55 Chapters
Medium 9781567262445

Chapter 11 - Reporting Requirements

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When an agency suspects it has violated the Antideficiency Act, there are procedural steps and time limits it must adhere to in reporting such violations. This chapter discusses the reporting requirements levied on agencies both by the act and by OMB Circular A-11.

The first step is to determine whether a violation has actually occurred. In some cases—for example, purchasing a prohibited item for which there is no appropriation available—it is obvious that a violation has occurred. Not every situation is so clear-cut, however. For example, if your accounting records indicate that you overobligated your apportionment by several thousand dollars during a particular period, the prudent course of action is to review the obligations that are recorded in the records to ensure they are in fact valid obligations and were actually obligated during the period of apparent shortfall. It is not uncommon for obligations to be posted before they are true obligations, and the level of obligations is often overstated. Refer to 31 USC 1501 for guidance in determining whether the documentary evidence requirement for obligations has been met.

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Medium 9781523096084

1 Performance Budgeting: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There are serious weaknesses in the internal operations of the Federal Government in the fiscal field. These weaknesses penetrate into the heart of every governmental transaction. (T)he Government’s accounting system, outmoded and cumbersome, does not indicate what was accomplished with the money spent in the year past.

Only by making the head of each activity financially responsible for all the costs of his program, can he be held to account. Only by modernizing the Federal system of budgeting and accounting will it be possible to tell exactly how much any single program or project is costing. The Federal Government must be able to assess results intelligently.

One could easily assume these quotes are from a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report or from Congressional testimony. In truth, these rather astounding statements are from the Hoover Commission report of 1949.1 What’s more astounding is that they still ring true today.

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Medium 9781567262445

Chapter 13 - How to Avoid Antideficiency Act Violations

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In the preceding chapters, I have attempted to provide a comprehensive overview of what the Antideficiency Act is about, what constitutes a violation of the act, possible penalties, and reporting requirements. Now you know how to recognize an Antideficiency Act violation when you see one—but it’s even more important to know how to avoid a violation in the first place. This chapter suggests specific actions you can take in your agency.

While there is no way to be absolutely certain a violation will not occur, there are a number of actions you can take to minimize the likelihood of a violation. Many fall under the umbrella of internal controls. You should have a robust internal control program that complies with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Standards for Internal Control, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, and your own agency regulations. Your internal control risk assessments, vulnerability assessments, and annual reviews should include a specific focus on Antideficiency Act compliance.

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Medium 9781567264029

CHAPTER 8: Accountability and Liability of Individuals

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The idea that a person entrusted with money is accountable for it is a common notion. If a cashier in a retail store comes up short at the end of the day, it’s likely that he or she will have to make up the shortage from personal funds. The government operates on the same principle. This chapter examines the accountability, liability, and relief from liability of accountable officers—government employees who are involved in the handling of funds or who have specific responsibilities in the payment process.

Accountable officers include officials such as certifying officers, disbursing officers, departmental accountable officials (in DoD only), and other employees who by virtue of their employment have custody of government funds.1 It is important to note that GAO has ruled that accountable officer status and pecuniary liability (the requirement to personally repay lost funds) may be imposed only through statute.2 An agency does not have the authority to confer the status to anyone not so designated in statute.

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Medium 9781567262438

Appendix 1: The Prompt Payment Act Final Rule (5 CFR 1315)

Arnold, William G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Authority: 31 U.S.C. chapter 39; Section 1010 of Public Law 106-398, 114 Stat. 1654; Section 1007 of Public Law 107-107, 115 Stat. 1012.

Source: 64 FR 52586, September 29, 1999, unless otherwise noted.

(a) Procurement contracts. This part applies to contracts for the procurement of goods or services awarded by:

(1) All Executive branch agencies except:

(i) The Tennessee Valley Authority, which is subject to the Prompt Payment Act (31 U.S.C. chapter 39), but is not covered by this part; and

(ii) Agencies specifically exempted under 5 U.S.C. 551(1); and

(2) The United States Postal Service. The Postmaster General is responsible for issuing implementing procurement regulations, solicitation provisions, and contract clauses for the United States Postal Service.

(b) Vendor payments. All Executive branch vendor payments and payments to those defined as contractors or vendors (see §1315.2(hh)) are subject to the Prompt Payment Act with the following exceptions:

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