Justice and Law Enforcement:

State Department's Management of Its Travel Advance Funds

T-NSIAD-88-21: Published: Apr 27, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1988.

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GAO discussed the Department of State's efforts to resolve problems in its management of travel advance funds. GAO found that: (1) State did not have an effective system to monitor and report on travel advances and to collect unused travel funds; (2) State's delinquent travel advances increased from $10 million in 1985 to about $15.4 million in 1987; (3) State has collected only a small portion of overdue travel advance funds through payroll deductions; and (4) State's accounting system did not allow for computation of interest on delinquent debts. GAO also found that State: (1) provided documentation for only $42,000 of the $660,000 in write-offs in 1986; (2) exceeded its own limits for write-offs for uncollectible travel advance accounts; (3) transferred the balances of some accounts to accounts with fictitious names and social security numbers; (4) did not ensure that resigning or retiring employees had no outstanding travel advances; (5) believes that inadequate staffing and high employee turnover adversely affected its travel advance operations; and (6) did not follow government-wide standards relating to travel advances.

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