oversight

Need for the Peace Corps To Improve Its Controls Over Unused Transportation Tickets and Travel Advances

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-08.

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

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Need For The Peace Corps
To Improve Its Controls
 ver Unused Transportation Tickets
And Travel Advances B-756996




UNITED  STATES
GENERAL  ACCOUNTING    OFFICE




                      DEC.     83371
                                   UNITED STATES GENERALA~CXXJNTINGOFFICE
                                                  WASHI       NBYON,         B.C.   20548




            Dear   Mr.    Blatchford:
.
        1          This is our report     o!l the need for the                                       Peace Corps    to    ?I-0
    ,       improve    its  controls  over u!lused transportation                                         tickets   and
            travel    advances       l




                   The    report          L:ontai71s      sf:vt!ralrecommendations           for your con-
            sideration.            Your      attention                is
                                                                invited       to section       236 of tlit?
            Legislative          Reorganization          Act    of 1 c!7C which       requires      that yo-u
            submit       written      statements        of any action           tnken with      respect     to
            the recor-unendations.                The statements          are to be sent to the
            House and Scilate            Gommi ttees      Oil   Government         CDcrations      not later’  ‘-F-2J
            than 60 days after                the   date of this        reI>ort     &d to the I!ousc
            amd Senate Committees                 on Ap;>ropriations            in connection       wit?i the ; .dL’
            first       request      for appropriations             subrr,itted     by your agency more
            than 60 days afte s the date of this                        report.       ?e shall       aypreci -
            ate being          advised     of the actions          taken or planned            concerning
            the matters          discussed        in this     report.

                   Copies of this      report  are being sent                                 to the Chairmen,
            Hose     and Senate Committees       on Government                                Operations     and to
            the Chairmen,     House and Senate Committees                                     on Appropriations.
            Copies of this     report     are being sent also                                 to the Director,      Of-
            fice   of Management      and Budget,    and to the                               Director,     Office  of
            Administration     and Finance,      Peace Corps.

                                                                           Sincerely        yours,




                                                                           Director,        Transportation
                                                                              Division

            The Honorable    Joseph Fi. Blatchford
            Director,   Peace Corps




                                           + 50TH ANNIVERSARY 1921- 1971
GENERALACCOUNTING OFFICE                 NEED FOR THE PEACE CORPSTO
REPORTTO THE                             IMPROVE ITS CONTROLSOVER
DIRECTOR OF THE PEACE CORPS              UNUSEDTRANSPORTATIONTICKETS
                                         AND TRAVEL ADVANCES B-156996
DIGEST
m---w-

WHY THE REVIEW WAS MADE
        The General Accounting Office      (GAO) reviewed the Peace
        Corps'
            --._. controls  over unused transportation   tickets, to
        decermnne    whether effective  action had been taken to cor-
        rect weaknesses reported by GAO in 11967.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
        The Peace Corps did not establish       appropriate       management
        controls over unused transportation       tickets.
        Claims for unused tickets     were not sent promptly to car-
        riers for refund,      (See pp. 4 and 5.)    Also the Peace
        Corps did not send uncollected      refund claims to GAO for
        further  recovery action,    nor did it send documentation
        on refunds recovered as a result       of the Peace Corps own
        action to GAO for audit,     although such action was re-
        quired.    (See p. 7.)
        Because of the untimely processing         of refund claims by
        the Peace Corps, in 1968 and 1969 carriers           rejected
        about 140 claims for refunds,      totaling     about $11,000, for
        unused tickets  issued between 1962 and 1968. Also 260
        unused tickets,   170 of which were valued at over $14,000,
        were never submitted   to carriers      for refund.      Because of
        the age of these tickets,    it  is   unlikely    that   refund
        claims will be honored by the carriers.           (See pp. 4
        and 5.)
         The Peace Corps also had on hand 6.50 unused tickets         and
         parts of such tickets,      valued at about $100,000, awaiting
         processing   and filing    of refund claims.     After GAO
         brought this to the attention       of appropriate    Peace Corps
         officials  p a substantial    number of refunds were obtained.
         (See p0 5.)
         The Peace Corps was not complying with the Standardized
         Government Travel Regulations    which required that trav-
         elers immediately    refund advances in excess of their
         requirements.     In August 1970 GAO advised the Peace Corps
         that travel   advances amounting to over $SO,OCO had been
         outstanding   for an unreasonable length of time.    As of
Tear Sheet                           1
                                                  DEC.        8,197    3.
    May 1971 the Peace Corps still  had not collected    about
    $16,000 advanced to about 80 employees.    This included
    about $7,000 in travel  advances to 38 persons who no
    longer were employed by the Peace Corps.     (See p. 9.)
    GAO believes   that existing    Peace Corps regulations        re-
    garding travel    advances are in consonance with the Stan-
    dardized Government Travel Regulations         and that,   if :he
    Peace Corps regulations      were fully   complied with,     they
    would be adequate for controlling       travel   advances.      These
    regulations,   however, need to be enforced.         (See p. 10.)

