Review of the Air Force Civil Engineer Cost Accounting System

FGMSD-80-18: Published: Nov 30, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 1979.

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A review was conducted of the Air Force Civil Engineer Cost Accounting System at Travis Air Force Base, California. The review included an examination of the Department of Defense Instructions and Air Force manuals and regulations, interviews with officials, test checks, tracing of transaction flows, and other audit routines as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the review. A review was also conducted of the Air Force Audit Agency's 1977 audit of the system at Travis Air Force Base. Since this is a standard system and has been implemented at about 119 installations worldwide, GAO believed it was especially important that the Audit Agency adequately review it to ensure that the system was implemented in accordance with the approved design.

Air Force implementation of the Civil Engineer Cost Accounting System at Travis Air Force Base substantially conformed to the GAO-approved system design. However, residual material costs may not have been accurately reported in cost reports because the internal controls for recording costs of residual material transferred to and from work orders were weak. The scope of the Audit Agency's 1977 review of the Civil Engineer Cost Accounting System and the 15 days authorized to complete it were inadequate. If not done in conjunction with a full-scale system audit, reviews of approved accounting systems in operation should verify conformity with an approved system design and include (1) a review and evaluation of internal controls, (2) limited reconciliations of final products with supporting documentation, and (3) limited computer edit tests.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) require that internal controls over the cost of residual material transferred from the holding area to work orders and the flow of material source documents be improved at Travis Air Force base, and (2) advise the Air Force Audit Agency to expand the scope of its reviews of GAO-approved accounting systems in operation when they are not done in conjunction with full-scale system audits.

    Agency Affected:

 

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