Personnel Practices:

Reimbursable Interagency Details

GGD-99-141R: Published: Jul 22, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 1999.

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GAO identified weaknesses in the Department of Energy's (DOE) personnel practices.

GAO noted that: (1) in connection with GAO's recent review of the personnel practices of the Small Business Administration (SBA), GAO found that several agencies, including DOE, had detailed employees to SBA on a reimbursable basis but had not billed SBA for reimbursement; (2) according to an interagency agreement signed by officials of SBA and DOE, an employee for DOE detailed to SBA on a reimbursable basis from June 5, 1995, to September 9, 1996; (3) the interagency agreement provided for reimbursement of the employee's salary and benefits; (4) however, a SBA official informed GAO that, as of May 25, 1999, SBA had not received a bill from DOE for this employee's services and, therefore, reimbursement had not been made; (5) in accordance with a 1985 Comptroller General decision, details for which reimbursement is not made would, except in limited circumstances: (a) violate the statutory provision that appropriations must be spent only for the purpose for which they are appropriated; and (b) unlawfully augment the appropriations of the receiving agency; (6) GAO has not examined interagency details at DOE; and (7) consequently, GAO does not know if this particular case is an anomaly or symptomatic of a broader misapplication of internal controls governing reimbursements for interagency details.

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