Review of Accounts of Certifying Officers of the Chicago, Illinois Regional Administrative Office, Department of Labor

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-06-10.

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

Dear     Pk.   Zarb:

        We have completed a review of the accounts of certifying            officers  of
the R'egional Administrative     Office,      Office of the Assistant     Secretary for
Administration,    Chicago, Illinois.         Our review covered the period
January I through December 3l., 1970, and consisted of an examination,               on
a test basis, of the administrative           procedures and internal.    controls
relating    to the voucher audit function          and the payment service activity
of the Regional Administrative        Office.       We did not examine program opera--
tions during this review.

       We found that improvements were needed in certain administrative
procedures and controls.       PoLLowing our discussion    of these matters with
the Regional Administrative       Officer and his staff,   we were advised that
appropriate    corrective  actions would be taken on all of the matters
~discuss~e~d. The details   of our findings   are presented below for your

       In four instances duplicate      payments had b'een made to vendors because
the voucher ex8aminers did not refer to the paid vendor files          in connection
with approving     vouchers for payment,      While the total amount involved     in
th'ese duplicate    payments was rel.ativel.y   small ($2663, controls    n'eed to be
strengthened     to preclude more serious problems,        Appropriate recovery
action was talcen following     our discussion     of this matter,

       The Regional Administrative    Officer advised us that             the voucher
examiners would be instructed      to inspect the paid vendor             files  in the
futwr'e before approving   vouchers for payment,


       Administrative       certification      evidencing  the satisfactory     delivery     of
goods and/or completion            of services was not recorded on 41 paid vouchsers
~elcamin'e'd,I) Such certifications         are required  under Department regulations
governing      the processing       of both commercial invoices      and invoices     received
frnm   other    Government     agencies.

       The Regional Administrative    Officer stated that he would issue
instructions    to require  that in the future certifications  be made in 8id.L

                                 I ’           ,,,!/
     u,.'        1


          Oar examination   of 105 travel   vouchers processed                for   payment during
     December 1970 revealed   the following   discrepancies0

                                                                      Number of

                         Erroneous per diem
                            payments                                      7
                         Taxi tips in excess of
                            15-percent  limitation                       37
                         Support missing for claim
                            for lodging                                   2

             While the total. amount of overpayments resulting       from the above
     discrepancies     was relatively     small, the number of discrepancies    was
     significant     and indicated     the need for more effective   reviews of travel
     vouchers 0 Collection       action was instituted   by the certifying   officer
     where appropriate.

              The Regional Administrative   Officer       advised      us that      reviews   of
     travel     vouchers would be strengthened,


             We found 2 instances  in our examination of the 105 travel  vouchers
     processe'd in D'ecember 1970 where refunds due from airlines    had not been
     cla.irned,    In om instance a refund was due because of an unused return
     ticket)    and in the other instance because lesser accommodations than
     those purchased had been used by the traveler,

           The Regional Administrativ~e  Officer advised us that procedures wouLc1
     be strengthened   to ensure that al1 refunds due from carriers   are identified
     and claimed promptly.

            ~&.&standing travel. advances were not being reviewed on a quarterly
     basis as required         by Department regulations,      Such reviews are intended
      to clissc:l.ose those advances which need to be recovered or adjusted based
     'on actual travel       performed,    Our review of 20 random3.y selected advances
     outskmding       as of February 1971 revealed        that 7 should have been
     Liquids.ted     previously,

           The Regiorral! Administrative     ~Cfficer     advised      us that      h's woulmd improv'e
     c0ntkd.s owzr X;mvel advances,
                                     d                  111    II(s
                                                                                                   * 2 rnDll#*