are found, it is usually because the people responsible for designing buildings, reviewing plans, and on-site construction did not have a good understanding of the accessibility standards and how to apply them. People responsible for building planning and design at headquarters, regional and field offices, and local sites must have a working knowledge of the accessibility standards if compliance is to be achieved. As federal agencies are reorganized and personnel assignments and responsibilities change, it is important that agencies have effective systems for training new people responsible for applying the accessibility standards and for monitoring compliance with the ABA. Training has become even more important now that new accessibility standards for the ABA are being implemented by the standard-setting agencies.

FY 2016 Results - ABA Compliance

At the beginning of FY 2016, there were 88 ABA complaints pending before the Board. During FY 2016, the Board received 133 new complaints, and closed 168 complaints. These included complaints investigated under the ABA, and also those concerning facilities not covered by that law but potentially covered by other laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Of the 168 complaints closed during FY 2016, 57 were closed following our investigations and the completion of corrective actions by the relevant agencies. Although we did not have authority in the other 96 complaints, we responded to the complainants, usually by referring them to the appropriate enforcement agency. In addition, we referred another 15 complainants to other agencies for action when our investigations revealed there was no violation of the ABA, there was a waiver, or we did not have jurisdiction.

We respond quickly to all new complaints. Most complainants now file their complaints with us on-line; they receive immediate notice that their complaint has been received, together with a complaint tracking number for their future reference. It is our practice to keep complainants informed on a regular basis throughout the course of our investigations. We periodically contact complainants to provide updates on the status of their complaints. We find that these contacts can be helpful in obtaining additional information about actions being taken that may not have been provided by respondent agencies. Upon completing investigations, we always give complainants an opportunity to comment on determinations we have made and actions that have been taken before closing complaints.

FY 2016 Results - Working in Partnership with Agencies

We use an online complaint tracking system that can accept complaint information directly from complainants through submission via a web-based complaint form, and accept other data from Board staff (such as status updates, corrections and additions to complaint information).


The Access Board operates in a stable environment, and can confidently predict that it will operate and succeed in the future as it has in the past. We anticipate slow growth in our appropriated budget with ample time to anticipate any changes. The Board constantly monitors its environment, notes changes, and updates its rulemaking plan on a periodic basis. It is cognizant of the fact that technology changes rapidly and is in the process of revising and updating some of its accessibility guidelines and standards to reflect this recognition.

In its rulemaking activities, the Board has always tried to work closely and amicably with its stakeholders. It has paid special attention to those companies in industries where the Board is developing new accessibility requirements where none existed before. For example, we work closely with the technology sector in developing standards for information and communication technology. We strongly believe that we will achieve better access for people with disabilities if we work with an industry, involve them in our rulemaking, and get their “buy-in” to the accessibility guidelines at the earliest possible moment.

Management Assurances

The Access Board’s management is responsible for establishing and maintaining effective internal control and financial management systems that meet the objective of the Federal Manager's Financial Integrity Act. The Board conducted its assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of internal control and ensures compliance with applicable laws and regulations in accordance with OMB Circular A-123, Management's Responsibility for Internal Control. Based on the results of this evaluation, we can provide reasonable assurance that our internal control over the effectiveness and efficiency of operations and compliance with applicable laws and regulations as of September 30, 2016, was operating effectively and no material weaknesses were found in the design or operation of the internal controls.

The Board conducted its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, which includes safeguarding of assets and compliance with applicable laws and regulations, in accordance with the requirements of Appendix A of OMB Circular A-123. Based on the results of this evaluation, the Board can provide reasonable assurance that its internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2016, was operating effectively and no material weaknesses were found in the design or operation of the internal controls over financial reporting.

Limitations of the Financial Statements

The principal financial statements for the Board have been prepared to report the financial position and results of our operations pursuant to the requirements of 31 U.S.C.3515 (b). While the statements have been prepared from the books and records of the Board in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for federal entities and the formats prescribed by OMB, the statements are in addition to the financial reports used to monitor and control budgetary resources, which are prepared from the same books and records.

