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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Fiscal Management Post-Payment Audit Report Summary
First Court of Appeals – Houston
Fiscal 2011 Third Quarter

Audit scope

We audited a sample of the First Court of Appeals – Houston’s (Court) payroll, purchase and travel transactions that processed through the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) and Uniform Statewide Payroll/Personnel System (USPS) during the period beginning Sept. 1, 2009, through Aug. 31, 2010.

We audited each transaction to determine compliance with applicable state laws.

Payroll transactions and deductions

We audited payroll transactions for compliance with the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the State of Texas Payroll Policies and Procedures Guide (Payroll Guide) and other pertinent statutes. Our audit of the Court’s payroll transactions identified two findings:

  • Missing documentation
  • Missing or late approval signatures on personnel action forms (PAF)

Purchase transactions

We audited purchase transactions for compliance with the GAA, eXpendit, the State of Texas Procurement Manual and other pertinent statutes.

We identified two purchase transactions with errors:

  • One reimbursed an employee for sales tax on a purchase of supplies
  • Another paid a vendor twice for the same invoice

Prompt payment law and scheduling rules

We audited the Court’s compliance with the prompt payment law and scheduling rules.

We identified:

  • Thirteen transactions that processed late where interest was not paid to the vendor
  • Three transactions that were processed early resulting in interest lost to the Treasury

Travel transactions

We audited travel transactions for compliance with the GAA, Textravel and other pertinent statutes.

The Court:

  • On four transactions, reduced the lodging expense but reimbursed the hotel occupancy taxes based on the original lodging rate.
  • On two transactions, reimbursed an employee for mileage that was not payable.
  • Reimbursed two employees for non-mandatory rental fees that were not payable.
  • Reimbursed non-overnight meals on two travel vouchers and did not withhold payroll taxes.

Internal control structure

We also reviewed the Court’s internal control structure. Our review was limited to obtaining an understanding of the Court’s controls sufficient to plan our audit and did not include tests of control policies and procedures.

We identified:

Two employees with security to perform multiple tasks without oversight.

CTIA forms compliance

As a routine part of our security review, we reviewed the Court’s compliance with the Confidential Treatment of Information Acknowledgement (CTIA) forms:

The Court did not obtain a signed CTIA form for four employees.

Prior post-payment audit and current audit recurring errors

We concluded a prior post-payment audit of the Court’s payroll, purchase and travel transactions on Aug. 28, 2006.

During the current audit, we identified six recurring errors from the previous audit:

  • Missing payroll documentation
  • Improper payment of sales tax
  • Prompt payment and scheduling errors
  • Mileage not payable
  • Incorrect amount for hotel taxes
  • Control weakness over expenditure processing
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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