Energy Management:

DOE Controls Over Contractors' Use of FTS Are Inadequate

RCED-90-184: Published: Jul 17, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Energy's (DOE) controls over contractors' use of the Federal Telecommunications System (FTS).

GAO found that: (1) DOE policies make supervisors responsible for preventing misuse of the FTS lines assigned to their units; (2) DOE has neither developed procedures to guide supervisors in carrying out this function nor provided information about the calls made over their FTS lines; (3) DOE can not develop more effective controls over FTS use until it establishes a Privacy Act system of records for its detailed information; and (4) DOE could devise a cost-effective method for reviewing FTS telephone calls and for following up on possible unofficial calls.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On September 12, 1991, DOE issued policy guidance for establishing call control/verification programs that require managers, including contractors, to use available call detail records to verify that employee calls were for official business. The guidance also addresses responsibilities and authorities for supervisors and employees, and collection procedures for unauthorized calls.

    Recommendation: To ensure that contractors are using FTS only for official purposes, the Secretary of Energy should direct the Assistant Secretary for Management and Administration to establish an FTS call-control program which includes appropriate DOE-wide procedures and management controls, for both users and supervisory personnel, on the use of FTS as well as the financial and disciplinary consequences of abuse.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The new FTS 2000 service which was implemented in 1990 replaced FTS. FTS 2000 billing is usage sensitive and requires DOE to establish a program to verify that calls have been properly billed and that the calls were for official business. DOE guidance issued September 12, 1991 describes the call control/verification procedures.

    Recommendation: To ensure that contractors are using FTS only for official purposes, the Secretary of Energy should direct the Assistant Secretary for Management and Administration to establish an FTS call-control program which includes specific procedures for monitoring and reporting to management on the effectiveness of the FTS call-control program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

 

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