UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REGIONAL OFFICE 7014 ~~ERAL BUILDING, 19618rous *A- DENVER, COLORADO 80202 Commander Air Force Accounting and Finance Center 3800 York Street IIIIll11 I1111111111 llllllllllIll11 LM092983 Ill11 llllIllI Denver, Colorado 80205 ,Dear Sir: This is a report of our review of the recording of casual, partial, advance, and reenlistment payments made by Air Force accounting and finance officers (AFOs) in Europe and the Middle East. The review was made to determine whether the payments made by the Air Force AFOs. at the overseas stations were being properly charged against the members’ pay accounts maintained at two central sites. Generally, the individual pay accounts of the members to whom the payments were made were maintained centrally jlY d by the Directorate of Foreign Pay Operations (now Central Pay Division, Directorate of Military Pay Operations) at the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center (AFAFC) and, for members of the,United States Air Force Security Service, by Goodfellow Air Force Base (AFB), Texas. In certain instances we expanded our review to include payments made to members of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. BACKGROUND Under a military payroll system centralized at the AFAFC on January 1, 1968, local AFOs are authorized to make casual, partial, advance, and reenlistment payments. The procedures in effect during the period of the review pro- vided that the payments be recorded on Casual Payment Receipts (DD FOGS 399). The payments were then to be reported, generally via the Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN), through a control accounting and finance office (CAFO), to the Directorate of Foreign Pay Operations. The Directorate of Foreign Pay Operations was responsible for posting the payments to the pay accounts- and for notifying the paying AFO when such postings were accomplished. The paying APO was responsible for following up with the AFAFC on payments for which no advice of posting was received within 90 days. We did not ascertain the detailed procedures in effect for the pay accounts maintained centrally at Goodfellow AFB; however, we believe that ,‘,.. ,. e SOW ANNIVERSARY 1921- 1971 Commander L ',Air Force Accounting ., I ::i and Finance Center -2- FINDINGS Our findings are summarized below and are shown by station on the attachment. Directorate of Foreign Pay Operations @PO) We reviewed 4,421 payments made to Air Force members in June 1969 by Mr Force stations under the jurisdiction of FPO. We found that 116 payments totaling $24,844.60 were not posted to the members' pay accounts. 'In 9 of the 116 cases the pay accounts were maintained at locations other than FPO. Our review also disclosed 14 errors totaling $1,304.79 resulting from payments being posted in incorrect amounts. All but one of the incorrect postings were made by FPO. The 130 errors represent an error rate of 2.9 percent. Assuming that June 1969 is representative of other months, we estimate that approximately 2,100 errors totaling about $387,000 were made annually in connection with payments made to Air Force members by Air Force stations under the jurisdiction of FPO. We traced the nonposted items to the AUTODIN listings for the period June through December 1969. Of the 107 payments not posted to pay accounts maintained at FPO, 94 were not reported to FPO. There were also many instances of excessive delays in posting the payments to the pay accounts. Of the 4,421 payments reviewed, 171, or about 4 percent, were not posted untP1 more than 90 days after the date of the payment. Because of the added expense of pre- paring and processing follow-up transactions, we feel that it is essential that posting of payments be timely. This is particularly true in view of the number of transfers out of the centralized pay system. Goodfellow Air Force Base We reviewed 270 payments made to Air Force members in June 1969 by two Air Force stations under the jurisdiction of Goodfellow AFB. We found one nonposting for $24 and one incorrect posting for $19, an error rate of 0.7 percent. Commander Air Force Accounting and Finance Center -3- Other services We expanded our review to include 92 payments made to Army, Navy, and Marine Corps members by three Air Force stations under the jurisdiction of FPO. No errors were disclosed in payments made to Navy and Marine Corps members. However, the review of 70 payments made to Army members disclosed 12 nonpostings totaling $1,512, an error rate of 17.1 percent. AFAFC ACTIOtiS As a result of our findings the following actions were taken: --The Directorate of Military Pay Operations reported our findings to the Commander in Chief, United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), with a request that base-level AFOs review payment processing procedures to assure that adequate controls are in effect. --The need for effective controls in processing casual, partial, advance, and reenlistment payments was emphasfzed in a message from