oversight

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)

                              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