Personnel Practices:

Reimbursable Interagency Details

GGD-99-145R: Published: Aug 3, 1999. Publicly Released: Aug 3, 1999.

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GAO identified weaknesses in the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) personnel practices.

GAO noted that: (1) in connection with its recent review of the personnel practices of the Small Business Administration (SBA), GAO found that several agencies, including OPM, had detailed employees to SBA on a reimbursable basis but had not billed SBA for reimbursement; (2) according to a Memorandum of Understanding signed by officials of SBA and OPM, an employee from OPM, was detailed to SBA on a reimbursable basis from May 31, 1994, to September 30, 1994; (3) the Memorandum of Understanding 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 OPM 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 OPM; (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; and (8) for this reason, attention should be paid to this specific case in the possibility that OPM may wish to examine whether its internal controls are working appropriately to ensure timely reimbursements for such details.

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