The statements should be read with the realization that they are for a component of the U.S. government, a sovereign entity.



BROWN & COMPANY CPAs, PLLCCertified Pulbic Accountants and Management Consultants


Prepared By
Brown & Company CPAs, PLLC
November 12, 2016

U.S. Access Board Washington, D.C.

Report on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of the U.S. Access Board (AB) as of September 30, 2016 and 2015, and the related statements of net cost, changes in net position, and budgetary resources, for the years then ended (collectively referred to as the financial statements), and the related notes to the financial statements.

Management's Responsibility for the Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; this includes the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Auditor's Responsibility

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with U.S. generally accepted government auditing standards and the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States; and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin No. 15-02,Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements. Those standards and OMB Bulletin No. 15-02, require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatements.

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor's judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. Inmaking those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity's preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity's internal control. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit includes test of compliance with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements that have a direct effect on the determination of material amounts and disclosure in the fmancial statements. The purpose was not to provide an opinion on compliance with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts and grant agreements and, therefore, we do not express such opinion. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

Inour opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of AB as of September 30, 2016 and 2015, and its net costs, changes in net position, and budgetary resources, for the years then ended, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

Other Matters

Required Supplementary Information

U.S. generally accepted accounting principles require that the information in the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and Required Supplementary Information (RSI) sections be presented to supplement the basic financial statements. Such information, although not a part of the basic financial statements, is required by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, who considers it to be an essential part of financial reporting for placing the basic financial statements in an appropriate operational, economic, or historical context. We have applied certain limited procedures to the required supplementary information in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America, which consisted of inquiries of management about the methods of preparing the information and comparing the information for consistency with management's responses to our inquiries, the basic financial statements, and other knowledge we obtained during our audit of the basic financial statements. We do not express an opinion or provide any assurance on the information because the limited procedures do not provide us with sufficient evidence to express an opinion or provide any assurance.

Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

In planning and performing our audit of the financial statements, we considered AB's internal control over financial reporting (internal control) to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the financial statements, but not for the purpose of providing an opinion on internal control. Accordingly, we do not express such an opinion.

A deficiency in internal control exists when the design or operation of a control does not allow management or employees, in the normal course of perfonning their assigned functions, to prevent, or detect and correct, misstatements on a timely basis. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies in internal control, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity's financial statements will not be prevented, or detected and corrected on a timely basis. A significant deficiency is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.

Our consideration of the internal control was for the limited purpose described in the first paragraph of this section and was not designed to identify all deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that might be deficiencies, significant deficiencies or material weaknesses. During the audit of the financial statements, no deficiencies in internal control were identified that were considered to be a material weakness. However, material weaknesses may exist that have not been identified.

Report on Compliance and Other Matters

As part of obtaining reasonable assurance about whether AB's financial statements are free from material misstatement, we performed tests of its compliance with certain provisions of laws, regulations, contracts and grant agreements, noncompliance with which could have a direct and material effect on the determination of financial statement amounts. The objective was not to provide an opinion on compliance
with those provisions of laws, regulations, contracts and grant agreements, and accordingly, we do not express such an opinion.

The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards or OMB Bulletin No. 15-02.

Management's Responsibility for Internal Control and Compliance

AB' s management is responsible for (I) evaluating effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting based on criteria established under the Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA), (2) providing a statement of assurance on the overall effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, and (3) ensuring compliance with other applicable laws and regulations.

Auditor's Responsibilities

We are responsible for (1) obtaining a sufficient understanding of internal control over financial reporting to plan the audit, (2) testing compliance with certain provisions of laws and regulations that have a direct and material effect on the financial statements and applicable laws for which OMB Bulletin No. 15-02 requires testing, and (3) applying certain limited procedures with respect to the MD&A and other RSI.

We did not evaluate all internal controls relevant to operating objectives as broadly established by the FMFIA, such as those controls relevant to preparing statistical reports and ensuring efficient operations. We limited our internal control testing to testing internal control over financial reporting. Because of inherent limitations in internal control, misstatements due to error or fraud, losses, or noncompliance may nevertheless occur and not be detected. We also caution that projecting our audit results to future periods is subject to risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the degree of compliance with controls may deteriorate. In addition, we caution that our internal control testing may not be sufficient for other purposes.

