Financial Management:

Army Records Contain Millions of Dollars in Negative Unliquidated Obligations

AFMD-90-41: Published: May 2, 1990. Publicly Released: May 2, 1990.

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Jeffrey C. Steinhoff
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army Materiel Command's (AMC) procedures to monitor outstanding negative unliquidated obligations (ULO) related to supply and equipment inventory purchases.

GAO found that: (1) six major subordinate commands had negative ULO balances totalling about $328 million; (2) commands did not always resolve negative balances promptly; (3) coordination problems between the commands and other Department of Defense (DOD) organizations caused delays in resolving negative balances; (4) actions to correct negative ULO were slow because information on obligations, payments, or collection transactions was inaccurate or incomplete; and (5) contractor overpayments were the cause of $7.6 million in negative ULO and tied up Army funds that could have been used to meet other Army requirements. GAO also found that commands did not: (1) produce reports that showed how long their negative ULO balances had been outstanding; and (2) initiate adequate follow-up procedures to ensure that outstanding negative balances were resolved.

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