DOD T&A System Controls:

Military Leave Records and Approval of Leave Requests

AIMD-99-283R: Published: Sep 22, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1999.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the internal control requirements in Title 6, "Pay, Leave, and Allowances of the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies" as they relate to the Air Force's Air Mobility Command's employee time and attendance (T&A) system, focusing on whether: (1) military leave records must be maintained in paper form containing handwritten signatures; and (2) it is permissible to have the supervisor approve staff leave requests on the Air Force's proposed T&A system by using an user identification code or a password in lieu of the electronic signature required in Title 6.

GAO noted that: (1) Title 6 does not prescribe the form in which records must be maintained, but recognizes that agency records of T&A data are maintained in hard copy, automated files, or a combination of the two; (2) it is permissible for the proposed system to include user identification codes and passwords for the supervisor; (3) the cost of implementing electronic signatures meeting certain criteria is prohibitive and not cost effective compared to the benefits such signatures provide; (4) the requirement in section 3.6 of Title 6 that supervisors use electronic signatures is based on the risks associated with automated records and approvals; (5) however, the requirement is forward looking with a view toward evolving, affordable technology; (6) in the interim, before widespread application of cost effective electronic signatures is readily available, T&A systems should be designed to ensure that approved T&A data are protected against loss or alteration; and (7) the proposed system can provide for compensating controls to minimize the risks of intentional or unintentional alteration of approved T&A data and to ensure the accuracy of the data.

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