RECOMMENDATIONS
              OR SUGGESTIONS
    The Director     of the Peace Corps should assign to a spe-
    cific   person the responsibility        for establishing       an ef-
    fective    system for controlling      unused transportation
    tickets    and for obtaining     refunds.    The Director       should
    require    that an internal    review of unused tickets          be
    made periodically      to ensure that effective        corrective
    action is taken.       (See p. 8.)
    In addition,    the Director   of the Peace Corps should re-
    quire employees to comply with the Peace Corps regula-
    tions and administrative     instructions     relating    to the
    control   and recovery of travel      advances.      (See p. 10.)
    The Director  should     require    further  that the Voucher
    Review Section make      monthly reports     on outstanding   travel
    advances which will      indicate    whether regulations    con-
    cerning advances of      travel   funds are being complied with.
    (See p. 10.)




                                     2
                           Contents
                                                                     Page

DIGEST                                                                 1

CHAPTER
   1      INTRODUCTION                                                 3

   2      CONTROLSOVER UNUSED TRANSPORTATIONTICKETS
            STILL INADEQUATE
              Entitlement     to refunds lost
              Lack of detailed       procedures    for handling
                 unused tickets
                    Lack of procedures      to ensure that all
                      unused tickets      are returned by
                      travelers                                        5
                    Lack of procedures       to provide for
                      better    physical   control    over unused
                      tickets                                          6
                    Lack of procedures       for prompt return
                      of unused tickets        for processing   of
                      claims                                           6
                    Lack of procedures       to record refund
                      claims as receivables                            6
              Information     on refunds and claims not
                 forwarded to GAO                                      7
              Conclusion                                               8
              Recommendations                                          8

   3      NEED TO IMPROVE CONTROLSOVER TRAVEL
            ADVANCES                                                   9
              Conclusions                                             10
              Recommendations                                         10
tiENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE          NEEP FOR TIIE PEACE COWS T13
REPORTTO THE                        T:JPROVEITS CONTKOLSOViJR
DIRECTOR OF THE PEACE CORPS         UNUSEDTRlLUSI'ORTAT10;JTIChETS
                                    AND TRAVEL ADVXI$CES B-156396
DIGEST
------

MY THE REVIEW WAS MADE
    The General Accounting Office     (GA3) reviewed the Peace
    Corps' controls  over unused transportation     tickets, to
    determine whether effective    action had been taken to cor-
    rect weaknesses reported    by GAO in 1967.

FINDI:dGS AXD CONCLUSIOKS
    The Peace Corps did not establish       appropriate   management
    controls over unused transportation       tickets.
    Claims for unused tickets       were not sent promptly   to car-
    riers   for refund.      (See pp. 4 and 5.)    Also the Peace
    Corps did not send uncollected        refund claims to GAO for
    further    recovery action,    nor did it send documentation
    on refunds recovered as a result         of the Peace Corps' own
    action to GAO for audit,       although such action was re-
    quired,      (See p. 7.)
    Because of the untimely processing         of refund claims by
    the Peace Corps, in 1968 and 1969 carriers           rejected
    about 140 claims for refunds,      totaling     about $11,000, for
    unused tickets  issued between 1962 and 1968.            Also 260
    unused tickets,   170 of which were valued at over $14,000,
    were never submitted   to carriers      for refund.      Because of
    the age of these tickets,    it is unlikely       that refund
    claims will be honored by the carriers.           (See pp. 4
    and 5.)
    The Peace Corps also had on hand 650 unused tickets          and
    parts of such tickets,     valued at about $100,000, awaiting
    processing  and filing    of refund claims.     After   GAO
    brought this to the attention      of appropriate     Peace Corps
    officials,  a substantial    number of refunds were obtained.
    (See p. 5.)
    The Peace Corps was not complying with the Standardized
    Government Travel Regulations     which required  that trav-
    elers immediately    refund advances in excess of their
    requirements.     In August 1970 GAO advised the Peace Corps
    that travel   advances amounting to over $30,000 had been
    outstanding   for an unreasonable   length of time.    As of
                                1
    May 1971 the Peace Corps still  had not collected   about
    $16,000 advanced to about 80 employees.    This included
    about $7,000 in travel  advances to 38 persons who no
    longer were employed by the Peace Corps.     (See p. 9.)
    GAO believes   that existing     Peace Corps regulations       re-
    garding travel    advances are in consonance with the Stan-
    dardized Government Travel Regulations         and that,   if the
    Peace Corps regulations      were fully   complied with,     they
    would be adequate for controlling       travel   advances.      These
    regulations,   however, need to be enforced.         (See p. 10.)

