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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Fiscal Management Post-Payment Audit Report Summary
Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
Fiscal 2011 Fourth Quarter

Audit scope

A sample was audited of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services’ (DARS’) purchase, travel and payroll transactions that processed through the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) and the Standardized Payroll/Personnel System (SPRS) during the period beginning Sept. 1, 2009, through Aug. 31, 2010.

A limited sample of the payment card, payroll deductions, grant and refund of revenue transactions was also audited.

Payroll transactions

Payroll transactions were audited for compliance with the General Appropriations Act (GAA), the Texas Payroll/Personnel Resource and other pertinent statutes.

  • Issues with incorrect amounts of lump sum vacation pay and longevity pay were identified.

Purchase transactions

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

  • Two instances were identified where the purchase agreement was either created or authorized after the vendor had invoiced.

Payment card transactions

A sample of payment card transactions was audited.

The following instances were identified:

  • Term contract not utilized
  • Control weakness over received goods
  • Best value not received

HHSC ECPS department

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) developed an Enterprise Contract and Procurement Services (ECPS) department to ensure compliance with policies and procedures. Specifically, ECPS helps enforce guidelines that require HHSC enterprise-wide compliance with state and federal procurement and contracting requirements.

These issues were also identified in prior audits of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Because of those audits, HHSC is working with both the Texas Purchase and Support Services (TPASS) Division and the Strategic Sourcing and Contract Monitoring Division of the Comptroller’s office to address these issues.

Prompt payment law and scheduling rule

DARS’ compliance with the prompt payment law and scheduling rule was audited. The following were identified:

  • $16,570.38 in late payment interest paid by DARS to vendors during the audit period
  • Instances where DARS did not schedule payments correctly

Travel transactions

Travel transactions were audited for compliance with the GAA, Textravel and other pertinent statutes.

  • No errors were identified in the audit of travel transactions.

Grant payments

The audit included a limited review of DARS’ transactions relating to grant payments that consisted of verifying that payments did not exceed the authorized amounts for each grant.

The audit of these payments did not include an investigation of DARS’ procedures for awarding the grants or monitoring payments made to grantees; therefore, an opinion on those procedures is not being offered.

  • No errors were identified in the payments reviewed.

Revenue refunds

The audit included a limited review of DARS’ transactions relating to refunds of revenue and consisted of verifying that the provided documentation reconciled with the payment amount in our sample.

  • No payment or documentation errors were identified in these transactions.

Security review

A security review was conducted that entailed identifying any DARS employees with electronic approval security in USAS or SPRS or on the voucher signature cards who terminated employment or whose security had been revoked. DARS must observe certain deadlines to revoke security upon termination or revocation. The following was identified:

  • One employee retained security in USAS after termination.

Internal control structure

DARS’ internal control structure was also reviewed. The review was limited to obtaining an understanding of DARS’ controls sufficient to plan the audit and did not include tests of control policies and procedures. Certain areas of risk involving the internal control structure and its operation were noted:

  • DARS designated three employees with security to perform multiple tasks without oversight.

Fixed assets

A limited number of fixed assets acquired by expenditures were selected during the audit period to test for accurate reporting in the State Property Accounting System (SPA) and to verify existence of the assets.

  • All assets were located and accurate tracking in SPA verified
  • No assets were reported by DARS in SPA as missing/stolen during the audit period

Confidential information in USAS

In an effort to secure confidential information in USAS, agencies have been instructed that under no circumstances should they enter confidential or sensitive information such as complete Social Security numbers (SSNs) or credit card numbers in the INV NO and DESC fields. For more information, see USAS Invoice Number Field Requirements (FPP E.023).

  • It was determined that DARS is including some confidential information in these fields.

Prior post-payment audit and current audit recurring errors

A prior post-payment audit of DARS purchase, travel and payroll transactions was issued on June 29, 2006.

The current audit identified the following recurring errors:

  • Purchase order created after invoice
  • Payment scheduling issues
  • Incorrect amounts of lump sum vacation pay
  • Employee retained security to expend funds after authority expired
  • Control weakness over expenditure processing
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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