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Highlights

GAO discussed its review of internal controls over disbursements made through the Department of the Treasury Financial Communications System (TFCS), through which Treasury generally makes large, nonrecurring payments such as letter-of-credit payments to grant recipients and large payments to vendors. GAO determined that: (1) because of a breakdown in system access controls, it was possible for unauthorized employees to make improper payments at one financial center; (2) Treasury lacked adequate controls to ensure that a similar breakdown would not occur at other centers linked to TFCS; (3) one Treasury center made about $5.4 million in duplicate payments from August 1983 through January 1984; (4) it could not verify whether Treasury made other duplicate payments; and (5) weaknesses exist in Treasury's procedures for ensuring the accuracy of payment information, including a lack of control over agencies' payment requests. GAO noted that: (1) Treasury does have many TFCS controls in place; and (2) it knew of no losses TFCS itself sustained.

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