RECOMMENDATIONS
              OR SUGGESTIONS
    The Director     of the Peace Corps should assign to a spe-
    cific   person the responsibility        for establishing      an ef-
    fective    system for controlling      unused transportation
    tickets   and for obtaining      refunds.    The Director       should
    require    that an internal    review of unused tickets          be
    made periodically      to ensure that effective        corrective
    action is taken.       (See p. 8.)
    In addition,    the Director     of the Peace Corps should re-
    quire employees to comply with the Peace Corps regula-
    tions and administrative       instructions     relating    to the
    control   and recovery    of travel     advances.      (See p. 10.)
    The Director  should     require    further  that the Voucher
    Review Section make      monthly reports     on outstanding   travel
    advances which will      indicate    whether regulations    con-
    cerning advances of      travel   funds are being complied with.
    (See p. 10.)
                                          CHAPTER 1


                                       INTRODUCTION

        Peace Corps staff       members and volunteers        travel  exten-
sively.      Therefore     the Peace Corps spends a relatively           large
amount for transportation,           and it makes substantial        advances
to employees       for travel    expenses.      In fiscal    year 1970 the
Washington     office     alone spent $2.7 million        for the :ranspor-
tation    of its     employees   and volunteers.
        Under the Peace Corps organizational                       structure,         the
Transportation            Branch,    Division      of Administrative             Services,
is responsible            for purchasing,        issuing,      and controlling             trans-
portation        tickets.        The Transportation           Branch consists            of
three     sections--Latin           America,     Africa,      and Asia        (including
certain      areas of the Near East)--               each of which is responsible
for travei         in its     respective      geographic       area.       Each of the
sections       is responsible          for reviewing        travel      records       to deter-
mine whether          planned     travel     actually     was undertaken            and for
recovering         and forwarding         unused tickets         to the Division             of
Accounting         for processing         of refund      claims.

         Unused tickets,      as used herein,     refers not only to the
unused tickets        themselves    but also to refund    applications
initiated      as a result     of tickets’    being exchanged     for tickets
of lesser      value.

        In a prior     review      of Peace Corps activities,            we identi-
fied    significant      weaknesses       in the control      and processing        of
unused tickets        D We called       these weaknesses        to the attention
of the Director        of the Peace Corps in a report               dated
April     25, 1967, and recommended             that accounting       and adminis-
trative      controls    be strengthened.           In a reply     dated May 23,
1967, the Director           indicated      that necessary      corrective     mea-
sures would be taken.              The purpose      of this   review     was to de-
termine      whether    effective      corrective     action   had been taken.

       Our review     was made at Peace Corps headquarters                   in
Washington,      D.C.     We analyzed     applicable      travel     regulations
and instructions,         interviewed     responsible       employees,       and ex-
amined pertinent        documents     and records.       Our review        was di-
rected   primarily      to unused transportation            tickets,     travel
advances    outstanding        in June and July       1970, and procedures
and practices      in effect       at that time.




