B-114435(1), B-155021, OCT 23, 1973

B-114435(1),B-155021: Oct 23, 1973

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WE WILL LEND SUCH ASSISTANCE AS MAY BE REQUIRED. SECRETARY: WE HAVE BEEN REVIEWING OUR OPERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE AUDIT OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION PAYMENTS. OUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO INCREASE THE OVERALL EFFICIENCY OF OUR AUDIT THROUGH IMPROVED RATE AUDIT PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES AND THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THE DETAILED AUDIT OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF TRAFFIC WHICH ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DECENTRALIZED AUDIT BECAUSE THEY INVOLVE CONTRACT SERVICES OR OTHER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND WARRANTS - FOR CARRIERS' SERVICES IN OVERSEAS AREAS GENERALLY COVER SHIPMENTS FOR WHICH THE CHARGES ARE COMPUTED FROM FOREIGN RATE TARIFFS. DIPLOMATIC COURIER TRAVEL FOR WHICH THE CHARGES ARE COMPUTED OVER THE ACTUAL ROUTE OF TRAVEL.

B-114435(1), B-155021, OCT 23, 1973

WE AUTHORIZE THE OVERSEAS OFFICES TO AUDIT AND RETAIN ALL TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS PAID AT OVERSEAS OFFICES, SUBJECT TO SUCH TEST VERIFICATION AND PROCEDURAL REVIEWS AS MAY BE CONDUCTED BY OUR OFFICE. WE WILL LEND SUCH ASSISTANCE AS MAY BE REQUIRED.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

WE HAVE BEEN REVIEWING OUR OPERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE AUDIT OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION PAYMENTS. OUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO INCREASE THE OVERALL EFFICIENCY OF OUR AUDIT THROUGH IMPROVED RATE AUDIT PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES AND THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THE DETAILED AUDIT OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF TRAFFIC WHICH ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DECENTRALIZED AUDIT BECAUSE THEY INVOLVE CONTRACT SERVICES OR OTHER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. BELIEVE THAT TRANSPORTATION PAYMENTS MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AT OVERSEAS POINTS MEET THIS CRITERIA, AND THE EFFICIENT PREAUDIT OF THE CHARGES BILLED SHOULD ENABLE THIS OFFICE TO DISCONTINUE THE DETAILED AUDIT OF SUCH PAYMENTS.

THE TRANSPORTATION DOCUMENTS - GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING, GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND WARRANTS - FOR CARRIERS' SERVICES IN OVERSEAS AREAS GENERALLY COVER SHIPMENTS FOR WHICH THE CHARGES ARE COMPUTED FROM FOREIGN RATE TARIFFS; DIPLOMATIC COURIER TRAVEL FOR WHICH THE CHARGES ARE COMPUTED OVER THE ACTUAL ROUTE OF TRAVEL; AND SHIPMENTS FOR WHICH THE CHARGES ARE BASED ON QUOTATIONS OF LOCAL RATES OBTAINED BY TRANSPORTATION OFFICERS IN FOREIGN AREAS. OUR AUDIT OF THESE PAYMENTS IS COMPLICATED BY THE DIFFICULTIES OF MAINTAINING A FILE OF FOREIGN TARIFFS AND THE STAFF CAPABILITY TO INTERPRET AND APPLY THEM; DEVELOPING SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION FROM FOREIGN SOURCES TO CLARIFY OR SUSTAIN OUR AUDIT POSITIONS; AND HANDLING SUCH ITEMS AS MANY DIFFERENT STATUTES OF LIMITATION, ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE, REFUNDS, CLAIMS AND SUPPLEMENTAL BILLS.

WE DISCUSSED WITH OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN WASHINGTON; THE EMBASSIES IN LONDON, BRUSSELS, PARIS AND BONN; THE CONSULATE IN FRANKFURT; AND THE FINANCE CENTER IN PARIS OUR PROPOSAL THAT THE OVERSEAS PAYMENTS BE AUDITED AND THE VOUCHERS RETAINED AT THE OVERSEAS OFFICES. WE FOUND THAT THE BILLS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES OVERSEAS WERE BEING AUDITED BY FOREIGN NATIONALS PRIOR TO PAYMENT, AND THAT A HIGH DEGREE OF TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT WAS EXERCISED IN THE NEGOTIATION OF RATES, PLANNING OF SHIPMENTS, AND THE TRAVEL OF PERSONNEL AND DIPLOMATIC COURIERS. THE OFFICIALS WERE CONFIDENT THAT THE AUDIT BEING PERFORMED WAS ADEQUATE AND THEY WERE WILLING TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT. WE ARE SATISFIED THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE BEING PROTECTED AND A DETAILED POST AUDIT BY OUR OFFICE IS NOT NECESSARY.

ACCORDINGLY, WE AUTHORIZE THE OVERSEAS OFFICES TO AUDIT AND RETAIN ALL TRANSPORTATION VOUCHERS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS PAID AT OVERSEAS OFFICES, SUBJECT TO SUCH TEST VERIFICATION AND PROCEDURAL REVIEWS AS MAY BE CONDUCTED BY OUR OFFICE. WE WILL APPRECIATE ADVICE OF THE DATE THE CHANGES HEREIN CONSIDERED WILL BE MADE EFFECTIVE SO THAT OUR INTERNAL ARRANGEMENTS MAY BE SCHEDULED ACCORDINGLY.

WE WILL LEND SUCH ASSISTANCE AS MAY BE REQUIRED. ARRANGEMENTS MAY BE MADE BY CONTACTING MR. T. E. SULLIVAN, DIRECTOR, TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION.