Auditing and Financial Management:

Financial Management Problems at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

AFMD-82-17: Published: Oct 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 1981.

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At the request of a congressional committee, GAO undertook a series of reviews of the financial operations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to determine if the system is being operated as designed and in accordance with sound accounting methods. The objectives of this interim review were to assess the reliability of data produced by the accounting system; evaluate the current system of internal controls; and determine if required accounting procedures, such as periodic validations of unliquidated obligations, are being carried out.

In its review, GAO found that the accounting system includes the design features necessary to effectively control and account for funds. However, the system has not been properly maintained and operated as designed. As a result, the following problems exist and preclude effective financial management at EEOC: (1) many transactions have gone unrecorded for extended periods or were not recorded against the proper fiscal year appropriation; (2) many transactions rejected by computer edits have not been processed and recorded when appropriate; (3) unsupported and otherwise improper adjustments have been made to correct yearend balances; (4) obligation balances on records have not been properly reconciled and differences appropriately resolved; (5) unliquidated obligations have not been validated since 1978; (6) necessary documents have frequently not been provided to support bill payments with the result that cash discounts are being lost and the reasonableness of payments is not being reviewed; (7) procedures have not been established to identify and collect debts owed to the agency; (8) aggressive action has not been taken to settle or collect a large number of travel advances outstanding for an excessive period; (9) duties have not been properly separated to provide necessary checks and balances; (10) accounting personnel have not been adequately trained or supervised in performing their functions; and (11) internal audit coverage of financial activities has been inadequate.

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