We did not test compliance with all laws and regulations applicable to AB. We limited our tests of compliance to certain provisions of laws and regulations that have a direct and material effect on the financial statements and those required by OMB Bulletin No. 15-02 that we deemed applicable to AB's financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. We caution that noncompliance with laws and regulations may occur and not be detected by these tests and that such testing may not be sufficient for other purposes.

Purpose of the Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting and the Report on Compliance and Other Matters

The purpose of the Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting and the Report on Compliance and Other Matters sections of this report is solely to describe the scope of our testing of internal control and compliance and the result of that testing, and not to provide an opinion on the effectiveness of AB's internal control or on compliance. These reports are an integral part of an audit performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards in considering AB's internal control and compliance. Accordingly, these reports are not suitable for any other purpose.

This report is intended solely for the information and use of the management of AB, OMB, and U.S. Congress, and is not intended to be, and should not be, used by anyone other than these specified parties.


Brown & Company (signed)

Largo, Maryland
November 12, 2016



  2016 2015




Fund Balance With Treasury (Note 2)  $1,887,696 $2,138,717
Accounts Receivable (Note 3) 227,870 15,639

Total Intragovernmental 



Accounts Receivable, Net (Note 3)



Property, Equipment, and Software, Net (Note 4)

242,010 294,812

Total Assets







Accounts Payable $216,970 $853
Other (Note 6)  41,828  36,375

Total Intragovernmental 



Accounts Payable



Other (Note 6)  443,328  432,925

Total Liabilities (Note 5)



Net Position:  


Unexpended Appropriations - Other Funds



Cumulative Results of Operations - Other Funds  (69,111) (20,930)

Total Net Position



Total Liabilities and Net Position



The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.


  2016 2015

Program Costs: 


Gross Costs



Less: Earned Revenue



Net Program Costs



Net Cost of Operations (Note 8)



The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.


  2016 2015

Cumulative Results of Operations:  



Beginning Balances



Budgetary Financing Sources:   8,238,506 7,307,216
Appropriations Used    
Imputed Financing Sources (Note 9)  192,000 190,662
Total Financing Sources  8,430,506 7,497,878
Net Cost of Operations  (8,478,687) (7,562,551)

Net Change



Cumulative Results of Operations



Unexpended Appropriations:


Beginning Balances    



Budgetary Financing Sources:


Appropriations Received

 8,023,000 7,548,000
Other Adjustments  (37,853) (93,209)
Appropriations Used  (8,238,506) (7,307,216)

Total Budgetary Financing Sources



Total Unexpended Appropriations



Net Position



The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.


  2016 2015

Budgetary Resources: 


Unobligated Balance Brought Forward, October 1



Recoveries of Prior Year Unpaid Obligations  185,492 211,522
Other changes in unobligated balance  (37,337) (93,752)
Unobligated balance from prior year budget authority, net  637,147 455,156
Appropriations  8,023,000 7,548,000
Spending authority from offsetting collections  22,575 29,281

Total Budgetary Resources



Status of Budgetary Resources:


New obligations and upward adjustments (total)(Note 11)



Unobligated balance, end o fyear:

Apportioned, unexpired account (Note 2)  75,604 65,289
Expired unobligated balance, end of year  608,065 423,703

Unobligated balance, end of year (total)



Total Budgetary Resources



Change in Obligated Balance 

Unpaid Obligations:    
Unpaid Obligations, Brought Forward, October 1   1,664,725 1,619,164
New obligations and upward adjustments  7,999,053 7,543,444
Outlays (gross)  (8,263,557) (7,286,362)
Recoveries of Prior Year Unpaid Obligations  (185,492) (211,522)
Unpaid Obligations, End of Year (Gross)  1,214,730 1,664,725
Uncollected payments:    
Uncollected Customer Payments, Federal Sources, Brought Forward, October 1  (15,000) (6,626)
Adjustment to Uncollected Customer Payments, Federal Sources, Start of Year  (10,703) (6,626)
Change in Uncollected Payments, Federal Sources  4,297 (8,374)
Uncollected Customer Payments, Federal Sources, End of Year  (10,703) (15,000)
Memorandum entries:    

