oversight

Payroll and Leave Records of Employee at the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, Department of the Interior

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-11-18.

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

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Dear Senator                    Fulbright:

        In accordance with your request of July 16, 1971, we have
audited the             1 and leave records of Mrs. Vianna Walker
for the per                1967-*rJuly     1971.  We have discussed the
results    of,our   audit with Mrs. Walker and with officials           of
the Environmental       Protection     Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Geo- ,3Q
logical    Survey, Department of the Interior,         the agency that       -",!""
maintained     the payroll    records for EPA's Office      of Water Pro-
grams and its predecessor          agency for that period.
                                                                      ~'DL&o/47*
        Our audit of Mrs. Walker's payroll        records showed (1)
that errors      had been made in the amount of deductions          for her
Federal and State income taxes and for health insurance pre-
miums, (2) that two checks had been issued to her for each of
two pay periods in 1970 but that one check for each pay period
had been voided,       (3) that she had received a within-grade          in-
crease one pay period before she was eligible             and that,    as a
result,    she had received       $8.58 more than she should have, and
 (4) that she had b een paid under an incorrect           social security
number f,or 5 months before the error was corrected.

       As noted above, some of the errors    have been corrected.
In addition,     Mrs. Walker's W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statement)
for 1970 showed the actual amounts that had been withheld
from her paychecks.       Since the amounts withheld    had been cred-
ited against her tax liability      for 1970, any overwithholding
or underwithholding     of taxes would have been canceled when she
filed    her 1970 Federal and State tax returns      and paid any ad-
ditional    taxes due or received refunds for overpayment of
taxes.
     As a result                     of errors not corrected, however, Mrs.               Walker
owes the Federal                     Government $21.94, as shown below.
      Net overpayment as a result     of a
        premature within-grade    increase                                       $ 8.58
      Health insurance premiums not deducted
        from gross pay                                                            13.36
                                                                                 $21.94

      Our audit of Mrs. Walker's leave records showed that her
accumulated annual leave balance at July 31, 1971, was under-
stated by 48 hours and her sick leave balance was overstated




                                                SOTH ANNIVERSARY   1921-   197
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   by 4 hours.    This error,   however, does not require any finan-
   cial adjustment    because she received a lump-sum payment for
   the maximum number of hours of annual leave to which she was
   entitled  under Federal-statute.
         EPA officials     have agreed to make the necessary adjust-
   ments to Mrs.     Walker's   leave and payroll  records and to bill
   her for $21.94.      The following   sections  discuss more fully
   the results    of our audit of her payroll     and leave records.

   PAYROLL RECORDS
         In June 1967 Mrs. Walker was employed by the Federal
3/ Water Pollution    Control Administration   (FWPCA), Department of G?,/.:?L
   the Interior--  the predecessor   agency to EPA's Office   of Water
   Programs.
           FWPCAemployee payroll    records were maintained    by the
   U.S. Geological    Survey.    In May   1970  the Geological Survey
   payroll   system was computerized.       After the payroll  system was
   computerized;   the following    errors were made with regard to
   Mrs. Walker's pay records.
         1. Beginning with the pay period ended June 13, 1970,
   through the pay period ended October 17, 1970, she was paid
   under an incorrect  social security  number.
          2. For the pay periods ended June 13 and 27, 1970, the
   following   errors were made in the deductions from her gross
   pay for Federal and State income taxes and for health insur-
   ance premiums.
         --Deductions    for    Federal   taxes    were more than they      should
            have been.
         --No   deductions     were made for      State    taxes.
         --No   deductions     were made for      health    insurance   premiums.
          The errors   in deductions   for Federal and State taxes
   should require     no financial   adjustments  between Mrs. Walker and
   the Government because the errors would have been canceled upon
   the filing    of her 1970 tax returns     and the settlement of any
   additional    taxes or refunds due.      She does, however, owe the
   Federal Government $13.36 for the health insurance premiums for
   the two pay periods.



