Disbursing Transactions, U.S.S. Ellison

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-27.

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

                           REGIONAL OFFICE
                      20o6 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD BUILDING
                                234 STATE STREET
                           DETROIT, MICHIGAN         48226

Commanding Officer
FPO New York

Dear Sir:

     We have,examined pay and travel expenditures made on the
ELLISON in the 6 months ended June 1971, to test the effective-
ness of your disbursing activity and the related system of in-
ternal controls. Our review was made at the Navy Finance Center,

     In our tests, we examined 152 of 278 pay records and all 70
travel vouchers. We found 50 overpayments and underpayments
totaling $990. We also identified five leave accounting and
two tax reporting errors whic h could eventually result in
losses to the crew members,,or the Government.

     Voucher errors were the most predominant. In the six month
period, the disbursing officer paid 18 vouchers involving temporary
additional duty and permanent change of station travel. We found
30 errors on these vouchers.

     Our error data are summarized in the appendix.          The more signi-
ficant deficiencies are discussed below.

Military travel vouchers

     -- Per diem was paid to four members while they were hospitalized
        contrary to M4250-2, JTR. For example see voucher 908.

     -- The wrong rate of per diem was used in computing the travel
        claims of four members, resulting in overpayments. See
        vouchers 910 and 911.

     -- Incorrect entitlement points were used in determining mileage
        payments to five members incident to their separation and
        reenlistment when no travel was performed. The pertinent
        regulations are M4159-5b, item 1, and M4159-5c, item 2,
        JTR. See vouchers 965 and 992.

                     az50T1H- ANNIVERSARY        1921-197
                                                      19            [          '

                                            9.I .:
                                            I-~h     II.                           i.
Military pay records

     -- None of the special payrolls contained signatures
        evidencing verification as required by 40162f, MPP.

     -- Leave accounting errors involving 41 days were made
        on the pay records of five members. In four instances,
        leave balances were incorrectly computed and, in the
        other, leave was improperly charged during a delay
        en route.

     -- Four members were paid lump sum leave for the wrong
        number of days. Three of the members were underpaid.

     When we examined the ELLISON accounts last year, we found
134 overpayments and underpayments totaling $1,733, and 24
leave accounting and 10 tax reporting errors. Our findings
were referred to the ELLISON's Commanding Officer by the
Director, Navy Military Pay System in a memorandum dated
June 26, 1970 (copy enclosed).

     Shortly thereafter, in July 1970, an onsite team from the
Norfolk Navy Regional Finance Center examined the ELLISON's pay
records and detected 40 monetary errors totaling $1,368 and
seven leave accounting errors. In their most recent examination
in April 1971, the onsite team found 17 pay record errors total-
ing $2,058.

     Because our review was limited to the vouchers and supporting
documents included in the financial returns, we could not pinpoint
the causes of the errors. While it appears that some improvement
has been made in handling pay matters, our tests indicate that
disbursing personnel need to become more familiar with travel and
leave regulations. Moreover, internal review procedures appear
to be weak. Several errors involved incorrect computations and
should have been detected in the disbursing office review.

     We recommend you use this report as a basis for inquiring into
these matters. In order to assist you, we are enclosing information
copies of our notices of exception and informal inquiries. If you
need additional information, please let us know. We would appreciate
your comments on the causes of these errors and advice of action


                            ui   .   .   .         .   ,.i   .,
          ,i~~~~~~~~~~~~~                    .,.
     We are sending copies of this letter to the Comptroller of the
Navy; Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet; Director,
Navy Military Pay System;' Commanding Officer, Navy Regional Finance
Center, Norfolk; and the Director, Norfolk Naval Area Audit Service.

                                    Sincerely yours,

                                   C. H. Moore
                                   Regional Manager

  Copies of notices of exception (8)
    and informal inquiries (10)
  Memo dtd 6/26/70

                                                                 - 3

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                                                ; :                                   .: ,
                                                                                      ~.              APPENDIX

                               U. S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
                                   DETROIT REGIONAL OFFICE

                                      SUMMARY OF ERRORS

                              U.S.S. HAROLD J. ELLISON (DD-864)
                               JANUARY 1 THROUGH JUNE 30, 1971

                                    MILITARY PAY RECORDS

Type of error                                  Number      Overpayment                            Underpayment

Lump sum leave - wrong
 number of days                                  4           $        9.69.::i                  : $316.74
Computation - ca6h/check
 payments                                        2                   51.00                            40.00
Computation - basic pay                          1                   41.76
Leave rations - not credited                     1                                                     1.52

           Subtotal                              8           $102.45                              $358.26


Per diem

 Failure to pay - days of
  travel in and out of U.S.                      4                                                $ 38.69
 Improper deduction for meals         '          3         $ 12.98
 Unauthorized while in mileage status            2           43.10
 Wrong rate                                      2           15.10                                    12.50
 Miscellaneous                                   2           10.85
 Failure to pay while on temporary
  duty.                                          1                                                    16.00


  Government transportation
   furnished                                     1                   13.26

           Subtotal                             15         $ 95.29                                $67.19


Per diem

 Wrong rate                                     6          $ 48.35                                $    5.84
 Unauthorized while in hospital                 4           134.10
 Paid for 31st day of
  30 day month                                   2                    7.92
 Improper deduction for meals                    2                    8.50
 In excess of constructive
  travel                                         1                   12.20

           Subtotal                             15           $211.07                              $    5.84

             *   ~---                                        -..--      -   ----------.---.-.
                                                         1    *                 ยท-           APPENDIX
                                                                                               Page 2


    Type of error                                       Number    Overpayment          Underpayment

    Incorrect distances                                   5       $    3.48            $      6.90
    Incorrect entitlement
     points                                               5           64.50                  28.92

              Subtotal                                   10       $ 67.98              $ 35.82

                                   MISCELLANEOUS VOUCHERS

    Training duty

      Paid mileage at 5 cents instead
       of 6                                         .     2                            $ 46.50
              Subtotal                                    2                                  46.50

              Total monetary errors                      50       $476.79              $513.61

                                         LEAVE ACCOUNTING

    Type of error                                       Number    Overstated         Understated

    Balance computed incorrectly                          4           17 days               23 days
    Delay en route incorrectly
     computed                                             1            1 day

              Total leave errors                          5           18 days               23 days

                                             TAX REPORTING

 Taxable income computed
  incorrectly                                             1
 FICA - computed incorrectly                              1

              Total tax errors                           2

              Total all errors                           57
Pay Adjustment Authorizations were issued on these two cases by the Navy
Finance Center, Cleveland.

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