Obligated Balance, Start of Year



Obligated Balance, End of Year (Note 2)  1,204,027 1,649,725
Budget Authority and Outlays, Net:    
Budget authority, gross  8,045,575 7,577,281
Actual offsetting collections  (27,388) (23,364)
Change in Uncollected Ppayments, Federal Sources  4,297 (8,374)
Recoveries of prior year paid obligations  516 2,457

Budget Authority, net (total)



Outlays, gross 



Actual offsetting collections



Agency outlays, net



The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.



A. Reporting Entity

The Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards.

Created in 1973 under section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board now is a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.

Access Board’s reporting entity is comprised of General Funds and General Miscellaneous Receipts. General Funds are accounts used to record financial transactions arising under congressional appropriations or other authorizations to spend general revenues.

General Fund miscellaneous receipts are accounts established for receipts of non- recurring activity, such as fines, penalties, fees and other miscellaneous receipts for services and benefits.

Access Board has rights and ownership of all assets reported in these financial statements, and does not possess any non-entity assets.

B. Basis of Presentation

The financial statements have been prepared to report the financial position and results of operations of Access Board. The Balance Sheet presents the financial position of the agency. The Statement of Net Cost presents the agency’s operating results; the Statement of Changes in Net Position displays the changes in the agency’s equity accounts. The Statement of Budgetary Resources presents the sources, status, and uses of the agency’s resources and follow the rules for the Budget of the United States Government.

The statements are a requirement of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 and the Government Management Reform Act of 1994. They have been prepared from, and are fully supported by, the books and records of Access Board in accordance with the hierarchy of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, standards issued by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements, as amended, and Access Board accounting policies which are summarized in this note. These statements, with the exception of the Statement of Budgetary Resources, are different from financial management reports, which are also prepared pursuant to OMB directives that are used to monitor and control Access Board’s use of budgetary resources. The financial statements and associated notes are presented on a comparative basis. Unless specified otherwise, all amounts are presented in dollars.

C. Basis of Accounting

Transactions are recorded on both an accrual accounting basis and a budgetary basis. Under the accrual method, revenues are recognized when earned, and expenses are recognized when a liability is incurred, without regard to receipt or payment of cash. Budgetary accounting facilitates compliance with legal requirements on the use of federal funds.

D. Fund Balance with Treasury

Fund Balance with Treasury is the aggregate amount of Access Board’s funds with Treasury in expenditure, receipt, and deposit fund accounts. Appropriated funds recorded in expenditure accounts are available to pay current liabilities and finance authorized purchases. Access Board does not maintain bank accounts of its own, has no disbursing authority, and does not maintain cash held outside of Treasury. Treasury disburses funds for the agency on demand.

E. Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable consists of amounts owed to Access Board by other Federal agencies, State and local governments, private organizations, and the general public. Amounts due from Federal agencies are considered fully collectible. Accounts receivable from the public include reimbursements from employees. An allowance for uncollectible accounts receivable from the public is established when, based upon a review of outstanding accounts and the failure of all collection efforts, management determines that collection is unlikely to occur considering the debtor’s ability to pay. Under 29 USC 792 (g)(1)(B), the Access Board is authorized to seek reimbursement for expenses related to accessibility training it provides to other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and other organizations.