                                                3
                                 CHAPTER 2

                CONTROLSOVER UNUSED TRANSPORTATION
                      TICKETS STILL INADEQUATE
      Although we called attention         to weaknesses in controls
over unused transportation         tickets   as early as 1967, effec-
tive corrective    action has not yet been taken by the Peace
Corps.    Controls   still    are inadequate,    and the Government
continues   to suffer      monetary losses.
        We found that the Peace Corps had lost its entitlement
to refunds on a significant          number of unused tickets,       because
such tickets     had not been submitted        for refund within     the time
limit    set by the carriers      involved.      The reason that refunds
were not submitted promptly was that the Peace Corps had not
established     necessary controls       over either      the unused tickets
or the claims for refund.           For example, we found that (1)
procedures had not been established            to ensure that unused
tickets    were returned by prospective          travelers,    (2) control
over unused tickets      actually     returned     was inadequate,   and
 (3) processed claims had not been recorded as receivables.
      We found also that the Peace Corps was not forwarding
to GAO information   on claims processed,     contrary     to the GAO
Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies.
This prevented GAO from attempting    further     collection     action
on rejected   claims and from ensuring that paid claims were
for the proper amounts.
ENTITLEMENT TO REFUNDSLOST
        In accordance with the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual
for Guidance of Federal Agencies,             each agency is to establish
appropriate     procedures    to control      the procurement     and account-
ability    of transportation      tickets     and thereby safeguard the
rights    and interests     of the United States.        We found that the
Peace Corps had not established             appropriate  procedures     to con-
trol unused transportation          tickets     and, as a result,     had lost
its entitlement      to recover the cost of some tickets            from the
carriers.
       During 1968 and 1969 carriers  rejected    about 140 refund
claims totaling    about $11,000 for unused tickets     issued be-
tween 1962 and 1968.     The claims were rejected    primarily  be-
cause they had not been applied for within      the time limits
established   by the carriers.



                                      4
.

    .


                Also the Peace Corps had on hand about 260 unused trans-
        portation      tickets     issued  during     the same period     that had never
        been submitted         to the carriers      for refunds.      We estimate     that
        the refund       value   of 170 of these unused tickets           was about
        $14,000.      Because of insufficient            data we were unable      to es-
        timate     the value     of the remaining        90 tickets.     Due to the age
        of these 260 unused tickets,             it is unlikely      that refund    claims
        will    be honored by the issuing           carriers.
               The Peace Corps also had on hand in June and July          1970
        about 650 unused passenger        tickets and parts  of such tickets,
        valued   at about $100,000,    awaiting   processing   and submission
        to carriers    for refund.    Most of these tickets     ranged in age
        from several     days to 2 years.

               After   we brought     this    matter   to the attention       of Peace
        Corps officials,      a   substantial       number  of  refunds    were   obtained.
        Because the Peace Corps had not maintained                 adequate    accounting
        controls     over its claims,       however,     we could not verify       whether
        all   the $100,000    had been collected.

        LACK OF DETAILED PROCEDURES
        FOR HANDLING UNUSED TICKETS

                We found that there were a number of reasons           why the
        Peace Corps had not handled       unused transportation        tickets     ef-
        fectively,     all of which pointed    to a need for detailed          proce-
        dures to enable the Peace Corps to control            such tickets       in a
        manner that would ensure that all necessary            actions     were
        taken.
                The Transportation         Branch is responsible       for securing
        tickets      for potential      travelers    and is required      to forward      un-
        used tickets        to the Division       of Accounting   for submission        to
        the carriers        for refund.       There is nothing    inherently     wrong
        with    this    arrangement.       The problem    is that the detailed        pro-
        cedures      needed to make it work effectively           have never been
        devised.        Areas in which effective         detailed   procedures     are
        lacking      are described      below.

        Lack of procedures        to ensure that
        all unused tickets        are returned   by travelers

               The Transportation        Branch of the Peace Corps has no pro-
        cedures   for ensuring       that all    unused transportation         tickets
        are returned     by travelers        and that all     such tickets     are turned
        over to the Division         of Accounting      for processing      for obtain-
        ing refunds.      We believe       that  a simple     system could be estab-
        lished   whereby   all    transportation      tickets     purchased    would be
        listed   and the list       would be annotated        when the tickets        were


                                                  5
used.     Unused tickets    then would be readily    identifiable,                 and
follow-up     action  could be taken to obtain    them.

Lack of procedures     to provide         for
better physical    control   over        unused    tickets

        Peace Corps procedures        do not require    that unused trans-
portation     tickets   be kept under lock and key.          We observed,
for example,       that a significant     number of transportation        tick-
ets were being placed        in either    a box or a large     envelope     and
stored    in unlocked    drawers.      We also found that the responsi-
bility    for accounting     for unused tickets      had not been dele-
gated to any employee.

        Transportation       tickets  are somewhat negotiable        in that
ticketholders        easily    can use the tickets     for unauthorized
travel     or they can exchange the tickets          for tickets     to other
destinations.          Since the tickets    are negotiable,      they require
the kind of care that usually            is provided     for cash or items
readily     convertible      to cash.

Lack of procedures         for prompt     return    of
unused tickets   for       processing     of claims

        The processing      of claims     for refunds        appeared   to have
been delayed     unnecessarily        in sections       of the Transportation
Branch.     This branch       is responsible        for identifying       and re-
covering    unused transportation           tickets     from prospective       em-
ployees    who failed     to report     for duty.         Even without     the un-
used tickets,      the Peace Corps can file             claims    for refunds     by
reporting     the tickets       lost.

