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Performance Audit of AmeriCorps' Charge Card Program for Fiscal Year 2021

Date Issued
Report Number
OIG-AR-23-04
Report Type
Audit
Description
In accordance with the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012), AmeriCorps, a Federal grant-making agency, is responsible for establishing and maintaining safeguards and internal controls for its government card program. The government card program is composed of purchase cards used by AmeriCorps personnel to purchase commercial goods and services, and travel cards used for official government travel expenses. In FY 2021, AmeriCorps transitioned its financial operations to a shared service platform offered by the Administrative Resource Center (ARC) within the U.S. Treasury Department, which included changes in the internal controls and roles and responsibilities of AmeriCorps’ Government charge card program. Due to these changes, AmeriCorps Office of Inspector General (OIG) decided to initiate an audit and engaged CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) to assess AmeriCorps’ government charge card program. Although AmeriCorps has established and maintained internal controls for purchase and travel card programs through its engagement with ARC, its key controls are not operating effectively. The auditors identified deficiencies in AmeriCorps’ ability to verify transaction approvals, allowability of expenses, and training for cardholders because the relevant documents were not appropriately retained. In addition, the auditors found that purchase and travel card accounts were not always closed after employees left AmeriCorps. Effective internal controls over government charge cards are important to mitigate the risk of fraudulent, improper, and illegal transactions. AmeriCorps concurred with 12 of our 15 recommendations to assist it in developing an effective charge card program and plans to incorporate corrective actions. Sections V and VI of the report contain a summary and our auditor’s evaluation of AmeriCorps’ response to our report.
Joint Report
No
Agency Wide
Yes
Questioned Costs
$5003
Funds for Better Use
$0

Open Recommendations

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Develop an oversight mechanism to retain receipts and monthly reconciliations to ensure record retention. (Finding 1)

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Develop an oversight mechanism to retain receipts and monthly reconciliations to ensure record retention. (Finding 1)

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Develop an oversight mechanism to hold cardholders and Approving Officials accountable for timely completion and approval of monthly statement reconciliation and consider disciplinary actions for repeat offenders. (Finding 1)

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Develop an oversight mechanism to hold cardholders and Approving Officials accountable for timely completion and approval of monthly statement reconciliation and consider disciplinary actions for repeat offenders. (Finding 1)

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Revise purchase request and approval controls to implement a mechanism to hold cardholders accountable to obtain Approving Official’s approval prior to making purchases. (Finding 2)

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Revise purchase request and approval controls to implement a mechanism to hold cardholders accountable to obtain Approving Official’s approval prior to making purchases. (Finding 2)

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Verify purchase transactions were for allowable expenses and consider remediation action of any unallowable or unauthorized charges. (Findings 2 and 3)

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Verify purchase transactions were for allowable expenses and consider remediation action of any unallowable or unauthorized charges. (Findings 2 and 3)

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Develop and document a mechanism to hold the Agency Program Coordinator accountable for proper oversight of the overall purchase card program including periodic review of the supporting documentations, certificates of training, monthly reconciliation, and purchase request forms maintained by the Approving Officials. (Findings 1, 2, 3, 4)

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Develop and document a mechanism to hold the Agency Program Coordinator accountable for proper oversight of the overall purchase card program including periodic review of the supporting documentations, certificates of training, monthly reconciliation, and purchase request forms maintained by the Approving Officials. (Findings 1, 2, 3, 4)

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Provide training for Approving Officials to ensure proper retention of required supporting documentations such as the evidence of cardholder’s reconciliation of statements, Approving Official’s approval of the statement, signed purchase request forms, copies of receipt/invoices, and certificate of training. (Findings 1, 2, 3, 4)

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Provide training for Approving Officials to ensure proper retention of required supporting documentations such as the evidence of cardholder’s reconciliation of statements, Approving Official’s approval of the statement, signed purchase request forms, copies of receipt/invoices, and certificate of training. (Findings 1, 2, 3, 4)

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Implement a mechanism to hold travelers accountable to obtain travel approval prior to travel dates. (Finding 5)

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Implement a mechanism to hold travelers accountable to obtain travel approval prior to travel dates. (Finding 5)

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Verify travel card transactions were for allowable expenses and consider remediation action of any unallowable or unauthorized charges. (Findings 5 and 7)

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Verify travel card transactions were for allowable expenses and consider remediation action of any unallowable or unauthorized charges. (Findings 5 and 7)

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Develop an oversight mechanism to enforce its controls record retention of travel receipts and timely submission of travel authorizations and vouchers in accordance with Federal Travel Regulation and AmeriCorps policies and procedures. (Finding 5 and 6)

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Develop an oversight mechanism to enforce its controls record retention of travel receipts and timely submission of travel authorizations and vouchers in accordance with Federal Travel Regulation and AmeriCorps policies and procedures. (Finding 5 and 6)

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Research and verify that the travels were for official business purposes and maintain proper documentations to support the travel related charges. (Finding 7)

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Research and verify that the travels were for official business purposes and maintain proper documentations to support the travel related charges. (Finding 7)

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Develop and document a monitoring control to ensure Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA) Citibank statements are properly reconciled prior to payment submission. (Finding 8)

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Develop and document a monitoring control to ensure Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA) Citibank statements are properly reconciled prior to payment submission. (Finding 8)

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Implement a mechanism to hold Office of Human Capital accountable for timely notification of employee termination to the Agency Program Coordinator upon completion of exit form. (Finding 9)

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Implement a mechanism to hold Office of Human Capital accountable for timely notification of employee termination to the Agency Program Coordinator upon completion of exit form. (Finding 9)

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Coordinate with Treasury Administrative Resource Center to timely disable the terminated employee’s account and identify root cause for accounts that are not closed timely. (Finding 9)

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Coordinate with Treasury Administrative Resource Center to timely disable the terminated employee’s account and identify root cause for accounts that are not closed timely. (Finding 9)

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Follow up on the 36 separated cardholder accounts to verify no charges were made after employee separation date. (Finding 9)

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Follow up on the 36 separated cardholder accounts to verify no charges were made after employee separation date. (Finding 9)

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Perform a root cause analysis of the untimely account closeout and develop remediation plan as appropriate. (Finding 9)

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Perform a root cause analysis of the untimely account closeout and develop remediation plan as appropriate. (Finding 9)