F. Property, Equipment, and Software

Property, equipment and software represent furniture, fixtures, equipment, and information technology hardware and software which are recorded at original acquisition cost and are depreciated or amortized using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives. Major alterations and renovations are capitalized, while maintenance and repair costs are expensed as incurred. Access Board’s capitalization threshold is $50,000 for individual purchases and $500,000 for bulk purchases. Property, equipment, and software acquisitions that do not meet the capitalization criteria are expensed upon receipt. Applicable standard governmental guidelines regulate the disposal and convertibility of agency property, equipment, and software. The useful life classifications for capitalized assets are as follows:

Description                      Useful Life (years)

Leasehold Improvements            9
Office Furniture                         5
Computer Equipment                 3
Office Equipment                       5
Software                                   5

G. Advances and Prepaid Charges

Advance payments are generally prohibited by law. There are some exceptions, such as reimbursable agreements, subscriptions and payments to contractors and employees. Payments made in advance of the receipt of goods and services are recorded as advances or prepaid charges at the time of prepayment and recognized as expenses when the related goods and services are received.

H. Liabilities

Liabilities represent the amount of funds likely to be paid by Access Board as a result of transactions or events that have already occurred.

Access Board reports its liabilities under two categories, Intragovernmental and With the Public. Intragovernmental liabilities represent funds owed to another government agency. Liabilities with the Public represents funds owed to any entity or person that is not a federal agency, including private sector firms and federal employees. Each of these categories may include liabilities that are covered by budgetary resources and liabilities not covered by budgetary resources.

Liabilities covered by budgetary resources are liabilities funded by a current appropriation or other funding source. These consist of accounts payable and accrued payroll and benefits. Accounts payable represent amounts owed to another entity for goods ordered and received and for services rendered except for employees. Accrued payroll and benefits represent payroll costs earned by employees during the fiscal year which are not paid until the next fiscal year.

Liabilities not covered by budgetary resources are liabilities that are not funded by any current appropriation or other funding source. These liabilities consist of accrued annual leave, and actuarial FECA (Federal Employees Compensation Act).

I. Annual, Sick, and Other Leave

Annual leave is accrued as it is earned, and the accrual is reduced as leave is taken. The balance in the accrued leave account is adjusted to reflect current pay rates. Liabilities associated with other types of vested leave, including compensatory, restored leave, and sick leave in certain circumstances, are accrued at year-end, based on latest pay rates and unused hours of leave. Funding will be obtained from future financing sources to the extent that current or prior year appropriations are not available to fund annual and other types of vested leave earned but not taken. Nonvested leave is expensed when used. Any liability for sick leave that is accrued but not taken by a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)-covered employee is transferred to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) upon the retirement of that individual. Credit is given for sick leave balances in the computation of annuities upon the retirement of Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)-covered employees effective at 100%.

J. Accrued and Actuarial Workers’ Compensation

The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) addresses all claims brought by the Access Board employees for on-the-job injuries. The DOL bills each agency annually as its claims are paid, but payment of these bills is deferred for two years to allow for funding through the budget process. Similarly, employees that Access Board terminates without cause may receive unemployment compensation benefits under the unemployment insurance program also administered by the DOL, which bills each agency quarterly for paid claims. Future appropriations will be used for the reimbursement to DOL. The liability consists of (1) the net present value of estimated future payments calculated by the DOL and (2) the unreimbursed cost paid by DOL for compensation to recipients under the FECA.

K. Retirement Plans

Access Board employees participate in either the CSRS or the FERS. The employees who participate in CSRS are beneficiaries of Access Board matching contribution, equal to seven percent of pay, distributed to their annuity account in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

Prior to December 31, 1983, all employees were covered under the CSRS program. From January 1, 1984 through December 31, 1986, employees had the option of remaining under CSRS or joining FERS and Social Security. Employees hired as of January 1, 1987 are automatically covered by the FERS program. Both CSRS and FERS employees may participate in the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). FERS employees receive an automatic agency contribution equal to one percent of pay and Access Board matches any employee contribution up to an additional four percent of pay. For FERS participants, Access Board also contributes the employer’s matching share of Social Security.

FERS employees and certain CSRS reinstatement employees are eligible to participate in the Social Security program after retirement. In these instances, Access Board
remits the employer’s share of the required contribution.

