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Fiscal Year 2021 Antideficiency Act Reports Compilation

B-333630 Apr 21, 2022
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Highlights

Agencies that violate the Antideficiency Act must report the violation to the President and Congress and transmit a copy of the report to the Comptroller General at the same time. 31 U.S.C. §§ 1351, 1517(b). The report must contain all relevant facts and a statement of actions taken.

Since fiscal year 2005, GAO, in its role as repository for the Antideficiency Act reports that agencies submit, has produced and publicly released an annual compilation of summaries of the reports. We base the summaries on unaudited information we extract from the agency reports. Each summary includes a brief description of the violation, as reported by the agency, and of remedial actions agencies report that they have taken. We also include copies of the agencies' transmittal letters. We post the summaries and the agency transmittal letters on our public website. In some cases, the agencies also send us additional materials with their transmittal letters. We make these additional materials available to Members and their staffs upon request.

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B-333630

April 21, 2022

The Honorable Kamala Harris
President of the Senate

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives

Subject: Fiscal Year 2021 Antideficiency Act Reports Compilation

Agencies that violate the Antideficiency Act must report the violation to the President and Congress and transmit a copy of the report to the Comptroller General at the same time. 31 U.S.C. §§ 1351, 1517(b). The report must contain all relevant facts and a statement of actions taken.

Since fiscal year 2005, GAO, in its role as repository for the Antideficiency Act reports that agencies submit, has produced and publicly released an annual compilation of summaries of the reports. We base the summaries on unaudited information we extract from the agency reports. Each summary includes a brief description of the violation, as reported by the agency, and of remedial actions agencies report that they have taken.

We also include copies of the agencies’ transmittal letters. We post the summaries and the agency transmittal letters on our public website. In some cases, the agencies also send us additional materials with their transmittal letters. We make these additional materials available to Members and their staffs upon request.

Please find enclosed the compilation of summaries of the 17 Antideficiency Act violation reports and agency transmittal letters submitted to GAO in fiscal year 2021. The Department of Homeland Security submitted six reports and the Department of Defense submitted three reports. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the General Services Administration, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation each submitted one report.

While GAO has not opined on the agency reports or the remedial actions taken, we do note that many of the reported violations resulted from similar agency actions. For example, six of the reported violations occurred during a lapse in appropriations, with four resulting from agencies incurring obligations without available budget authority for activities that were not excepted by the Antideficiency Act and two resulting from agencies accepting voluntary services that were not excepted by the act. Three of the reported violations resulted from obligating or expending funds in violation of statutory spending restrictions.

If you have any questions, please contact Shirley A. Jones, Managing Associate General Counsel, at (202) 512-8156, or Charlie McKiver, Assistant General Counsel for Appropriations Law, at (202) 512-5992.

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
General Counsel

Enclosure

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-01

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: October 7, 2020

Agency: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Year 2019

Account(s): Salaries and Expenses

Amount Reported: $79.70


Description: CPSC reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1342, when it accepted voluntary services when a furloughed employee worked during the partial government shutdown that occurred between December 2018 and January 2019.

According to CPSC, an employee assigned to the Division of Chemistry in the Directorate of Laboratory Services was furloughed on December 26, 2018, due to a lapse in appropriations. CPSC reported that its furlough notice, which the employee signed, instructed the employee not to work on official business, even as an unpaid volunteer. While furloughed, the employee accessed his official CPSC e-mail and sent a total of six emails from his official e-mail.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, CPSC reported that it will continue to emphasize that employees who work while furloughed are subject to the penalties of the ADA. According to CPSC, the responsible employee received a three-day suspension and was required to receive trainings on the ADA and its application to government furloughs. CPSC reported that the responsible employee did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports; E-mail from Acting Chief Financial Officer, CPSC to Staff Attorney, GAO (Dec. 15, 2021).

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-02

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: October 7, 2020

Agency: Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Year 2019

Account(s): Agricultural Research Service Salaries and Expenses

Amount Reported: $11.03


Description: USDA reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. § 1342, when it accepted voluntary services when a furloughed employee worked during the partial government shutdown that occurred between December 2018 and January 2019.

