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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Fiscal Management Post-Payment Audit Report Summary
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Fiscal 2011 Fourth Quarter

Audit scope

A sample was audited of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s (Center’s) payroll and purchase transactions processed through the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) and a sample of travel transactions paid from appropriated funds held locally, during the period beginning Dec.1, 2009, through Nov. 3, 2010.

Each transaction was audited to determine compliance with applicable state laws.

Payroll transactions and deductions

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

The following errors were identified:

  • 10 instances of incorrect processing of payroll deductions
  • One transaction with an incorrect state effective service date that resulted in incorrect payments of longevity pay

Purchase transactions

During the audit-planning phase, it was noted the Center processed a large amount of consumables and medical supplies. Accordingly, a separate sample was created for these purchases; however, the findings identified are reported as part of the purchase transactions.

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

The following errors were identified:

  • Two transactions for which the Center reimbursed excessive amounts from the Treasury
  • Three transactions for which freight charges were not included on the purchase order
  • 13 payment card transactions and 10 purchase transactions for which the purchase order (PO) was created or changed after the invoice was received or the PO was missing

Travel transactions

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

The following error was identified:

  • The Center reimbursed employees in excess of maximum allowable rates on two transactions

Security

The Center’s voucher signature cards and electronic approval security effective during our audit period were reviewed.

The security review entailed identifying any of the Center’s employees with security in USAS, The Texas identification Number System (TINS) or on the voucher signature cards that were no longer employed or whose security had been revoked. Upon termination or revocation, certain deadlines must be observed so that security can be revoked in a timely manner.

The following errors were identified:

  • Two employees retained the ability to expend funds after termination
  • Another employee retained security to expend funds after the authority expired

Internal control structure

The Center’s internal control structure was also reviewed. The review was limited to obtaining an understanding of the Center’s 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:

  • Two employees with multiple security capabilities
  • Signed CTIA form for one employee not obtained in a timely manner

Fixed assets

Eleven fixed assets acquired by expenditures were selected during our audit period. The following was noted:

  • All 11 assets located and accurate recording of assets in the State Property Accounting System (SPA) verified
  • 76 missing or stolen assets with a total net book value of $16,340.71 reported to SPA during audit period (Police reports for stolen assets were provided.)

Other observations

During the audit fieldwork, it was noted that the Center’s travel policy for changes on the travel voucher contrasted with travel policy and rules outlined in Textravel.

According to the Center, any significant changes to travel vouchers must have prior approval of the traveler prior to payment. Significant is defined as in excess of $25.00. Changes made for $25.00 and less do not require approval from travelers.

According to the Comptroller’s Textravel, the travel voucher must be signed and dated on paper or electronically to be considered approved by the individual claiming reimbursement. A signature on a paper or electronic travel voucher is automatically revoked if new information is added after it is signed, unless the individual who signed the voucher approved the addition.

  • The Center should refrain from using a dollar limit for this requirement.

Prior post-payment audit and current audit recurring errors

A prior post-payment audit of the Center’s payroll, purchase and travel transactions was issued on Sept. 14, 2007.

Most of the findings from the previous audit were also identified as recurring in the current audit:

  • Incorrect state effective service date
  • Payment in excess of purchase order
  • Missing purchase agreement
  • Purchase order amended after invoice received
  • Excessive reimbursement
  • Employee retained ability to approve paper voucher after termination
  • Control weakness over expenditure processing
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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