Access Board recognizes the imputed cost of pension and other retirement benefits during the employees’ active years of service. OPM actuaries determine pension cost factors by calculating the value of pension benefits expected to be paid in the future and communicate these factors to Access Board for current period expense reporting. OPM also provides information regarding the full cost of health and life insurance benefits. Access Board recognized the offsetting revenue as imputed financing sources to the extent these expenses will be paid by OPM.

Access Board does not report on its financial statements information pertaining to the retirement plans covering its employees. Reporting amounts such as plan assets, accumulated plan benefits, and related unfunded liabilities, if any, is the responsibility of the OPM, as the administrator.

L. Other Post-Employment Benefits

Access Board employees eligible to participate in the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) and the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program(FEGLIP) may continue to participate in these programs after their retirement. The OPM has provided the Access Board with certain cost factors that estimate the true cost of providing the post- retirement benefit to current employees. Access Board recognizes a current cost for these and Other Retirement Benefits (ORB) at the time the employee's services are rendered. The ORB expense is financed by OPM, and offset by the Access Board through the recognition of an imputed financing source.

M. Use of Estimates

The preparation of the accompanying financial statements in accordance with generally
accepted accounting principles requires management to make certain estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses.
Actual results could differ from those estimates.

N. Imputed Costs/Financing Sources

Federal Government entities often receive goods and services from other Federal Government entities without reimbursing the providing entity for all the related costs. In addition, Federal Government entities also incur costs that are paid in total or in part by other entities. An imputed financing source is recognized by the receiving entity for costs that are paid by other entities. Access Board recognized imputed costs and financing sources in fiscal years 2016 and 2015 to the extent directed by accounting standards.

O. Reclassification

Certain fiscal year 2015 balances have been reclassified, retitled, or combined with other financial statement line items for consistency with the current year presentation.




Fund balance with Treasury account balances as of September 30, 2016 and 2015 were as follows:

  2016 2015

Fund Balances:


Appropriated Funds






Status of Fund Balance with Treasury:    



Unobligated Balance

  Available 75,604 65,289
  Unavailable 608,065 423,703
Obligated Balance Not Yet Disbursed 1,204,027 1,649,725




No discrepancies exist between the Fund Balance reflected on the Balance Sheet and the balances in the Treasury accounts.

The available unobligated fund balances represent the current-period amount available for obligation or commitment. At the start of the next fiscal year, this amount will become part of the unavailable balance as described in the following paragraph.

The unavailable unobligated fund balances represent the amount of appropriations for which the period of availability for obligation has expired. These balances are available for upward adjustments of obligations incurred only during the period for which the appropriation was available for obligation or for paying claims attributable to the appropriations.

The obligated balance not yet disbursed includes accounts payable, accrued expenses, and undelivered orders that have reduced unexpended appropriations but have not yet decreased the fund balance on hand.



  2016 2015




Accounts Receivable



Total Intragovernmental Accounts Receivable 227,870 15,639
With the Public    
Accounts Receivable 10,703 14
Total Public Accounts Receivable 10,703 14

Total Accounts Receivable



Historical experience has indicated that the majority of the receivables are collectible. There are no material uncollectible accounts as of September 30, 2016 and 2015.



Schedule of Leasehold Improvement as of September 30, 2016

Major Class Acquisition Cost Accumulated Depreciation Net Book Value








Schedule of Leasehold Improvement as of September 30, 2015

Major Class Acquisition Cost Accumulated Depreciation Net Book Value











The liabilities on Access Board’s Balance Sheet as of September 30, 2016 and 2015, include liabilities not covered by budgetary resources. Congressional action is needed before budgetary resources can be provided. Although future appropriations to fund these liabilities are likely and anticipated, it is not certain that appropriations will be enacted to fund these liabilities.

  2016 2015

Intragovernmental – FECA



Unfunded Leave 305,283 318,982
Total Liabilities Not Covered by Budgetary Resources 311,120 324,819

Total Liabilities Covered by Budgetary Resources



Total Liabilities



The FECA liability represents the unfunded liability for actual workers compensation claims paid on Access Board’s behalf and payable to DOL. Access Board also records an actuarial liability for future workers compensation claims based on the liability to benefits paid (LBP) ratio provided by DOL and multiplied by the average of benefits paid over three years.

