UrarmSTkT~s GEMEF~A~WCC~UNT~NG OFFICE REGIONAL QFFtCE 502 U S CUSTOMHOUSE 2D AND CHESTNUT STREETS PWILADELPHI~I, PENNSYLVAWA 19106 Conananding General Headquarters) U.S. Army ‘Training Center Infantry and Fort Dix I Fort Dix, New Jersey 08640 Dear Sir: We have reviewed the adequacy and effectiveness of the civil lan pay system, including internal controls at the U,S, Army Trainrng Center infantry and Fort Dix, As part of our review we examtncd selected civilian payro3’4 transactions and related personnel actions processed for both classification act and wage board employees during the period February 22, 1970 to February 20, 1971. The selection and examination were made by using statistical sampling techniques, we reviewed the mechanized payroll system and perFormed certain audit steps to test the computer controls and validate data on the master record file, We also revtewed the most recent civilian payro?l audits performed by the Internal Review Division. We noted a few minor cieerical errors which we brought to the attention of Fort DIX officials during our review and at the exit conference. Although these errors were not significant, we believe there are certain weaknesses in the system which should be corrected, The internal control over the payments to civil ian consultants should be strengthened. Also the mechanized payroll system should be re- designed to take advantage of the processing and control capabil iries available from the automatic data processing equtpment, These areas are described in detail below. Civilian consultants--The hospital uses civilian consultants who are authorized as excepted appointments to be employed on an intermittent basis at $75 a day during a specified period of time, Command approval is necessary to renew the consultant’s period of service beyond the expiratron date. We found that the Ctvifian Pay Branch continued to pay the consultants for services after their expiration date because there was no procedure to remove the con- sultants from the master payroll file at their termination date. 50’PH AN SARY 1921- ‘1971 We found an instance where the time and attendance report showed that a consultant worked one day tn July 1970 but was not paid. This situation occurred because the hosplcal delayed In reporting that the consultant worked and sub- sequently the payroll clerk overlooked a necessary adjustment to effect payment. We recommend that procedures and controls be Instituted to remove consultants from the master payroll file at the expiration of therr authorized servgce period. Al so payment should be made to the consultant for services rendered In July 8970* Mechanized payroll system-- The payroll system was lnntially designed for card processing equipment and was later translated to operate in a recently Installed 118M 360 model 30 computer, We reviewed available system documentation and found that from the standpoint of internal control and efficiency, the system does not make full use of the control and processtng capabilities that are available wrth the computer. in order to test the computer controls, we made arrangements wr th Fort Dix off lcials to aad an employee with an overstated base hourly rate to the master employee record file, We did this to demonstrate that if a payroll clerk transposed an hourly rate in processing a payroll act Ion and the erroneous rate was entered into the manual control registers” the employee would be overpaid and the manual control registers could be reconciled, Computer controls have not been designed into the system to detect errors of this nature. From the standpoint of efficiency, for example, the masrer employee record f i ie under the card system cons rsted of f rim four to seven cards for each employee depending on various payroll options, Each card contained identrfication data such as employee control number, This card file was con- verted to tape without redesigning the record format and, consequently, the master File now consists of from four to seven magnetic tape records for each employee. This requj res processing of duplicate identification data, which could have been avoided If one magnetic tape record had been desrgncc for each employee. We discussed these matters with offlcrals at Fort Dix and at the system design center located at Headquarters, First U.S. Army, Whr’ie these officials generally ;ecognized rhat the coci~puter was not king k.ised to its m~ximtsm potential, we were Informed that Headquarters, First iJ,S,i Army no longer has the resources or the authoriLy to redesign the systen, in our opinioct, the fack of uxiputer coatrols within the system is 06 sufficient fmpoktakice to warrant the attentlori of appropriate 0ffic’ials within the Department of the Army for necessary consideration and corrective action. We would appreciate ysur cc~tx,nents in regard to the procedures instituted for the contrsl of the payments to consultants, We wish to acknmledge the cooperation extended to our staff during the review. t n accordance wi th the Genera i Accounting Office PO& 1cy &nd ~6’k’xmhIrcs Hamual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title t& Chapter 3, the pasprol1 records coverfng the period from Octcbef 11, 1944 to February 28, 8978, may be transferred to the Federal Records Center. Copies of this letter are being sent to the ComptroBler of the Army; the CoFnmanding General, First u,s, Army* Fort George e, Mead”,, Maryland; and the Distrect Manager, Northeastern Distrlet, U.5.’ Army Audit Agency, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sincerely yours,
Civilian Pay and Allowances, U.S. Army Training Center Infantry and Fort Dix
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-06-25.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)