WASHINGTON -- Although the Resolution Trust Corp.'s books appear to be in order, the final tab for the thrift cleanup is still in limbo because of potential management weaknesses and market uncertainties, according to a recent report by the investigative arm of Congress.

Although the General Accounting Office said the agency's past two years' worth of financial statements presented a fair picture of the RTC's balance sheet, it also said that shortcomings in the agency's internal controls could change that in the future.

"Misstatements may nevertheless occur in other financial information reported by the corporation as a result of the internal control weaknesses," the GAO said.

The GAO called on the RTC to fix several new "significant deficiencies." They were inadequate protection against tampering with computer data, failure to credit wire receipts to the correct accounts, and inadequate reconciliation of receiverships' asset balances.

The RTC has agreed to take action to correct the problems, the GAO said.

The GAO also believes Congress has coughed up enough money to finish the savings and loan cleanup and agrees with RTC estimates that it will need roughly $5 billion of the $18.3 billion Congress sent the agency in December.

"The corporation could have $13 billion of unused loss funds after resolving all institutions for which it is responsible," the GAO said. The RTC is due to shut down at the end of 1995.

However, the thrift cleanup tab could run higher, the GAO cautioned in its June 27 report.

"Because of contractor performance problems, the corporation cannot be sure that it is recovering all it should from its receiverships," the GAO concluded.

"Audits of some contractors are continuing to identify contractor performance problems, such as poor asset management and disposition practices and questionable billings, which could result in increased expenses or reduced recoveries on assets."

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