According to USDA, a Contracting Specialist in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) uploaded a document into the Integrated Acquisition System on December 31, 2018, while furloughed. According to USDA, ARS accepted the voluntary services in violation of the ADA, 31 U.S.C. § 1342.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, USDA reported that ARS had a process to disseminate information to employees regarding emergency and shutdown furlough procedures, furlough notices, and ethics during a lapse in appropriations. According to USDA, the responsible employee has been advised of the prohibition against working while furloughed. ARS has determined that the responsible employee did not did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-03

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: November 5, 2020

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2017 and 2018

Account(s): Medical Services; Medical Community Care1

Amount Reported: $1,091,078,347


Description: VA reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when it obligated funds from the wrong appropriations account for State Veterans Homes in FYs 2017 and 2018, and did not have sufficient funds in the correct appropriations account to cover the obligations.

VA reported that it charged obligations for State Veterans Homes for FYs 2017, 2018, and 2019 to its Medical Community Care account. For each of those FYs, the Medical Services appropriation contained specific language for State Veterans Homes. VA’s Office of General Counsel advised VA that it was required to charge the obligations to the Medical Services account to comply with the purpose statute. However, VA reported that insufficient funds remained in the Medical Services account to charge the obligations for FYs 2017 and 2018, and it therefore violated the ADA for those FYs.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, VA reported that the President’s FY 2021 budget requested a provision that would allow erroneously obligated and expended funds to be charged to the Medical Community Care Account. Congress included a similar provision in the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. According to VA, it reviewed the language in its Medical Services appropriations to ensure that no oversights remained. VA reported that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is improving congressional justification materials to clarify how programs should be funded in the future. According to VA, the employee responsible for the violation was the VHA Chief Financial Officer, who did not knowingly or willfully violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports; E-mail from Senior Level Attorney, VA to Staff Attorney, GAO (Oct. 5, 2021).

1 Throughout this report, where an agency reports that it violated the ADA by obligating or expending funds from an incorrect account, we identified both the account initially charged, and the account that was supposed to be charged, according to the agency.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-04

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: January 14, 2021

Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2018

Account(s): Executive Offices, Management and Administration; Administrative Support Offices, Management and Administration; Community Planning and Development, Program Office Salaries and Expenses; and Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Program Office Salaries and Expenses

Amount Reported: $158,850.74


Description: HUD reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), in FYs 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2018, when it incurred obligations and expended funds without providing advance congressional notification in violation of a statutory prohibition.

According to HUD, on a number of occasions, HUD staff made obligations and expenditures for offices and other spaces assigned to presidentially appointed officials that were covered by then-applicable advance congressional notification requirements. HUD reported that advance notification was not given to Congress before making such obligations and expenditures. HUD noted that the failures to notify Congress occurred due to a lack of written procedures regarding the statutory notification requirements.

According to HUD, the HUD Office of Inspector General conducted an investigation and issued a report with respect to office furniture purchased for the Secretary’s dining room that found no evidence of misconduct and made no recommendations because of remedial actions proposed by HUD and HUD’s intent to report an ADA violation.2 Additionally, HUD reported that the purchase contract for the Secretary’s dining room furniture was canceled.

2 GAO issued a decision regarding HUD’s obligation of appropriated funds in this manner. B-329955, May 16, 2019.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, HUD reported that it has instituted a mandatory review process under which various offices must review and pre-approve all proposed purchases that may fall within the government-wide limitation to furnish, redecorate, or make improvements for the offices of presidentially appointed officials. Additionally, HUD reported that the Office of Administration is developing a standard operating procedure to formally document this review process. HUD reported that this error was systemic in nature and therefore, no responsible employees were identified. According to HUD, there was no knowing or willful intent to violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-05

Agency No.: Navy, 19-01/02

Date Reported to GAO: January 19, 2021

Agency: Department of the Navy (Navy)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years 2009- 2013

Account(s): Operation and Maintenance, Marine Corps (OMMC), Other Procurement, Marine Corps (PMC), funds transferred from the Joint Improvised Explosive Devise Defeat Organization funds

