UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REGIONALOFFICE ROOM 1903 JOHN F KENNEDY FEDERAL SUILDING GOVERNMENT CENTER BOSTON~MASSACHUSE-ATS 02203 Dear Mr. ZOlOtaS We have made an examination of the procedures and controls over the receipt and disbursement of funds of the Immlgratlon and Naturallzatlon Service, Northeast Reglonal Office, Burllng- ton, Vermont, for the settlement of accounts of accountable officers through June 30, 1969. We considered the memorandum report of audit results, dated June 7, 1967, zssued by the Associate Commissioner, Management, and the memorandum of audit of accounting actlvltles, Northeast Region, dated February 28, 1969, issued by the Deputy AssocLate Comrmss1oner, Adminlstratlve Services, Central Office We ad not evaluate the program effectiveness of the varzous opera- tlng services. We exartuned selected admrnlstratlve operations and flnanclal transactions and noted a need for improvement In a number of adrmnzstratlve procedures and Internal controls These matters were discussed with approprrate personnel and their posltlons are Included m the statement of our flndlngs Inadequate procedures and control over cash and bondmu of emDlovees The procedures and control over cash and bonding of employees at the Boston District Office were inadequate you and your staff advised us that corrective action either had or would be taken. Control over cash 1. The cash fee collections were kept ln an unlocked cash box and placed In an unlocked flllng cabinet drawer. 2. Two employees had access to each other's collections because fee collections were deposited In a cash drawer shared by them. 3. The dally cash deposit was ready for dellvery to the U.S Post Office in the morning but was not taken there untxl the close of the work day 4. The mailroom receipts which included most of the fees collected were verlfled by a supervisor near the close of the work day mstead of earlier when the counting of mall receipts was completed I 5 The clerk who prepared deposits for malllng did not acknowledge receipt of funds transferred fro& her supervisor, as required 4 Bonding of employees 1. The deposit and mall clerks handled the same amount of money but the former was bonded for $3,000 whereas the latter was bonded for only $1,000 The travel control clerk was also bonded for only $1,000 but handled considerably more funds than that during calendar year 1969 2 Two deportation offxcers handled large sums of money but were not bonded. In calendar year 1969, these offxers handled cash varying from $500 to $2,900 on 27 occasions. Inadequate control over the use of Government-owned automobiles The control over the use of Government-owned automobiles 1.n the Boston District Office was Inadequate You advised us that a review would be made of controls over all automobiles In the Northeast RegIonal Office The employee responsible for malntalnlng the automobile usage record was often on duty at locations outside the Boston District Offxe The use of each automobile was not always recorded In the record, authorrzatlons to use an automobile overnight were not in agreement with entries in the record, and the keys to automobiles were placed In an unlocked desk drawer or left In an automobile parked in the John F. Kennedy Building underground garage. Our check of five automobiles In the underground garage showed that the odometer readings of two differed from the readings shown In the Government-Owned Vehicle Record (Form G-205). TWO of the other automobiles had been driven a total of 50 miles but authorlza- tlon for this use was not shown The odometer reading for the I remaining automobile agreed wl'ch the authorization and usage records -2- f During two physical checks, we noted that automobile number 0460 was not parked In the John F Kennedy Bulldlng after duty hours and an authorlzatlon for Its overnight use f was not recorded In the offlclal usage record Afte; the automobile was returned to the garage, Dlstr:ct Office personnel were unable to detemune who had used It Adrmnlstratlve Manual 2503 12 provides that a supervisor may prepare a Form G-291, "Authorlzatlon for Official Use of Government-Owned Automobile" authorlzlng Ln advance the use of a vehicle. Although lnve&igators of the Boston District normally use an automobile In the performance of uncontrollable overtime, we noted several Instances where a Form G-291 was not prepared. For one investigator, we noted 35 Instances from March through September 1969 where uncontrollable overtlme was claimed but the Form G-291 had not been prepared We dlscussed 12 of these instances with the lnvestlgatol but he was generally unable to explain why Form G-291 was not prepared He did lndlcate that at various times, he had oral authorization for the use of the automobile After we dlscussed this matter with officials of the Boston Dlstrlct Office, a memorandum was Issued to all investigators which emphasized the need for the preparation of Form G-291 Weaknesses In record keeping and in the control over badges at the Boston Dlstrlct Office The following weaknesses in record keeping and control over badges were noted by us and were dlscussed wrth you and your staff. We were advised that corrective action either had been or would be taken. 1. In some Instances, the employees' uncontrollable overtime and leave taken shown on the employee locator record dlffered from that shown on the time and attendance report The timekeeper had not resolved these differences prior to reportrng employees' uncontrollable overtime and leave taken to the Northeast Regional Offlce -3- 2. The Form G-291, Authorlzatron for Official Use of Government-Owned Automobiles, was not prepared In duplicate as required. I s 3. The Deputy Dlstrlct DLrector had been promoted from his lnvestlgatlons posltlon but had not returned his lnvestlgator badge to the custodian of property records, as required. The Deputy Drstrlct Director also had three investigator badges In his possession which should have been returned to the property records custodian 4. The custodian's property records did not list a transferred Investigator's badge Lost purchase discount opportunltles We examined about 250 documents such as purchase orders, in- voices and contracts In voucher fzles which had been previously reviewed by the voucher examlnatlon section of the Northeast Regional Office. Data on 20 documents disclosed that purchase discount opportunltles totaling $77.67 were lost. The Admnls- tratlve Officer agreed that losses on 20 out of 250, or 8 percent, was high and In excess of the error rate shown In the last GAO renew. We were advised by the Accounting Officer and the Administra- tlve Officer that a training program for the new supervlsor of the voucher exarmnation section would be establlshed, present voucher examiners would be retralned; attempts would be made to recover some of the monies lost, and the files would be reviewed to determine If any other errors had been made. We were also advised that the discounts missed would be deducted from future billings whenever possible. Requrred time limits for submlsslon of Arrival-Departure Record to central offlce unrealistic Personnel at Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts, and Kennedy International Airport, New York, New York, did not comply with Adnunlstratlve Manual 2790.21, 22 which directs that Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, be submitted to the Central Office 45 days after the scheduled transits without visas (TRWOV) departure date lf -4- there 1s no verlflcatlon of departure This occurred because verlflcatlons of departures fre- quently were not received after 45 days had elapsed., Therefore, the requirement that Form I-94 be submitted-to the Central Office 45 days after the scheduled TRWOVdeparture date appears unreallstlc. We suggested that the 45 day requirement be studred. Both you and your staff advised that a 60 day llrmt would be more appropriate than the present 45 day llrmt b Also, at the Kennedy Internailonal Airport, safeguards were not placed over the Form I-94 Each Form I-94 represents a potential account receivable to the Government since the carrzer 1s assessed $500 If It does not provide evidence of the TRWOVdeparture Never- theless, the containers In which these forms were kept did not have a locking device and the room was left unattended and unlocked at varLous times Since the INS dlscontlnued microfilming these forms In November 1969, any mlsslng forms could mean a potential loss of $500 each Based on OUT sug&tlon, the Officer In. charge stated that he would review this matter and consider establlshlng new controls The AssIstant Officer In Charge also stated they would conszder locking the room Other administrative problems At the Northeast Regional Office, the following adrmnistratlve matters required corrective action. 1. Travel vouchers were prepared more frequently than necessary. For example, six travel voucher claims for one employee were indlvldually processed in a two-month period To reduce the administrative workload, employees should submit travel voucher claims once a month instead of each time expenses are Incurred 2. An overpayment of $5 08 for quarters allowance was noted. 3 Serial numbers for seven office equipment items were not posted on the reverse side of the Form G-503, Equipment-In-Use Record, as required by Admlnrstratrve Manual 2424.08 -5- 4. A June 30, 1969, quarterly tape for account numbers 201-Land, 205-Buxldlngs, and ?15-Structures and Facllitles, was not prepared and a reconclllatlon was not made of these accounts as required by Adrunlstratlve vanual 2424 11 and 2989 04 l 5, A Regxter of Capltallzed Property Transactions, Form G-508, was not prepared monthly for account numbers 201, 205, and 215 as requrred by Admlnxtratlve Manual 2424.11. c After dxcusslon of these matters , you and your staff advised that corrective action had been or would be taken A separate letter is being sent to the Commissioner, Immlgra- tion and Naturalization Service on the following matters. (1) com- pensable time and recording of uncontrollable overtime, (2) use of Government-owned automobiles between investigators' residences and the office, (3) fraudulent vouchers prepared by an indlvldual, (4) full day's salary paid when it appeared that less than a full day was worked, and (5) the use of automatrc vehicle and pedestrian counting devices at land ports of entry In accordance w1t.h the General Accounting Office Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies (8 GAO 31, the records of flnanclal transactlons through June 30, 1969, may be transmitted to the Federal Records Center for storage In compliance with your records management program Copies of this report are being forwarded to the Assistant Attorney General for AdmLnxstration and the Commissioner, Immigra- tion and Naturallzatlon Service for their lnformatlon We wish to acknowledge the courtesies and cooperation given to our representatives during the review Your comments as to the final actions taken on the matters and suggestions included In this report will be appreciated Sincerely yours, o-=@ /4&b 4 Joseph Eder Regional Manager Mr Socrates Zolotas 0 Regional Commissioner Immigration and Naturalization Service Federal Building Burlington, Vermont
Accounts of Accountable Officers, Northwest Regional Office, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Burlington, Vermont
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-02-24.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)