Last week, I was nigh on apoplectic to have the opportunity to present for your consideration the first part of a report discovered in the dusty archives of an audit report collector. That report had been commissioned by Benjamin Franklin to validate the existence of controls over the declaring of independence by the United States. Today, I reach new paroxysms of joy from the opportunity to present the opinion and some of the issues from that same report.
In our opinion, the controls over independence declaration are not sufficient. This opinion indicates that, while declaration was effective, risks to such declaration were not properly mitigated.
In general, all participants were committed to the project and had a good idea of its ideas and objectives. Much of the success of this project can be attributed to the work ethic of the individuals involved. However, a basic misunderstanding of controls, regulations, and basic efficiencies in operations put the overall project at risk. No fraud was found during this review.
There was no evidence of quality control in the development and final printing of the declaration. Change documentation is almost non-existent. Our review of the final document – the document circulated for public consumption – found the following issues:
· Over 75 instances of improper noun capitalization.
· Various misspellings such as “compleat”, “endeavour”, and “offences”.
· Innumerable run-on sentences that rely too strongly on commas, colons, and other punctuation devices.
· Approximately 50 uses of arcane words such as “Perfidy”, “shewn”, “consanguinity”, “sent hither”, and “unalienable”.
· Numerous indecipherable phrases such as “acquiesce in the necessity”, “the same Object evinces a design”, “we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred”, and “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.
The content of the contentions against the king of Great Britain are such that the country may be exposed to lawsuit through slander and/or libel allegations. The document contains numerous inflammatory statements with little or no support for these allegations. While a number of the delegates are lawyers, their review does not preclude the need for additional review by outside counsel to ensure potential liabilities are reduced.
Discussions with participants and delegates indicate that the country may be in violation of numerous OSHA and other work-safety related regulations. There was no provision for required breaks, overtime was not properly documented, and air conditioning was not provided to alleviate the summer heat. Individuals charged with oversight indicated that the delegates accepted these practices and continued their work on their own volition. However, this does not abdicate those responsible from completing required responsibilities as outlined in regulations. Likewise, allegations that air conditioning was unavailable do not absolve the country from finding some solution.
That is all we have time for right now. Next week, I will share the final issues as well as the corrective actions from the report.