Amount Reported: $70,133,853.19


Description: Navy, through the Department of Defense, reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341(a), 1517(a), when it obligated and expended funds from the incorrect appropriation for the construction of ground training systems located on Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) sites, and did not have any funds in the correct appropriations accounts to charge the obligations and expenditures. Navy also reported it violated the ADA when it improperly obligated and expended OMMC and PMC funds for the construction of MOUT training facilities for which Congress has not provided an authorization or appropriation. Finally, Navy reported it violated the ADA when it incorrectly used an appropriation to purchase movable equipment associated with the construction projects.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, Navy reported that it updated policies regarding relocatable buildings, training systems, and site work and performed contracts compliance review. Navy clarified that the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) is not authorized to write contracts for construction- like work or work subject to the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. According to Navy, MCSC took corrective actions related to program management, contracting, engineering, and financial management. Navy reported that two former MCSC Commanding Officers were responsible for the violations, and that both individuals are now retired. According to Navy, there was no willful or knowing intent to violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-06

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: February 4, 2021

Agency: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2004 and 2005

Account(s): Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Fund

Amount Reported: $319,501,649


Description: PBGC reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when it entered into two multiyear leases in FYs 2004 and 2005, and did not have sufficient funds in those FYs to cover its total liability for the leases.

PBGC reported that on August 9, 2004, it entered into a multiyear lease for rentable space for a term of approximately 14 years and 4 months. Additionally, on September 30, 2005, PBGC reported that it entered into a multiyear lease for rentable space for a term of approximately 13 years and 3 months. According to PBGC, upon executing the leases, PBGC did not record an obligation equal to its total liability but instead funded these multiyear leases incrementally. PBGC reported that it attempted to make account adjustments to comply with the ADA, but did not have sufficient funds in FYs 2004 and 2005 to fund the total liabilities for the space.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, PBGC states that it took actions to bring its leasing program into compliance with the recording statute, 31 U.S.C. § 1501(a)(1), and the ADA. PBGC reported that it renegotiated new, short term, annual leases in place of the previous multiyear leases. According to PBGC, it also revised its directive governing its system of administrative control of funds and has submitted this for OMB approval. PBGC determined that there was no knowing or willful intent to violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-07

Agency No.: DCMA 20-01

Date Reported to GAO: February 19, 2021

Agency: Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016

Account(s): Operation and Maintenance (O&M), Defense-Wide; Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E)

Amount Reported: $1,248,155.63


Description: DCMA, through the Department of Defense, reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. § 1517(a), when it corrected its errant obligations and expenditures for the development of the Earned Value Analysis System (EVAS), and exceeded the amount of funds available through the formal subdivision of funds for the EVAS.

DCMA reported that it used appropriations from its O&M account to fund the development of the EVAS. According to DCMA, because of the significant software development, testing and evaluation requirements defined in the EVAS performance work statements, DCMA should have used its RDT&E account instead of its O&M account to fund the project. DCMA reported that the violation occurred due to lack of oversight over information technology finance and budget, and lack of communication among various groups.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, DCMA conducted a comprehensive realignment of the duties and responsibilities associated with budget formulation and execution processes. According to DCMA, it issued a revised policy to facilitate agency leadership review of key procedures. DCMA reported that it has centralized the fund execution process and moved this responsibility to the Headquarters Finance and Business Operations/ Comptroller Directorate. DCMA identified the Chief Information Officer (CIO) as responsible for the violation. DCMA reported that the individual who served as CIO is no longer a government employee and discipline was not pursued. DCMA determined that the responsible individual did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-08

Agency No.: Navy, 19-03

Date Reported to GAO: March 17, 2021

Agency: Department of the Navy (Navy)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2013-2018

Account(s): Operation and Maintenance, Navy (O&MN); Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN)

Amount Reported: $25,966,667.79


Description: Navy, through the Department of Defense, reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a), when it improperly obligated and expended funds from the incorrect appropriations account to convert a large covered lighter barge into a Berthing and Messing barge and did not have sufficient funds in the correct appropriations account to cover the obligations and expenditures.