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      3. Two checks were issued to her for the pay period ended
June 13, 1970--check number 76,362,195 for $294.39 and check
number 76,557,917 for $283.02.    Check number 76,557,917 was
voided on July 24, 1970.
      4. Two checks were issued to her for the pay period ended
July 11, 1970--check number 31,311,829 for $296.57 and check
number 31,312,051 for $285.47.    Check number 31,311,829 was
voided on July 30, 1970.
      5. For the pay period ended October 31, 1970, check num-
ber 35,863,724 was issued to her in the amount of $296.57 in-
stead of $285.47, the correct     amount.    Errors were made in the
amount of deductions    for taxes and health insurance.     The pay-
check for the next pay period,     however, was reduced by $11.10
to correct  the errors.    Adjustments   were made to her records
to correct  the amounts recorded for taxes and health insur-
ance.

      6. She received her within-grade       increase to step 4 of
GS-9 during the pay period ended December 26, 1970, although
the effective    date of her increase was December 27, 1970.         As
a result    of her receiving a within-grade      increase one pay pe-
riod too soon, her net pay for that period was $8.58 more than
it should have been and she incurred        a financial   obligation  to
the Federal Government for that amount.

LEAVE RECORDS
       Our audit of Mrs. Walker's     leave records   showed that,
from March 1968, the balances for accumulated         annual and sick
leave had frequently    been in error.     We noted   the following
deficiencies    in her leave records.
      --In some cases leave recorded as used had not been sup-
          ported either by a Standard Form 71 (Application    for
          Leave) or by her initials  on the time and attendance
          record.
      --Some Standard Form 71's     had not been signed    by her or
         her supervisor.
      --Changes had been made to her records with        no explana-
         tion and had not always been initialed,
      --Some of her records    had been changed several      times.
B-173655



        In March 1971 EPA made an audit of Mrs. Walker's        leave
records as of January 9, 1971, at which time the records
showed a balance of 284 hours of accrued annual leave and a
deficit    of 46 hours of sick leave resulting       from an advance
of sick leave.       EPA's audit showed that the balances should
have been 262 hours of annual leave and a deficit           of 40 hours
of sick leave.       Adjustments   to the leave records to (1) cor-
rect the errors disclosed        by the audit and (2) offset    annual
leave against the sick leave deficit         at her request,   were not
correctly    programmed into the computer, however, and the rec-
ords continued     to show incorrect     accumulated annual and sick
leave balances up to July 31, 1971, when she retired.
      Mrs. Walker's   annual leave balance as of July 31, 1971,
was understated    by 48 hours and her sick leave balance was
overstated   by 4 hours.     EPA records showed a balance of 265
hours of annual leave and 40 hours of sick leave, whereas
our audit indicated     that the balances should have been 313 and
36 hours, respectively.
       We discussed the results    of our audit with EPA personnel
who rechecked Mrs. Walker's     leave records and agreed that the
correct   leave balances at July 31, 1971, should have been 313
hours of annual leave and 36 hours of sick leave.       EPA offi-
cials told us that they would make the necessary adjustments
to her records.

       By Federal statute   Mrs. Walker's   lump-sum payment for ac-
crued annual leave was restricted      to a maximum of 240 hours.
Because she received a lump-sum payment for 240 hours accrued
annual leave, the correction      of her leave balances will   not
require   any financial   adjustment.-
      Concerning the above-reported   indebtedness   of $21.94, such
amount would be proper for waiver consideration      by the Environ-
mental Protection   Agency under the provisions    of 5 U.S.C. 5584,
since it appears to be the result    of erroneous payments of pay
not due to the fault   of the employee.

        The matters included in this report were discussed with
officials    of EPA, but their written      comments were not obtained.
We plan to make no further     distribution     of this report unless




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   copies are specifically  requested, and then we shall make dis-
   tribution only after your agreement has been obtained.

                                              Sincerely   yours,



                                     Deputy   Comptroller  General
                                              of the United States
   The Honorable   J. W. Fulbright
~1 United States   Senate
 J




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