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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Fiscal Management Post-Payment Audit Report Summary
Texas Department of Rural Affairs
Fiscal 2012 Fourth Quarter

Audit scope

A sample of the Texas Department of Rural Affairs’ (Department’s) purchase, travel, payroll and grants transactions that processed through the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) and Uniform Statewide Payroll/Personnel System (USPS) during the period beginning Dec. 1, 2010, through Nov. 30, 2011, was audited to determine compliance with applicable state laws.

As of Oct. 1, 2011, the Department was absorbed by both the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the General Land Office (GLO); therefore, a closeout audit of the Department was conducted.

Payroll transactions and deductions

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

  • No errors were identified.

A sample of voluntary deductions was also reviewed.

  • 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.

The audit identified:

  • Insufficient documentation necessary to determine if payments were valid on seven transactions.
  • Three instances of missing vendor hold check.
  • Three incorrect amounts.

Prompt payment and payment scheduling

The Department’s compliance with the prompt payment law and scheduling rules was audited.

The audit identified:

  • Interest not paid on 33 travel transactions.

Travel transactions

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

  • No errors were identified.

Expenditure approvals

The audit included a security review that entailed identifying any of the Department’s employees with security in USAS, USPS or on the voucher signature cards who were no longer employed or whose security had been revoked.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 review identified:

  • One employee remained on the signature cards nine days after termination.
  • Three employees retained security to expend funds after termination.


The audit included a limited review of the Department’s transactions relating to grant payments. This review consisted of verifying that payments did not exceed authorized amounts. The review of these payments did not include an investigation of the Department’s procedures for awarding the grants or monitoring payments made to grantees; therefore, no opinion is being offered on those procedures.

  • No errors were identified.

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 (SPA) System and to verify existence of the assets.

The audit identified:

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

Additional auditor observations

Eighteen transactions totaling $24,069.20 related to the Howard, Needles, Tammem & Bergendoff (HTNB) Corporation contract were reviewed. Each transaction and the overall procurement process, as well as the specific contract terms and conditions, were audited to determine compliance with applicable state laws. The contracted dollar value was orginally set at $68.9 million; subsequent amendments raised that amount to $144 million. The Texas General Land Office (GLO) cancelled the contract on Aug. 31, 2011.

Prior post-payment audit and current audit recurring errors

A prior post-payment audit of the Department’s payroll, purchase and travel transactions was conducted on July 30, 2008.

  • No recurring errors were identified during the current audit.
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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