Check Relay:

Controls in Place Comply With Federal Reserve Guidelines

GAO-02-19: Published: Dec 12, 2001. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2002.

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This report discusses the management of the air transportation network used to move checks from one Federal Reserve office to another. GAO studied the propriety of practices for bidding, awarding, and monitoring contracts and the adequacy of controls to monitor fuel and other payments to vendors. The network was moved to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (FRB Atlanta) in September 1998 and renamed Check Relay. Check Relay's internal controls are designed to ensure that each step of the contract evaluation and approval process conforms to FRB Atlanta and Federal Reserve System policies and that appropriate senior officials review and approve contract terms. Check Relay also ensures that all payments to vendors conform to contract terms. Another set of controls verifies that the amount of fuel used by Check Relay's vendors is consistent with expected levels and that fuel is provided only to the appropriate recipients. Check Relay is managed as a unit of the Retail Payments Office, which is managed out of FRB Atlanta. The Board's Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems also has oversight responsibility over Check Relay. GAO found no evidence with which to question FRB Atlanta's conclusions that Check Relay's internal controls are effectively designed and implemented.

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