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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Fiscal Management Post-Payment Audit Report Summary
Texas Ethics Commission
Fiscal 2012 Second Quarter

Audit scope

A sample of the Texas Ethics Commission’s (Commission) payroll and purchase transactions and a limited sample of travel transactions that processed through the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) and the Uniform Statewide Payroll/Personnel System (USPS) during the period beginning June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011, were audited to determine compliance with applicable state laws.

Payroll transactions and payroll deductions

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

The audit identified:

  • Two instances of missing prior state service forms.
  • One underpayment of longevity.

A limited sample of voluntary contributions was audited.

  • No errors were identified.

Purchase transactions

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

  • No errors were identified.

Travel transactions

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

  • No errors were identified.

Internal control structure

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

The following issues were identified:

  • Three employees could process and release payments through USAS without oversight.
  • One of these employees could also adjust payment instructions in the Texas Identification Number System (TINS), pick up warrants from the Comptroller’s office and approve vouchers without oversight.
  • Another of the three employees could also process and release payments through USPS, pick up warrants from the Comptroller’s office and approve vouchers without oversight.

Fixed assets

The audit included a limited number of fixed assets acquired by expenditures during the audit period to test for accurate reporting in the State Property Accounting system (SPA) and to verify existence of the assets.

  • All of the assets tested were in their intended location and properly recorded in SPA.

Prior post-payment audit and current audit recurring errors

A prior post-payment audit of the Commission’s payroll, purchase and travel transactions was conducted on Feb. 1, 2008.

There was one recurrent error from the previous audit:

  • Control weakness over expenditure processing

Note: In the prior audits the Commission acknowledged that it is often challenging in a small agency to have the staff available to maintain a complete separation of duties at all times; however, the Commission has taken additional precautions outside of the accounting systems to mitigate the risk.

Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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