oversight

Senate Office of Public Records Revolving Fund

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-10-17.

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

United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548



          October 17, 2003

          The Honorable Emily J. Reynolds
          Secretary of the United States Senate

          Subject: Senate Office of Public Records Revolving Fund

          Dear Ms. Secretary:

          We performed procedures you requested to assist you in determining whether the
          Senate Office of Public Records revolving fund’s reported fiscal year 2001 (October 1,
          2000, through September 30, 2001) and fiscal year 2002 (October 1, 2001, through
          September 30, 2002) receipts and disbursements and fund balances at the beginning
          and end of the review period are complete and accurate.

          In summary, the procedures you asked us to perform included reviewing
          documentation supporting the Senate Office of Public Records revolving fund’s
          recorded receipt and disbursement transactions for evidence that the transactions
          were properly authorized, recorded, and reported on the Senate Disbursing Office’s
          monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and Expense Activity reports. In
          addition, you asked us to review the fund balance at the beginning and end of the
          fiscal years under review. As a result of performing the agreed-upon procedures, we
          identified one instance in which a cash disbursement was not forwarded to the
          Senate Committee on Rules and Administration prior to payment. This occurred
          during the displacement of staff from the Senate Disbursing Office as a result of the
          anthrax incident in the fall of 2001. Additionally, we found that the beginning and
          ending fund balances for fiscal years 2001 and 2002 recorded in the Senate Disbursing
          Office’s monthly statements agreed with the balances reported by the U.S. Treasury.
          The details of the agreed-upon procedures along with our results are presented in
          enclosure I. The unaudited Schedules of Receipts, Disbursements, and Fund
          Balances for fiscal years 2001 and 2002 for the Senate Office of Public Records
          revolving fund are in enclosure II.

          By specifying the agreed-upon procedures, your office was responsible for ensuring
          that the procedures we performed were sufficient to meet your objectives, and we
          make no representations in that respect. In performing these procedures, we
          conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
          standards that incorporate financial audit and attestation standards established by
          the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. These standards also provide
          guidance when performing and reporting the results of agreed-upon procedures. In
          agreeing to perform the procedures you requested, we discussed this guidance and
          the related limitations on the nature, scope, and intended use of our work with your


                                              GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
office. We did not perform a financial audit, and accordingly, we do not express an
opinion on the enclosed Schedules of Receipts, Disbursements, and Fund Balances
for the Office of Public Records.

We provided a draft of this report along with its enclosures to your staff for review
and comment. They provided us with technical comments that have been
incorporated in this report, as appropriate. We conducted our work from May 14,
2003, through July 30, 2003. This report is intended for your office’s use and is not
intended to be and should not be used by those who have not agreed to the
procedures and taken responsibility for the sufficiency of the procedures for their
purposes.

As arranged with your offices, unless you announce the contents of this report
earlier, we will not distribute it until 30 days from its date. Then copies will be made
available to others upon request. If you have any questions concerning our work,
please contact me at (202) 512-9471 or Keith Thompson, Assistant Director, at (202)
512-6328. Key contributors to this assignment were Chanetta Reed and Stacey Smith.
This report will be made available at http://www.gao.gov, GAO’s Internet site.


Sincerely yours,




Jeanette Franzel
Director
Financial Management and Assurance
(202) 512-9471


Enclosures




2                                    GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
Enclosure I



                  Agreed-Upon Procedures and Related Results


Receipts Procedures

1. We examined all fiscal years 2002 and 2001 official receipt documents to
   determine whether they were properly included in the total weekly deposit. We
   then compared the weekly deposit amounts to the amounts reported on the
   Senate Disbursing Office’s monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and
   Expense Activity reports.

2. We reviewed the Senate Disbursing Office’s monthly Statement of Funding
   Authorization and Expense Activity reports for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 receipts
   to determine whether each deposit was correctly recorded in the proper fiscal
   year.

Results

We found cash receipts for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 for the Senate Office of Public
Records were supported by appropriate documentation and were accurately
recorded, summarized, and reported in the Senate Disbursing Office’s monthly
Statement of Funding Authorization and Expense Activity reports.


Disbursements Procedures

Using the Senate Disbursing Office copies of fiscal years 2002 and 2001 disbursement
vouchers and associated supporting documentation for the Senate Office of Public
Records revolving fund, we did the following:

    1. Determined whether the request for payment per the disbursement voucher
       was (a) certified by the designated official from the Office of Public Records
       as to the receipt and acceptance of the goods and/or services for which the
       payment was made, (b) authorized by the Secretary of the Senate or an
       authorized designee, and (c) sanctioned by the Committee on Rules and
       Administration prior to disbursement.

    2. Compared the payee (e.g., vendor number, name, and address) and amount
       billed from the supporting invoice to the approved disbursement voucher
       applicable for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 disbursement activities and to the
       Senate Disbursing Office’s monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and
       Expense Activity reports.