According to Navy, the Naval Sea Systems Command, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) improperly obligated and expended O&MN funds to convert a large covered lighter barge into a Berthing and Messing barge. Navy determined that this occurred due to the program manager improperly characterizing the conversion as modernization through maintenance and repair work. Navy also reported that the non-severable work was improperly split over the course of several years as O&MN funds became available. Navy reported that conversion of service craft such as barges is funded from a specific annual appropriation for ship conversion, and as such, SCN funds should have been used. According to Navy, after recognizing the error, it did not have FY 2013 SCN funds available to cure the violations.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, SWRMC has instituted organizational and process changes to strengthen the programmatic, contracting, and funding review associated with ship modernization. Additionally, Navy reported that the Director, Fleet Maintenance for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) established a detailed review process of barge work. Lastly, Navy reported that COMPACFLT will implement a formal qualification and continuing training program for fleet maintenance program managers. According to Navy, the program manager was responsible for the violation. COMPACFLT issued the program manager a letter of caution. Navy determined that the responsible individual did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-09

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: May 6, 2021

Agency: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Year (FY) 2019

Account(s): Operating Expenses (OE)

Amount Reported: None Reported


Description: GAO, following a congressional request, determined that NARA violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341(a), 1342, when it incurred obligations during a lapse of appropriations between December 22, 2018, and January 25, 2019. B-331091, July 16, 2020. GAO concluded that NARA’s activities in connection with the publication of three temporary rules for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a final rule for the Department of Labor, and a notice for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention violated the ADA because NARA lacked available budget authority and no exception to the ADA that would otherwise authorize its obligations applied. Id. See 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341(a), 1342.

NARA’s report expressed disagreement with GAO’s determination. It asserted that NARA did not violate the ADA because NARA believes the activities were authorized by the necessary implication exception to the ADA.

Remedial Action Taken: NARA did not identify remedial actions taken.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-10

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: May 27, 2021

Agency: General Services Administration (GSA)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Year (FY) 2017

Account(s): Acquisition Services Fund (ASF)

Amount Reported: $690,000,000


Description: GSA reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1517(a), when it obligated funds in the ASF in excess of its apportionment.3

According to GSA, the majority of ASF obligations are related to “flow-through” activity, which consists of customer orders for which GSA has entered into reimbursable agreements with agencies to procure goods and services for those agencies. In FY 2017, GSA exceeded the amount apportioned for ASF flow-through obligations by

$689.4 million, and exceeded the amount apportioned for the entire ASF by $251.5 million. According to GSA, these violations occurred due to higher than anticipated agency customer orders and lack of internal controls to prevent GSA from incurring obligations for vendor orders in excess of the amount apportioned for ASF flow-through obligations.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, GSA instituted a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), which contains more stringent measures for regular monitoring and forecasting. Specifically, GSA noted that the CAP requires increased scrutiny of ASF flow-through obligations by establishing monthly monitoring controls over apportionment levels and reviews of report documentation to ensure alignment between budgetary and proprietary forecasts. Additionally, under the CAP, GSA will develop and implement a monitoring process to determine whether it needs to request a reapportionment late in the year to deal with unexpected changes in activity. According to GSA, it also will consider developing automatic preventative system controls.

3 While GSA initially reported that it violated 31 U.S.C. § 1341, GSA later stated that the reported violation occurred because the agency obligated funds in excess of an apportionment, which is a violation of 31

U.S.C. § 1517(a). E-mail from Deputy Budget Director, GSA to Staff Attorney, GAO (Jan. 13, 2022).

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports; E-mail from Deputy Budget Director, GSA to Staff Attorney, GAO (Jan. 13, 2022).

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-11

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: June 11, 2021

Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2010-2016

Account(s): None Reported

Amount Reported: $361,164,112.23


Description: DHS reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when it incurred obligations without providing advance congressional notification, in violation of a statutory prohibition.

According to DHS, it identified 42 contract violations that occurred between FYs 2013 and 2016. Additionally, DHS reported that it identified 104 Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement violations that occurred within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) between FYs 2010 and 2015. According to DHS, these violations occurred because DHS did not provide congressional notification in advance of entering into contracts and OTAs as required by DHS’s FYs 2010-2016 appropriations acts.

