Centralized Subsystem for Paying Officers in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service

FGMSD-77-23: Published: May 3, 1977. Publicly Released: May 3, 1977.

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The subsystem of the centralized payroll system for paying officers of the Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps was reviewed, and the adequacy of system controls that check whether paychecks are issued correctly and promptly to PHS officers were evaluated. The actions taken on recommendations in audit reports issued since 1969 on the centralized payroll operation were noted.

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) needs to improve its payroll system for PHS to comply with standards established in the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies. The internal controls over PHS payroll operations were inadequate because: (1) the operating procedures in the payroll manual were neither current nor complete; (2) payroll data were processed without adequate controls to ensure accuracy and completeness; and (3) duties were not properly separated to reduce opportunities for fraudulent or irregular acts.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary, HEW, should: (1) provide adequate internal controls over operations; (2) fully implement controls to prevent unauthorized payments under automatic check processing procedures; (3) pay housing and other living allowances on the basis of current rates; (4) collect debts due from PHS officers promptly; and (5) evaluate the eligibility of officers to receive special retention bonuses on a case-by-case basis until appropriate eligibility criteria are established.

    Agency Affected:

 

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