Review of Accounts of Accountable Officers, Food and Drug Administration, Region VI, Dallas, TX

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-06-14.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

          Mr. Lmis C. Weiss
          Regional Director                                 IllllllllIlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
          Food and Drug Administration
          393% Bryan street
          Dallas, Texas 75204
  I   r
          #Ykxw Mr. Weiss:
                 We have made a review for the scXL~:i~:~nt of accounts of '
          accountable officers    of the Food and Drug Administration,  Dallas
          District   Office, Dallas, Texas, through June 30, 1970. The
          review was made pursuant to the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921
          (31 II. S. C. 53), and the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950
          (31 u. s. c. 67).
                The review, completed in May 1971, was directed primarily                             t
          to an evaluation of current administrative     procedures and internal
          controls related to disbursements and unpaid obligations.        We
          performed such tests of financial   transactions    as we considered
          appropriate.    We examined a total of 204 disbursement vouchers of                 I
          w?Gch 77 were for travel expenses. In making our review, we
          considered reports and workpapers prepared by the staff of the                 --       -
          Regional Audit Director,   Department of Health, Education, and
          Welfare, Dallas Regional Office, on their audit of administrative
          operations for the period ended December 5, 1969. Our review did
          not include program ape~atione and paymll activities      I
                 We noted minor discrepancies in our review of unpaid obliga-
          tions and a District     Financial Report that were satisfactorily
          explained.     We also noted a number of deficiencies     in the process-
          ing of vouchers for payment resulting       in weakened internal controls
          and indicating     to us a need for a review to strengthen the examining
          process.    While the deficiencies    we noted had not resulted in
          significant    dollar losses, failure to correct the procedures which
          allowed the deficiencies      could, in our opinion,, result in unnecessary
          loss?s in the future,                      .
                           ,,          ,,       ,,,,,,,,,        ,,,, ,,,,,

      Our dctailcd    examination of I.24 disburscmcnt   vouchers paid
in Juno 1970 and 3 disbursement      vouchers paid subsequent to June
30, 1970, for other than trawl       ~~p~n~es., disclosed a total of
50 deficiencies     on 40 or 31 percent of the vouchers.      A summary
of the deficiencies     by type and number is shown below:

     TYPE                                                                          NUMBER

     No purchase     order        or other     type of agreement.                    3

     Available     trade        discount     not taken.                              1

     Cash discount not taken although                        payment
     was made in discount period.                            .                       1

     Transportation paid- when purchase                        order      terms
     were F. 0. B, Destination.                                                       5     .

     Purchase order provision  relating                        to shipping
     point altered without explanation,                                              ‘2

     Payments in excess of purchase                     order      price.            ‘2

     Same item on different             purchase orders billed
     and paid at different             prices without explanation.                    3

     Quantity    received and paid             for          exceeded ordered
     quantity    and not explained.                                                  1

     Invoices paid did not contain                    sufficient
     detail to permit verification                    of billed           amount
     to purchase order prices,                                                       2

     Invoice did not identify      person placing the
     order although identification       was required by
     purchase order terms D                                                         21

      No documentation  to permit              verification               of
   -invoiced   amount,-                                                               3

     Invoice amount paid in excess of total                             of
     supporting sales tickets 0                                                       1

     Purchases from GSA.self - service stores not
   : identified  so as to permit correct object
     class coding.                                                                    3
     TYPE                                                           MUi%XR

     Purchase orders       issued   with    mathematical
     errors a                                                            2

                                                        Total          50

       We discussed these dcficiencics    with responsible  District
Office pcxsonnel and were advised that while it was the District's
practice   to examine,aU    vouchers prior to payment, procurement
and accounting personnel would be instructed       to be more careful  in
tkc preparation    of purchase orders and the processing    of payments
to preclude such deficiencies.
       Our d&ailed review of the 77 travel  vouchers paid fox travel
pcrformcd in April and May 1970, disclosed a total of 31 discrepancies
on 16 or 21 percent of the vouchers,    A summary of the deficiencies  by
type and number is shown below:

     TYPE                                                           NUMBER

     Use of privately   owned auto without                                   ,I,,,,,”   ,,.,I.”   ,,,, I,

     documented authorization.                                           8
                                                                -   - _ ._
     Vicinity   travel and supporting           speedometer
     readings   not shown on vouchers.                                   4

     Flileage from residence to temporary duty
     station\and   return to residence is less than
     round trip mileage from residence to official
     duty station.                                                       1

     Mileage claimed exceeded mileage             supported
     by speedometer readings.                                            1

     Incorrect    travel    authorization       cited      on
     travel    vouchers,                                                 6

     Rental car used without         documented
     authorization.                                                      1

     Employees in travel status not claming per
     diem although $25 a day authorized  on travel
     authorization,                                                      2

      Per diem for    same period       on two vouchers.                 2

                                                   ,, ,,,, ,,,,, ,,,   ,,_,, ,,,   ,,


                 Vouchers for two travel     periods               showed
                 employee to be at different'plaocs                   on the same

                 Per diem claimed      while     in leave          status.

                 Official  duty performed         while on annual
                 leave with no reduction          in Icave.

                 Apparent   overpayment        of per diem,

                 Payment of maximum per diem when lodging
                 costs may not have been incurred.

                 We obtained satisfactory     explanations   for or accepted dctermina-
          t-ions made by the Dallas District       Office as to the adequacy of
          additional    information   obtained from individual    travelers  on the
           above deficiencies.

                 We discussed the above deficiencies     with you and members of
          your staff,      We believe that your initial   actions to revise and
          strengthen    the voucher examinin, 0 and processing   functions     should
          result in improved procedures which will reduce future deficiencies.              -
          Ne believe    that special emphasis should be placed on the need for
           every voucher to be checked against source and supporting           doeumenta-
          tion for accuracy and for compliance with applicable          regulations
          and procedures.

                  In addition, we discussed the matter of travel  of Dallas
          District    Office employees with employees of another agency.    You
          agreed to review the circumstances     and determine whether the
          arrangement was in the best interests     of the Dallas District  Office.

                 In accordance with the General Accounting Office Policy and
           Procedures Manna1 for Guidance of Federal Agencies (8 GAO 13), the
          records of financial    transactions  throfigh June 30, 1970, may be
          transferred    to the Federal Records Center for storage in accordance
          with your agencyrs records management program,
             I .
                 We wish to acknowledge the courtesies    and cooperation extended
          to our representatives     during the review.   Your comments on action.
          taken or planned on the above matters will be appreciated,

/   ___---- -..--------                                   4
         Copies of this      report   are being    sent to t-he following   Department
of   Iiealth,   Education,     and Welfln-e   offi.cials:

       .Assistant  Secretary,   Comp-Lrollcr
        Director,  Audit Agency
        Commissioner,    Food and Drug Administration
        Assistant  Conzissioner   for Picld Coordination,            Food and
           Drug Administration

                                              Sincerely     yours,

                                              Deon I-i. Delilcer
                                              Assistant   RegionaJ    Manager


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