Personnel Practices: Reimbursable Interagency Details

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-06-24.

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

United States General Accounting Office                                                                 General Government Division
Washington, D.C. 20548


                 June 24, 1999

                 Donna D. Beecher
                 Director of Human Resources Management
                 U. S. Department of Agriculture

                 Subject: Personnel Practices: Reimbursable Interagency Details

                 Dear Ms. Beecher:

                 We want to bring to your attention the importance of obtaining reimbursement from agencies
                 when the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) details employees to them. In connection
                 with our recent review of the personnel practices of the Small Business Administration
                 (SBA), we found that several agencies, including USDA, had detailed employees to SBA on a
                 reimbursable basis but had not billed SBA for reimbursement. According to an Interagency
                 Agreement signed by officials of SBA and USDA, an employee from your agency, Mr. Avelino
                 Sanchez, was detailed to SBA on a reimbursable basis from June 20, 1994, to September 30,
                 1994. The Interagency Agreement provided for reimbursement of Mr. Sanchez’ salary.
                 However, an SBA official informed us that as of May 25, 1999, SBA had not received a bill
                 from USDA for this employee’s services and therefore, reimbursement had not been made.

                 In accordance with a 1985 Comptroller General decision, details for which reimbursement is
                 not made would, except in limited circumstances, (1) violate the statutory provision that
                 appropriations must be spent only for the purpose for which they are appropriated and (2)
                 unlawfully augment the appropriations of the receiving agency.

                 We have not examined interagency details at USDA. Consequently, we do not know if this
                 particular case is an anomaly or symptomatic of a broader misapplication of internal controls
                 governing reimbursements for interagency details. For this reason, we call your attention to
                 this specific case in the possibility that you may wish to examine whether your agency’s
                 internal controls are working appropriately to insure timely reimbursements for such details.

                     Small Business Administration: Review of Selected Personnel Practices (GAO/GGD-99-68, April 23, 1999).
                     64 Comp. Gen. 370 (1985).

                 Page 1                                                                GAO/GGD-99-126R Reimbursable Interagency Details

A contact at SBA about the specific case is the current Associate Deputy Administrator for
Management and Administration, Ms. Elizabeth Montoya at (202) 205-6610.

We would appreciate being notified of any action taken on the reimbursement for Mr.
Sanchez’ detail or on the agency’s internal controls for interagency details. Please call me at
(202) 512-8676 or Assistant Director Richard Caradine at (202) 512-8109 if you have any

Sincerely yours,

Michael Brostek
Associate Director, Federal Management and
 Workforce Issues

Page 2                                              GAO/GGD-99-126R Reimbursable Interagency Details
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