the Commander in Chief, USAFE, to the AFOs under his com- mand. Further command interest in this matter is demonstrated by the fact that identification of certain of the nonposted items was subsequently requested by the Commander in Chief, USAFE. We also discussed our findings with representatives of the Quality Assurance Division, Comptroller, who advised us that a study by them of payments made to Air Force members in October 1970 by AFOs in Europe and Southeast Asia had disclosed an error rate of 3.6 percent. As a result of the study, they recommended that the AFOs reconcile their original vouchers with amounts reported by AUTODIN and that the AFAFC establish controls to assure accurate processing of the payments.' CONCLUSIONS A significant number of payments made at overseas stations were not charged against members' pay accounts maintained centrally at the AFAFC. The AFOs' failure to report the-payments to the AFAFC and ineffective acknowledgment and follow-up procedures appear to be the principal causes for these errors. The more current review of tqe payments by the Quality Assurance Division demonstrates that the posting of these types of payments was a continuing problem at that time, Commander Air Force Accounting d and Finance Center -4- Our limited review of payments made to members of the other services I$ Sgl also indicates weaknesses in the controls to ensure that payments are $ properly charged aga$nst Army members’ pay accounts. We believe that the actions taken by the Directorate of Military Pay Operations and adoption of the several prospective actions recom- mended by the Quality Assurance Division, Comptroller, as a result of their review, could help to reduce the number of errors in the future; accordingly, we are making no additional recommendations for corrective action at this time. In accordance with the principles set forth in the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies (7 GAO 28.12), we believe, however, that consideration should be given to identification and correction or recovery of unposted or ,’, incorrectly posted amounts which still exist in the accounts. This could result in recoupment of substantial financial resources which might otherwise be lost. _ .L We recommend that the AFAFC undertake a study to determine the feasibility of identifying and recovering the undetected overpayments made in the centralized military payroll system since its implementation”’ $$ on January 1, 1968. In determining whether it is practicable and f feasible to pursue this matter, consideration should be given to alternative ways of identifying the installations having a significant number of errors. Your advice of action taken would be appreciated, including information as to the progress made to implement the several recom- mendations of the Quality Assurance Division, Comptroller. Attachment cc: Comptroller of the Air Force Auditor General Representative AFAFC ATTACHMENT . . FINDINGS BY STATION Payments posted Number of in Incorrect amounts Station payments Payments not posted Overpayment Underpayment Total errors Error rate symbol revhwed No-: Amount No. Amount No. Amount No, Amount (percent) STATIONS REPORTING TO AFAFC 5979 184 --- --- W-B --m --- a-- mm- --w -o- 5997 3.27 13 $ 2,501.OO mm- --- $1 $ 40.00 14 $ 2,541.OO 11.0 6663 192 2 180.60 -m.- m-w q-B V-M 2 180.60 1.0 6679 191 1 210.00 B-s we- --- -- 1 210.00 0.5 6747 236 4 596 .OO B-m B-B M-m m-- 4 596 .OO 1.7 6760 228 18 5,468.OO B-m --- -- -a- 18 5,468.OO 7.9 6763 195 6 1,207.OO w-w --- 1 4.00 7 1,211.00 3.6 6789 207 2 1,329.oo W-B w-w m-w W-B 2 1,329.oo 1.0 5938 220 23 2,413.OO 1 $ 1.00 2 2.00 26 2,416.OO 11.8 5939 230 2 635.00 1 50.00 1 65.00 4 750.00 1.7 5986 231 5 !,968.00 -NW v-s -em m-B 5 1,968.OO 2.2 - 6614 206 2 200.00 -em --v 4 5.79 6 205.79 2.9 6593 225 4 275.00 B-s --- -0. w-m 4 275.00 1.8 6596 80 1 459 .oo --- -- m-B w-m 1 459 .oo 1.3 6637 96 5 3,564.OO W-B m-M e-s m-v 5 3,564.OO 5.2 Payments posted F!umber of in incorrect amounts Station payments Payments not posted Overpayment Underpayment Total errors Error rate ‘ synlbol reviewed No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount (percent) STATIONS REPORTING TO AFAFC (continued) 6776 277 8 $ 351.00 m-w B-w w-w -- 8 $ 351.00 2.9 6653 277 1 420.00 -v- --- -- -- 1 420.00 0.4 5984 73 --- v-m -- -- -mm -- -o- 6597 278 1,790.oo W-B se- -- 11 1,790.oo 4.0 6642 274 2 $1,135.00 1 $ 2.00 3 1,137.oo 1.1 6657 71 35.00 M-w L-v B-s SW 1 35.00 1.4 6667 177 821.00 -- w-w m-m --- 4 821.00 2.3 6757 134 422.00 -.- -Be mm- me- 3 422.00 2.2 5025 12 -- --- me- --- -I- B-B -o- Totals 4,421 116 $24,844.60 $1,186.00 10 $118.79 130 $26,149.39 STATIONS REPORTING TO GOODFELLOWAFB 5960 115 1 $ 24.00 e-m -- w-w 1 $ 24.00 0.9 W-B B-s 1 $ 19.00 1 19.00 0.6 Totals 270 1 $ 24.00 s-w me- 1 $ 19.00 2 $ 43.00 0.7 -2- i i i i i II i i i i i i
Deficiencies in Posting Casual, Partial, Advance, and Reenlistment Payments
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-06-09.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)