Personnel Practices:

Reimbursable Interagency Details

GGD-99-172R: Published: Aug 24, 1999. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 1999.

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GAO identified weaknesses in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) personnel practices.

GAO noted that: (1) several agencies, including EPA, had detailed employees to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on a reimbursable basis but had not billed SBA for reimbursement; (2) according to an interagency agreement signed by officials of SBA and EPA, an employee from EPA was detailed to SBA on a reimbursable basis from October 26, 1997, to October 25, 1998; (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 EPA 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 EPA; 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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