        We noted that the Latin            America     Section     of the Transpor-
tation    Branch had not initiated              claims    for refunds     on unre-
turned    tickets       as long as a year after           prospective     employees
had failed       to report       for duty.      We noted also that another
section     normally       kept returned      tickets     for about 3 months be-
fore forwarding          them to the Division          of Accounting      for proc-
essing.       The tickets        were retained       by this    section   as a con-
trol    in identifying         those tickets       that had not been returned.
We believe,        however,      that   the problem     of identification        can
be resolved        without     delaying    the processing        of claims    for un-
used transportation            tickets.

Lack of procedures    to record
refund claims   as receivables
        The Comptroller   General       has prescribed        in the Accounting
Principles    and Standards    for      Federal    Agencies     that amounts
due an agency from others       be      recorded     accurately     as receiv-
ables from the time the acts            giving   rise    to such claims      are

                                          6
completed      until  they are collected      or determined    to be uncol-
lectible     (2 GAO 12.4).       Accounting   for receivables     is an em-
portant    form of control       over agency resources      in that  it pro-
vides    a systematic     record    of amounts due that must be ac-
counted    for.

        We found that,        prior    to July     1, 1970, claims       against
carriers      for refunds       on unused transportation          tickets      were not
being recorded        as receivables        when the claims       were filed.         In-
stead,     refunds    were recorded        when they were received           from the
carriers.        Since a systematic         record    of amounts due from car-
riers     was not maintained,          the Peace Corps did not know which
of its claims        had been paid,        which had been partially            paid,
which remained        unpaid,       or which had been denied payment.                Af-
ter the completion           of our review,        the Peace Corps established
a system of recording            claims    against    carriers    for unused
transportation        tickets       as the claims     were filed.

INFORMATION ON REFUNDS AND CLAIMS
NOT FORWARDED TO GAO

       One of the areas of responsibility                     assigned    by law to GAO
is the examination,              adjudication,        and settlement      of claims       by
the United        States     involving       payments     for transportation         fur-
nished    for the account            of the Government.           To enable GAO to
meet its responsibilities,                  agencies    are required      to forward,
in accordance         with     the GAO Policy         and Procedures      Manual for
Guidance      of Federal        Agencies,       certain    .documents pertaining          to
transportation          claims      so that GAO’s transportation             specialists
may audit       the documents          to ascertain      whether     the proper
amounts have been refunded.

       The GAO manual provides        that,    if no payment has been re-
ceived     from the carrier   within     3 months after      a claim   for
transportation       refund has been filed,       the matter     be reported
to GAO. The manual provides           also that,     upon receipt     of a re-
fund,    an agency forward     to GAO any advice        from the carrier     as
to the basis      for the refund,     together    with    the forms used by
the agency when requesting         the refund.

        Our review       showed that       for years the Peace Corps had not
complied    with      the requirement          for sending     to GAO documentation
on ticket     refunds      recovered       from carriers.         Furthermore,     we
found that      documentation         relating      to refund     claims   remaining
unpaid beyond a 3-month period                   had not been forwarded         to GAO.
Because the Peace Corps had not forwarded                      these documents       for
follow-up     and audit,        contrary       to requirements,        GAO did not au-
dit the documents          and there       is a strong     possibility       that the
Peace Corps did not obtain                some refunds     which GAO’s transpor-
tation    specialists        could have obtained.


                                            7
      We found that there were two reasons why Peace Corps em-
ployees were not forwarding      to GAO the required     documentation
on claims on which refunds had been received or on claims that
had not been paid by the carriers     within    3 months.      First,
since the Peace Corps had not established        records at the time
claims were filed,   it was difficult     to identify     claims that
had been outstanding    for 3 or more months.        Second, the employ-
ees had instructions    to retain documents until       they could be
processed mechanically     by a computerized    system, which was
not operable at the time of our review.
CONCLUSION
        The processing    of claims for refunds on an irregular      ba-
sis has persisted      in the Peace Corps for an extended period.
The weaknesses in controls         of unused tickets   was commented
on in our 1967 report        to the Director    of the Peace Corps.   Ef-
fective    corrective    action has not been taken, however, and
the Government continues        to suffer    monetary losses.
        We believe that the cost of establishing    procedures   that
would provide effective      control over unused tickets   would be
relatively     minor compared with the potential   savings in-
volved.
RECOMMENDATIONS
        We recommend that the Director       of the Peace Corps assign
to a specific      person the responsibility      for establishing    an
effective     system for controlling     unused transportation     tickets
and obtaining      refunds.   In our judgment, such a system should
include procedures       for:
      1. Identifying      all   unused transportation           tickets.
      2. Physical   and record      control      over tickets          returned   to
         the Corps.
      3. Promptly      submitting   claims.
      4. Recording as receivables             claims   for   tickets       returned
         to the carriers.
      5. Providing      GAO with required  documentation  on refunds
         received      and on claims outstanding  for over 3 months.
       We recommend also that the Director  require     that an in-
ternal   review of unused tickets  be made periodically      to en-
sure that effective    corrective action is taken.
    .
              .
        . .


