Examination of Travel Vouchers

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-08-13.

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

                            I   UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFEE
                                              REGIONAL                 OFFICE
                       I I             ROOM   1000     FEDERAL        OFFICE         BUILDING
                                                 911    WALNUT        S-l-R&   El-

                                       KANSAS          CITY,      MISSOURI               64106   fi

                        L                                                                             August $3, 1971

     Lieutenan$ Colonel John A. Rapp                                                                   ,           I
     Commanding Officer                                                                                    &

     U. S. Marine Corps Finance Center
     Kansas City, Missouri   64197
     Dear Colonel Rapp:                                          cd
            We have made a review to evaluate the effectiveness  of the general audit
     branch's examination of travel vouchers.     We believe the branch could be more
     effective   by revising its audit approach to place more emphasis on vouchers
     submitted by activities    experiencing high error rates.            4
              The branch has audited all of the vouchers submitted during one month
     by selected activities      and attempted to cover each activity    once a year. For
     the six months, March through August 1970, 36 activities         submitted about 265,000
     vouchers.       The branch audited a total of 20,575 vouchers from lS of the activi-
     ties and found an overall error rate of 7.1 percent.         But th& error rates by
     activity     ranged from less than 5 percent for 12 activities     to 17.3 percent or
     more for two activities.        Since only one month's vouchers were examined it
     seemed likely that n3any errors were not detected, particularly         at those ac-
     tivities     experiencing high error rates.
           A random sample that we'selected from the 265,000 vouchers after the
',   audit branch completed its work contained an error rate of 12.9' percent.       The
     errors are tabulated in the attachment.    Our sample contained a proportionate
     number of vouchers that had been examined by the audit branch, but we found
     no errors in these vouchers.
            We believe, therefore,     that the relatively high number of undetected
      errors resulted mostly from the branch's method of selecting vouchers rather
     than from the quality of its audit of individual       vouchers.    If the branch
     could be more selective in sts audit of activities        making relatively     few
     errors, more intensive audits could be made of those activities           where the
     error rates are higher.       This should, in our opinion, significantly      increase
     the effectiveness   of its audit work.

     'Since the     sample was selected at random, the precision of estimates from
       it can be    calculated.  We are 95 percent confident that the overall                                      ' ,
       error rate    is from 7.7 percent to 18.1 percent and the dollar amount of
       the errors    is from $321,000 to $1.5 million.

                                     50 TH ANNlVERSARY                         1921- 1971
        The Head, Examination DivisTon, of which the general aud5-t branch
  is a part, agreed with these conclusions and said some type of                  sam,pliYlg

' technique would be adopted.
         We would appreciate   youx comments.
         We appreciate   the cooperation   received   by OUT staff    during the review,
       Copies of this report are being sent to the Commandant of the Marine
 dorps, the Comptroller of the Navy and the Director, Navy Audit Service.

                                                        Sincerely    yours,
                                                             g&&e             I

                                                       'K, L. Weary
                                                        Re@onal Mknager

         Type of error                       Rmiber     Percent of error        Amount
    “Commuted rations         vs.                                           .
       per diem                                  3                 15           $    54963

      Incorrect computation             of
       travel-time                              a                  40               196.d'
      Failure to credit leave
       ratdons for period of
       delayenroute                             2                  10
      Incorrect     computation of
       distance     for mileage                  3        I        15                60.86
     Group travel       vs. per diem             1                  5                 a.00
      Field duty VS. per diem                    1                  5                24.00
      Erroneous computation             of
       per diem                                  1                  5                 6.46
      U&authorized reimbursement
       of charges for quarters                   1                  5                19.50

           Total6        "                                        100           $542.52
                                                                  -         \    t
        At/ Potential        error in unused leave settlement based on rates of pay
            cuzkently        applicable to the metier's grade an3 year6 of service.