Navy Anti-Deficiency Act Training

AIMD-96-53R: Published: Apr 12, 1996. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1996.

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GAO reviewed Navy financial operations for fiscal year (FY) 1994, focusing on 15 cases in which the Department of Defense (DOD) reported to Congress that the Navy had violated the Antideficiency Act. GAO found that: (1) 13 of the 15 cases resulted from misunderstanding, confusion, and misapplication of financial management regulations and guidance regarding procurement and fund management; (2) 10 of the cases involved charges to the wrong appropriation account, and 8 of those concerned the purchases of automatic data processing (ADP) equipment; (3) inadequate staff training caused most of the violations; (4) Navy training materials available to operations-level staff do not adequately cover anti-deficiency matters in detail; (5) while the Navy does not have courses about financial management and administrative control of funds, DOD has implemented regulations on fund control procedures and required the Navy to provide adequate training; and (6) Navy efforts to establish antideficiency training could be enhanced by detailed training courses.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy has expanded the time allocated to Anti-Deficiency Act requirements, and included references to the requirements contained in DOD's "Financial Management Regulations", as part of several training courses provided to financial management personnel. Incorporated into this training are examples of actual violations, as GAO recommended. Specifically, examples of actual violations were included in the following classes: (1) "Principles of Navy Budgeting" class given at the Naval Financial Management Career Center; (2) "Practical Comptrollership" offered at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California; (3) "Navy Financial Managerial Accounting" offered at the Naval Financial Management Career Center' and (4) "Introduction to Accounting for the Navy Working Capital Fund" offered at the Naval Financial Management Center.

    Recommendation: To minimize misinterpretations of financial management regulations which have resulted in violations of the Purpose Statute and the Antideficiency Act, the Navy Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Comptroller should direct the Director of the Office of Financial Operations to work with the DOD Financial Management Education and Training Division to incorporate specific examples of Antideficiency Act violations experienced by the Navy into the DOD Antideficiency Act course that is currently under development.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Comptroller

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy has provided financial managers and fund control officials with the knowledge required to avoid violations. These steps included expansion of act requirements, references in existing courses, and introduction of new courses developed specifically to address the act. As of December 1996, the Navy's Career Development Center had enhanced sections of its entry-level course on the act. In 1997, discussions of the act in other training courses were also expanded. Training related to the act was also expanded in higher-level courses. Additional information was added to a course offered at the Naval Postgraduate School. In fall 1997, the Navy began teaching a new 5-day course to all personnel charged with investigating violations. During 1998, Navy's general counsel began offering a 2-3 day course on fiscal law to upper-level managers, comptroller, contracting officers, and funds control personnel throughout the Navy.

    Recommendation: To help minimize misinterpretations of financial management regulations which have resulted in violations of the Purpose Statute and the Antideficiency Act, the Navy Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Comptroller should direct the Director of Financial Operations to establish a curriculum or other minimum training requirements either in concert with the DOD Financial Management Education and Training Division for DOD-wide application or at the Navy level to provide Navy financial managers and fund control officials with the knowledge required to avoid Antideficiency Act violations. Any curriculum should at minimum include the DOD course under development along with a comprehensive overview of the associated requirements in the new DOD "Financial Management Regulation." Examples of Antideficiency Act violation cases, including ADP-related examples, should be cited to highlight types of improper procurement actions and to illustrate the serious nature of the violations and the disciplinary actions that can be imposed on responsible parties.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Comptroller

 

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