DHS reported that the violations occurred due to a misunderstanding of the notification requirements, inattention to detail, and inadequate quality review.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, DHS revised the Homeland Security Acquisition Manual to clarify the process for providing Congressional notifications. DHS reported that additional tools were developed to assist contracting officers in determining when Congressional notification is required and to help monitor Congressional notification compliance, including training. According to DHS, TSA updated its OTA policy and checklist to enhance compliance and mandated an OTA refresher training for contracting officers. DHS determined that the Chief Procurement Officer was responsible for the contract violations, and that a TSA contracting officer was responsible for the OTA violations. DHS reported that the TSA contracting officer’s warrant was suspended on July 8, 2015, and the employee voluntarily separated from TSA in October 2015. No disciplinary actions against the responsible employees were taken. DHS has determined that the responsible individuals did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-12

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: June 11, 2021

Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2010; 2016-2019

Account(s): Working Capital Fund, Departmental Management

Amount Reported: None Reported


Description: DHS reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when it exceeded its available account balance.

DHS reported that the violation was discovered when DHS’s Financial Management Division conducted a policy review. During this review, DHS states it discovered that its Working Capital Fund had exceeded its available fund balance with Treasury in July 2010 and from March 2016 through August 2019. DHS reported that this violation occurred because DHS’s processes and procedures were predicated on a misinterpretation of the law, which was the assumption that an ADA violation did not occur if the accounts receivable offset the negative cash balance.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, DHS submitted legislative language to Congress for consideration that would allow anticipated reimbursements to offset negative cash balances. The proposed language was enacted in the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The FY 2021 enacted appropriations did not provide for continued usage of DHS’s Working Capital Fund, and instead appropriated funds directly to the servicing Management Directorate offices.

DHS identified the former Financial Operations Director as the responsible party. The responsible party has retired from federal service. According to DHS, the responsible party did not knowingly or willfully violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-13

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: June 11, 2021

Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

Account(s): Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Salary and Expenses

Amount Reported: $90,736.87


Description: DHS reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when it incurred obligations without providing advance congressional notification, in violation of a statutory prohibition.

DHS reported that ICE obligated more than $5,000 to furnish the Director’s suite without providing advance Congressional notification, as required by statute, between FYs 2013 and 2016. According to DHS, this resulted in ICE obligating funds that were not legally available. The violation was discovered by ICE in 2016, when a professional staff member on the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security requested an inventory of the materials and contract work used in the Director’s suite renovation. DHS reported that the violation occurred due to a lack of awareness of the restriction by the responsible employee.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, ICE is ensuring appointment of certifying officials, as well as improving internal controls with regard to restrictions in appropriations language and the Congressional notification process. DHS also reported that funds certifiers are required to review relevant transactions, and that ICE implemented a process to appoint certifying officials in a manner that ensures that certifying officials understand the roles assigned to them.

DHS reported that certifying officials will receive additional guidance in their Budget Formulation Handbook regarding current appropriations language and applicable restrictions. According to DHS, an employee serving as the project manager and funds certifier was responsible for the violation. No disciplinary actions against the responsible employee were taken. DHS determined that the responsible employee did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-14

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: June 11, 2021

Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Year (FY) 2019

Account(s): Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program

Amount Reported: $9,947,152


Description: DHS reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C. § 1517(a), when it incurred obligations in excess of its apportionment.

According to DHS, grants were awarded and obligated by the USCIS prior to receiving an apportionment for the Federal Assistance account in FY 2019. DHS reported that USCIS requested an apportionment upon determination that there was not an apportionment covering the grants, but the request was submitted too late to be processed by the end of the fiscal year. As a result, DHS reported that grants were awarded without an approved apportionment in place. DHS determined that the violation occurred due to turnover in key personnel responsible for the apportionment process and failure in internal controls.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, DHS reported that it improved standard operating procedures and internal controls, and implemented training for key personnel in the apportionment process. According to DHS, USCIS implemented steps to validate an apportionment before approving funding and added monthly reconciliations. DHS determined that the Acting Chief of the Budget and Planning Division in USCIS was the responsible individual. No disciplinary action against the responsible employee was taken. DHS determined that the responsible party did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-15

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: June 11, 2021

Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Year (FY) 2018

Account(s): Operations and Support, United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Amount Reported: $177,608.41


Description: DHS reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when DHS obligated funds for contract modifications during a lapse in appropriations.