    3. Reviewed the Senate Disbursing Office’s monthly Statement of Funding
       Authorization and Expense Activity reports for fiscal years 2002 and 2001



3                                    GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
Enclosure I

       disbursement activities to determine whether each disbursement was
       correctly recorded in the proper fiscal year.

Results

We found that cash disbursements for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 from the Senate
Office of Public Records revolving fund were certified, authorized, and sanctioned
                             1
prior to payment as required except in one instance. We identified one disbursement
in the amount of $720 for fiscal year 2002 that, while properly certified and
authorized, was not sanctioned by the Senate Committee on Rules and
Administration prior to payment. This occurrence, as explained by the Senate
Disbursing Office, was attributable to an oversight by the Senate Disbursing Office
due to displacement from their normal business operations as a result of the anthrax
incident.2 This transaction was subsequently sanctioned by the Committee on Rules
and Administration and was found to be in order for payment.

We found that all disbursements were supported by the appropriate documentation
and accurately recorded, summarized, and reported in the Senate Disbursing Office’s
monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and Expense Activity reports for the
revolving fund. We found that all disbursements for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 were
recorded in the appropriate year.


Fund Balances

    1. We compared the Senate Office of Public Record’s reconciliation of its
       receipts and disbursements for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 to the Senate
       Disbursing Office’s monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and Expense
       Activity reports and traced and confirmed no differences.

    2. We compared the beginning (October 1, 2001, and 2000) and ending
       (September 30, 2002, and 2001) fiscal years 2002 and 2001 fund balances for
       the Senate Office of Public Records recorded on the Senate Disbursing Office’s
       monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and Expense Activity reports to
       the balances reported by the U.S. Treasury.

Results

We found that the Senate Office of Public Records had performed all reconciliations
for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 and identified no reconciling items or discrepancies.



1
  Disbursement from the revolving fund shall be made upon vouchers approved by the Secretary of the
Senate (2 U.S.C. 68-7). The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration must sanction all cash
disbursements made by the Senate Disbursing Office on behalf of the Office of Public Records (2
U.S.C. 68).
2
  Staff in the Senate Disbursing office was displaced from October 2001 until around February 2002.


4                                         GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
Enclosure I

The beginning and ending fund balances for fiscal years 2002 and 2001 recorded in
the Senate Disbursing Office’s monthly Statement of Funding Authorization and
Expense Activity reports agreed with the balances reported by the U.S. Treasury.




5                                  GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
Enclosure II


            Senate Office of Public Records Revolving Fund Schedules and Related Notes
                                     Fiscal Years 2002 and 2001



                Schedules of Receipts, Disbursements, and Fund Balances (Unaudited)

                                                                FY 2002            FY 2001
    Receipts

                    Copies of public documents                  $ 19,324           $ 24,185

    Disbursements

                    Contractual services                        $ 27,233           $ 39,330
                    Equipment                                      1,957             39,144

    Total disbursements                                         $ 29,190           $ 78,474

    Net fiscal year receipt/(disbursement) activity             $ (9,866)          $ (54,289)

    Beginning balance                                           $ 126,194          $ 180,483

    Ending balance                                              $ 116,328          $ 126,194




6                                          GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
Enclosure II


Notes to the Schedules of Receipts, Disbursements, and Fund Balances

Reporting Entity

The Senate Office of Public Records revolving fund was established in 1989, as provided
by section 13 of Public Law 101-163. All moneys received on and after October 1, 1989,
by the Senate Office of Public Records from fees and other charges for services are
deposited to the credit of the revolving fund. Moneys in the revolving fund shall be
available without fiscal year limitation for disbursement by the Secretary of the Senate
for use in connection with the operation of the Senate Office of Public Records,
including for purchase of supplies and equipment and for other expenses.

Disbursements from the revolving fund are documented on vouchers approved by the
Secretary of the Senate. The Secretary of the Senate is authorized to prescribe such
regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of section 13 of Public Law
101-163. To provide capital for the revolving fund, section 13 authorized the Secretary of
the Senate to transfer up to $30,000 in appropriated fiscal year 1990 funds from the
‘‘Miscellaneous Items’’ account in the Senate’s contingent fund to the revolving fund.

Basis of Accounting

For purposes of these schedules, the Senate Office of Public Records revolving fund
reports receipts and disbursements using the cash basis, which recognizes transactions
when cash is received or disbursed. This basis of accounting differs from generally
accepted accounting principles, which recognize revenues when earned and expenses
when incurred.

Contractual Services

Contractual services include the costs associated with modifications provided by a
vendor to correct latent deficiencies in purchased software and the purchase of
additional information system software.

Fund Balance

The beginning fund balance on the fiscal year 2001 statement represents the balance at
October 1, 2000, carried over from the prior period. The ending fund balance on the fiscal
year 2001 statement represents the fund balance remaining at September 30, 2001, and is
carried over as the beginning fund balance for fiscal year 2002. The ending fund balance
for fiscal year 2002 represents the fund balance remaining at September 30, 2002, and is
available for use in a subsequent period.




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7                                       GAO-04-141R Senate Office of Public Records Fund Review
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