                                                  CHAPTER 3

                           NEED TO IMPROVE CONTROLSOVER TRAVEL ADVANCES
                        The Peace Corps did not         recover unneeded travel  advances,
                  contrary    to the provisions    of     the Standardized Government
                  Travel Regulations.       Although      the implementing Peace Corps
                  regulations    and instructions       appeared adequate, they were not
                  being complied with.
.
                         The Standardized    Government Travel Regulations      provide
                  that the head of each agency, or his designee, be responsible
                  for the recovery of unneeded travel         advances.   When a final
                  travel   voucher is submitted      and when the advance exceeds the
                  expenses incurred,      the traveler   should be directed    to refund
                  immediately     such excess.    If the traveler   who received    an ad-
                  vance cancels or indefinitely        postpones his authorized     travel,
                  the head of the agency, or his designee, is required by the
                  travel   regulations    to take immediate steps to obtain a refund
                  of the advance.
                        We found that the Peace Corps was not complying with
                  these regulations   and in many instances had not taken effec-
                  tive action to recover advances from employees when the ad-
                  vances were no longer needed.
                        In August 1970 we asked Peace Corps officials       about a
                  number of travel    advances, totaling    over $30,000, which ap-
                  peared to be outstanding     for unreasonable    lengths of time.
                  As of May 1971 advances totaling       about $16,000 to about 80
                  employees were still    outstanding.     Some of these advances were
                  made in 1966, or nearly 5 years before completion        of our re-
                  view.    Of the travel  advances that remained outstanding      in
                  May 1971, about $7,000 had been made to 38 employees who sub-
                  sequently had separated from the Peace Corps without        having
                  been required   to repay the advances.      For example, an employee
                  who had been given an advance of $180 in June 1968 resigned
                  from the Peace Corps still      owing the $180. Another employee,
                  who had been given a travel      advance of $900 in July 1966, re-
                  signed in October 1969 still      owing $700.
                         The Peace Corps regulations     governing travel     advances
                  generally    augment the Standardized     Government Travel Regula-
                  tions and require    that all outstanding      travel   advances be
                  reviewed at least monthly.        The Peace Corps regulations      re-
                  quire that,    where travel   has not occurred or been planned for
                  during the past month, a notice be sent to the employee re-
                  quiring   repayment or an explanation      of the continued need for
                  the advance.     These regulations    require    also that deductions


                                                         9
be made from the employee’s       salary to liquidate                 the   advance
if remittance      of the advance or a satisfactory                 reply    is not
received    within   2 weeks.

         The Voucher   Review Section        is responsible       for reviewing
travel     advances   each month and for recovering             advances when
employees      do not furnish     satisfactory       explanations       of their
official     needs for them.       We were informed          by employees       in
the section      that outstanding       travel    advances     had been reviewed
only as time permitted         and by no means at monthly             intervals    as
required     by the Peace Corps travel          regulations.

CONCLUSIONS

       We believe        that the existing        Peace Corps regulations            and
administrative         instructions      with   regard    to travel    advances
are in consonance           with    the Standardized      Government     Travel
Regulations         and that,     if the Peace Corps regulations             are fully
complied      with,    they would be adequate          for controlling        travel
advances.        These regulations         and instructions,        however,     need
to be enforced.

RECOMMENDATIONS

        We recommend that the Director                of the Peace Corps require
employees       to comply with       the Peace Corps regulations           and ad-
ministrative        instructions       relating     to the control     and recov-
ery of travel         advances.      We recommend also that         the Director
require      the Voucher Review Section             to make monthly     reports     on
outstanding       travel      advances which will         indicate whether      regu-
lations      concerning       advances    of travel     funds are being complied
with.




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