According to DHS, a contracting officer, an excepted employee, awarded five contract modifications without available appropriations during a lapse in appropriations. The violations were discovered by the contracting officer’s supervisor during a system review. DHS determined that these violations occurred due to a lapse in judgment by the contracting officer. Upon notification of the violations, the contracting officer immediately cancelled the contract modifications. The modifications were cancelled prior to any contract performance, such that USCG was not liable for any modification costs.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, USCG has released notifications on acquisition guidance when a lapse in appropriations occurs, directing contracting officers and contracting specialists to adhere to applicable restrictions. DHS reported that the responsible employee was the contracting officer. No disciplinary action against the responsible employee was taken. The contracting officer was required to attend additional acquisition training and a Principles of Federal Appropriations Law course. DHS determined that the responsible party did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-16

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: June 11, 2021

Agency: Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FY) 1974-2019

Account(s): Operations and Support, United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Amount Reported: None Reported


Description: DHS reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341(a), when it entered into lease agreements with uncapped liabilities.

According to DHS, between FYs 1974 and 2019, it had leases with escalation and/or indemnification clauses without limitations. DHS reported that these leases created a potentially unlimited liability on behalf of the federal government. DHS reported that these violations were discovered after it began reviewing leases for potential ADA violations in response to GAO’s conclusions in B-328450, Mar. 6, 2018. DHS determined that the violation occurred due to lack of guidance regarding uncapped liabilities in lease agreements.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of this type of violation, DHS updated policy and procedures to include information regarding uncapped liabilities and developed training for warranted real property contracting specialists. Additionally, according to DHS, it renegotiated terms for the leases at issue. DHS determined that the Assistant Commandant for Engineering was responsible for the violations. No disciplinary actions for this matter were taken. DHS determined that the responsible party did not willfully or knowingly violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.

 

Antideficiency Act Reports – Fiscal Year 2021

GAO No.: GAO-ADA-21-17

Agency No.: None Reported

Date Reported to GAO: September 30, 2021

Agency: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Date(s) of Violation(s): Fiscal Years (FYs) 1995-2015, 2014-2017

Account(s): Expenses

Amount Reported: $88,314.06


Description: CFTC reported that it violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA), 31 U.S.C.

§ 1341, during FYs 1995-2015, when it entered into leasing contracts with open-ended liabilities. Additionally, CFTC reported that it violated the ADA, 31 U.S.C. § 1341, when it paid senior political officials above limits based on their political appointee employment status with CFTC.

According to CFTC, it entered into contracts to lease real property for office space in four locations. On March 6, 2018, GAO issued B-328450, finding that CFTC had agreed to uncontrolled and unlimited liabilities with definite appropriations in these leasing contracts in violation of the ADA. In addition, CFTC reported that it improperly paid five political appointees at rates inconsistent with a pay freeze set forth in the Consolidated Appropriations Acts for FYs 2014-2017. CFTC reports that it violated the ADA because it did not have the authority to increase the pay for these individuals due to the government-wide provisions prohibiting pay rate increases for certain senior level political officials in each applicable appropriations act.

Remedial Action Taken: To prevent a recurrence of these types of violations, CFTC reported that it has implemented controls to ensure proper legal and financial oversight of future contracts. Additionally, CFTC signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Services Administration to procure future leases on behalf of CFTC. In regard to overpayment, CFTC reported that it created controls to ensure that political employee position types are separated from other positions in the human resources and payroll systems. Additionally, each of the employees who were overpaid signed requests to waive the debt and CFTC reports that its Chairman approved the waivers.

CFTC determined that the violations occurred as result of systemic weaknesses, and that there was no willful or knowing intent to violate the ADA.

Source: Unaudited information GAO extracted from agency Antideficiency Act reports.


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