Unfunded leave represents a liability for earned leave and is reduced when leave is taken. The balance in the accrued annual leave account is reviewed quarterly and adjusted as needed to accurately reflect the liability at current pay rates and leave balances. Accrued annual leave is paid from future funding sources and, accordingly, is reflected as a liability not covered by budgetary resources. Sick and other leave is expensed as taken.



Other liabilities account balances as of September 30, 2016 were as follows:

  Current Non Current Total





  FECA Liability




  Payroll Taxes Payable




Total Intragovernmental Other Liabilities




With the Public

  Payroll Taxes Payable 8,985 -- 8,985
  Accrued Funded Payroll and Leave 129,060 -- 129,060
  Unfunded Leave 305,283 -- 305,283
Total Public Other Liabilities 443,328 -- 443,328

Other liabilities account balances as of September 30, 2015 were as follows:

  Current Non Current Total



  FECA Liability




  Payroll Taxes Payable




Total Intragovernmental Other Liabilities




With the Public

  Payroll Taxes Payable 4.433 -- 4,433
  Accrued Funded Payroll and Leave 109,509 -- 109,509
  Unfunded Leave 318,983 -- 318,983
Total Public Other Liabilities 432,925 -- 432,925




Operating Leases

Access Board occupies office space under two lease agreements that are accounted for as an operating lease. The lease for Suite 800 F Street NW, Washington, DC started on September 1, 2010 and expires June 30, 2018. The lease for Suite 1000 F Street NW, Washington, DC started on July 1, 2008 and expires June 30, 2018. Lease payments are increased annually based on the adjustments for operating costs and real estate escalations. A schedule of future payments is as follows:

Fiscal Year Totals
2017 716,208
2018 521,712

Total Future Payments




Intragovernmental costs and revenue represent exchange transactions between Access Board and other federal government entities, and are in contrast to those with non-federal entities (the public). Such costs and revenue are summarized as follows:

  2016 2015

Program Costs  



  Intragovernmental Costs



  Public Costs 4,678,311 5,112,975

Total Program Costs 



  Public Earned Revenue



Total Net Cost





Access Board recognizes as imputed financing the amount of accrued pension and post-retirement benefit expenses for current employees. The assets and liabilities associated with such benefits are the responsibility of the administering agency, the Office of Personnel Management. For the years ending September 30, 2016 and 2015, imputed financing were as follows:

  2016 2015

Office of Personnel Management



Total Imputed Financing Sources





The President’s Budget that will include fiscal year 2016 actual budgetary execution information has not yet been published. The President’s Budget is scheduled for publication in February 2017 and can be found at the OMB Web site: The 2017 Budget of the United States Government, with the "Actual" column completed for 2015, has been reconciled to the Statement of Budgetary Resources and there were no material differences.



Obligations incurred and reported in the Statement of Budgetary Resources in 2016 and 2015 consisted of the following:

  2016 2015

Direct Obligations, Category A 



Reimbursable Obligations, Category A



Total Obligations Incurred



Category A apportionments distribute budgetary resources by fiscal quarters.



For the years ended September 30, 2016 and 2015, undelivered orders amounted to $1,026,246 and $1,482,707 respectively.



Access Board has reconciled its budgetary obligations and non-budgetary resources available to its net cost of operations.

  2016 2015

Resources Used to Finance Activities        



Budgetary Resources Obligated

  Obligations Incurred $7,999,053 $7,543,445
  Spending Authority from Offsetting Collections and Recoveries (208,583) (243,260)

Obligations Net of Offsetting Collections and Recoveries



Other Resources

  Imputed Financing from Costs Absorbed by Others 192,000 190,662

  Net Other Resources Used to Finance Activities



Total Resources Used to Finance Activities



Resources Used to Finance Items Not Part of the Net Cost of Operations



Total Resources Used to Finance the Net Cost of Operations



Components of the Net Cost of Operations That Will Not Require or Generate Resources in the Current Period



Net Cost of Operations