Department of Justice Process for Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering Improper and Erroneous Payments

Audit Report 05-19
April 2005
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix 1

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

The objectives of our audit were to determine whether the Department has:

  1. established policies and procedures for identifying and preventing improper and erroneous payments,

  2. determined the extent of improper and erroneous payments, and

  3. established methods to recover improper and erroneous payments.

We conducted our audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards. We included such tests as were considered necessary to accomplish the audit objectives.

The audit generally covered activities through the conclusion of our fieldwork in November 2004. Audit work was conducted at the Justice Management Division and at the four Department components selected for review: 1) Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2) Federal Bureau of Investigation, 3) Office of Justice Programs, and 4) United States Marshals Service.

These components were selected based on a number of factors, including:

  • the total number and dollar amount of vendor payments made in FY 2003 and FY 2004;

  • our review and analysis of reporting submitted in accordance with the IPIA;

  • the agency’s current recovery audit activities, and whether the component was using a contractor for these efforts or whether it was conducting the recovery audits in-house; and

  • the results of each agency’s annual financial statement audit for FY 2004.

We conducted onsite work at the JMD and at each of the four components in November 2004. We interviewed staff members at each component to:

  • obtain an understanding of the procedures and rationale used when completing its IPIA reports,

  • gather information relating to the payment processes,

  • identify the controls in place to prevent or reduce improper payments,

  • obtain an understanding of any processes used to identify and quantify improper payments already made, and

  • assess any current recovery audit activities.

In addition, we reviewed policies, procedures, and other documentation related to these issues.

Finally, we interviewed officials of the recovery audit contractor being utilized by selected Department components and OBDs. We obtained information on its current efforts within the Department, including the processes used, the results achieved, and anticipated future activities.

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