Some District Agencies Deposit Receipts Timely:

Others Need To Improve

GGD-83-14: Published: Jan 13, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the processing and depositing of receipts in the District of Columbia Treasury by several District agencies.

GAO found that some District agencies are processing and depositing receipts promptly while other agencies are slower in handling collected funds, resulting in lost interest income, mishandling, theft, and delays. In its review of seven agencies, GAO found that the Department of Environmental Services and the D.C. General Hospital were more prompt in making deposits than the Departments of Housing and Community Development (DHCD); Licenses, Investigations, and Inspections (DLII); Insurance; and the Recorder of Deeds. Sufficient data were not available for the Department of Transportation' s Miscellaneous Trust Fund deposits. GAO learned that the District has not promulgated citywide standards concerning the timeliness and frequency of agency receipts processing, although standards are common elsewhere. GAO noted that: (1) U.S. Treasury requirements state that Federal agencies deposit receipts with the Treasury on a timely basis and design their processing system to separate payments received from accompanying documents at initial processing; (2) GAO standards for Federal agencies suggest prompt deposit of receipts; and (3) the Municipal Finance Officers Association's Guide states that cash managers should establish written procedures for all deposits. GAO stated that these concepts are applicable to local governments. Although District agencies have developed their own procedures for handling receipts in the absence of citywide standards, GAO stated that these procedures do not ensure prompt deposit.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The District advised GAO that the Department of Insurance procedures had been revised to implement the recommendations, but that DLII procedures would have to be thoroughly analyzed before any change could be made. In the interim, DLII and several other agencies have been merged to form the Department of Consumer an Regulatory Affairs, and the analysis was never completed.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to instruct DLII and the Department of Insurance to remove checks from accompanying paperwork at the earliest stages of processing.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DHCD procedures cited in the District's response to the report should reduce but will not eliminate the number of collection points in that Department.. At D.C. General Hospital, the District contends that there is a focal point for collections, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary cited in the report. The District plans no further action on this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to direct DHCD and D.C. General Hospital to centralize collection of receipts.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The District's new collection procedures require that receipts be date stamped; checks are not required to be logged and cash receipts are required to be logged only for small volume agencies without cash registers.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to require District agencies to log in and date-stamp all receipts.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The District does not agree that the listing would be helpful.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to direct the Recorder of Deeds to publish a listing of the most common errors made in preparing annual reports which cause these reports to be rejected.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The District believes that the current instructions are adequate.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to require the Department of Insurance to include on the instruction sheet sent with applications for new licenses the same information about typing the form as appears on the rejection letter.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The District does not agree that the legislation needs amending.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia should seek enactment of legislation to amend section 29-399 of the D.C. Code so as to require that the fee required for annual reports be paid at the time the report is tendered for filing.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The District does not agree that the legislation needs amending.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should seek the enactment of legislation to amend section 29-585 so as to provide that if the Mayor finds that the annual report does not conform to law, he shall either promptly return the same to the corporation for any necessary corrections or, where appropriate, notify the corporation that additional documents be filed.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The new collection manual notifies all agencies that collection efforts are subject to audit by the Inspector General, but does not require the Inspector General to review the Department of Finance and Revenue.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Inspector General to analyze the Department of Finance and Revenue processing of incoming receipts to determine how efficiently the receipts are being deposited.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to complete and distribute written standards and guidelines detailing the procedures agencies must follow in processing incoming receipts.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  10. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The District's April 11, 1984, collection manual directs agencies with the capability to maintain payor balances to deposit checks payable for incorrect amounts; agencies without the capability to maintain balances are directed to return checks.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, should direct the D.C. Treasury to direct all agencies to deposit checks payable for incorrect amounts and make necessary accounting adjustments later.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

 

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