District of Columbia's Controls over Undelivered Checks and Controls to Prevent Duplicate Payments

FGMSD-76-75: Published: Dec 7, 1976. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 1976.

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The District of Columbia's accounting controls over undelivered checks and the adequacy of internal controls established to prevent duplicate payments were reviewed. The review covered only those checks issued for miscellaneous disbursements other than payroll, income tax return, and welfare payments.

Checks for 179 duplicate payments totaling about $47,000 were returned by payees during fiscal 1975. Accounts payable records did not easily identify all prior payments; the District Accounting Office and District agencies did not maintain adequate support documentation to prevent authorization of duplicate payments. Basic payment documents needed to account for disbursements, such as invoices, bills, or statements of account, were lacking. Hundreds of issued checks were unnecessarily held by the District, which also made little attempt to locate payees whose checks were returned by the Postal Service. Funds from undelivered checks were improperly restored to appropriations.

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