Major Deficiencies in Army's Washington, D.C., Finance and Accounting Operation

FGMSD-80-53: Published: Jun 5, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1980.

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The Military District of Washington's Finance and Accounting Office disburses about $1.5 billion annually and provides finance and accounting services to many Army and Defense organizations in the Washington, D.C., area. The adequacy of the Finance and Accounting office's internal controls and procedures for the processing of disbursements and for transactions involving accounting and civilian payroll were reviewed and analyzed as part of an effort to determine whether executive departments and agencies have accounting control over funds and assets.

Despite numerous internal management and audit reports and a prior GAO report, conditions at the Office remained unsatisfactory. The disbursing and payroll operation was inadequate for preventing erroneous payments and for deterring fraud. The Office has also failed to provide adequate accounting services to Army and Defense organizations. Inadequate systems, procedures, and internal controls contributed to this ineffectiveness. However, the most pressing problem was in retaining enough competent people to handle the very large workload.

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