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An Investigation of Travel Reimbursements in Connection with the INSís Operation Safeguard

December 2002
Office of the Inspector General


EXHIBIT 4

  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Office of Internal Audit

425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

DEC 12, 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR T.J. BONDURANT
ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL
   FOR INVESTIGATIONS
OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
 
FROM: [Signed]
Sue Armstrong
Assistant Director
Internal Investigations Branch
 
SUBJECT: Office of Inspector General Case No. 0205111
Re: UNKNOWN

Please find attached documentation of the resolution of the subject case. We have closed the case and will take no further action on it.

If you have any questions regarding this case, please contact me at (202) 514-5765.

Att.


  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service

HQFIN 80/1

425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

MEMORANDUM FOR SUE E. ARMSTRONG
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
OFFICE OF INTERNAL AUDIT
 
THROUGH: Judy R. Harrison [Signed]
Assistant Commissioner
Office of Financial Management
 
FROM: Tommy J. Dodson [Signed]
Director
Dallas Finance Center, Office of Financial Management
 
SUBJECT: Office of Internal Audit (OIA) Case No. 02X03101

The Office of Financial Management (OFM), Dallas Finance Center (DFC) has reviewed the information referenced in OIA Case No. 02XO31 01 that related to an incorrect use of per diem rates as reported by the Office of Inspector General as a result of an audit of travel vouchers.

The OFM DFC detected the errors in April 2001, and corrective measures were taken by informing travel payment staff that applicable per diem rates are based on the ordered point of travel and the lodging location at that time. Additionally, the office that prepared the travel authorizations was contacted, and the requirements of the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) were discussed in detail.

The DFC has provided extensive training to better educate the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) staff of the FTR requirements. The General Services Administration, who is the authoritative source for FTR training, conducted on-site training for DFC Permanent Change of Station staff in April 2002. Additional Temporary Duty training will be given to DFC staff in October 2002, which will be conducted by a former instructor of travel at the Community College of the Air force.

The OFM also provided extensive training on travel voucher preparation at the INS National Travel Management Conference in June 2002. Managers from offices throughout the INS who attended the conference received specific instruction on how to prepare proper travel vouchers. Implementation of the Federal Financial Management System (FFMS) on October 1, 2002, is expected to increase system and payment efficiencies. The INS will also implement an improved Travel Manager system which will provide additional controls to ensure claims submitted by travelers are accurate, and in compliance with the FTR.

The DFC staff had less than one year of experience in travel reimbursements during the time period in which the FYl999 and FY2000 vouchers were processed and the errors occurred. The quality of audits has increased as a result of experience gained by the payment staff, refinement of payment practices and controls, and continued emphasis on training.

The DFC will continue reviewing the exception items referenced and will work closely with GSA to determine if collection of overpayments is required. Most of the documentation supporting the claims has been sent to the archives for storage. Retrieval of archived documentation and resources required to research and evaluate each item will incur some administrative costs. Because the amount of errors in question is immaterial, and the analysis of each overpayment is quite complex, a cost benefit analysis indicates collection of the amounts due would not benefit the INS.

The revised processing procedures, education, and increased expertise of the DFC staff, coupled with the future deployment of Travel Manager and FFMS, provides reasonable assurance future travel voucher discrepancies will be minimized.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 214-915-6111.


  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Office of Internal Audit

425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

August 7, 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR T.J. BONDURANT
ASSISTANT INSPECTOR GENERAL
   FOR INVESTIGATIONS
OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
 
FROM: Sue Armstrong [Signed]
Assistant Director
Office of Internal Audit
 
SUBJECT: Office of Internal Audit (OIA) Case No. 02X03101/
Office of Inspector General (OIG) Case No. 2002005111M

This is in response to your memorandum of May 15,2002, regarding the above- referenced case. Attached please find a copy of our referral to the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Office of Financial Management, which provides our determination in this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 307-5885.

Attachment


  U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Office of Internal Audit

425 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20536

August 7, 2002

MEMORANDUM FOR JUDY R. HARRISON
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER
OFFICE OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
 
FROM: Sue Armstrong [Signed]
Assistant Director Office of Internal Audit
 
SUBJECT: Office of Internal Audit (OIA) Case No. 02X03101

The attached materials were received from the Office of Inspector General (OIG). They are the result of an audit of travel vouchers performed by the OIG in connection with an investigation related to reimbursement claims filed by employees on detail to the Tucson Sector. The OIG audited vouchers filed in FY 1999 and FY 2000. As a byproduct of the audit, the OIG prepared the attached report, and states that it appears that the Dallas Finance Center made errors in processing the vouchers, in particular, paying incorrect lodging and meals and incidental expenses rates. The OIG states it appears that the errors resulted in $16,430.67 being paid improperly to employees. This matter is being forwarded to your for your review, consideration of appropriate corrective action if you deem it warranted, and response back to this office.

The OIG recommended an audit of procedures in place at the Dallas Finance Center for processing vouchers. We are also interested in your response regarding seeking repayment from employees who were improperly reimbursed, if you determine that is the case. Please advise us in \\writing no later than 60 days from the date of this referral as to your progress in addressing these findings. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 7-5885.

Attachment


  U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General

Washington, DC 20530

May 15, 2002

MEMORANDUM

TO: John Chase, Director
Immigration & Naturalization Service
Office of Internal Audit
 
FROM: Thomas J. Bondurant [Signed]
Assistant Inspector General
   For Investigations
 
SUBJECT: OIG Complaint 2002005111-M

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has been conducted an investigation in Southern Arizona as it relates to the lodging of Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) detailed in support of Operation Safeguard. I believe that you are aware that our investigation involved an audit of travel vouchers submitted by detailed BPAs for a two- year period. The covered period was FY 1999 and FY 2000.

GIG Auditor Herman Smeenk has now completed this audit and as a byproduct he produced a report that detailed errors on a number of travel vouchers paid totaling $16,430.67 in overcharges to the INS. I have enclosed a copy of this report for your review as well as copies of the source documents that serve as the basis for our complaint.

It is our understanding that the Travel Section of the INS Finance Center in Dallas, Texas is responsible for the review of travel vouchers prior to payment being authorized. We believe that your office should consider an audit of this process to determine if there is a systemic weakness that requires corrective action.

This matter is being referred to your office as a management issue. Please let me know within sixty days of your response to this matter.

As always, your cooperation in this matter of mutual interest is appreciated.


OIG - INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION - IDMS OIG NO.: TC-412-2002005111-M

Received By: Williams, Roger M	Date Received: 05/15/2002	How Received: I 

SUBJECT: UNK INS PERSONNEL, 						SSNO:	   -  -
Title: ADMIN 			Pay Plan: -/ 				     D.O.B.:	   /  /	
Component: INS 		EOD Date: / / 			Alien Number:	
Misc: 									 F.B.I. No.:
Home: , , 								 B.O.P. No.:
Phone:    -   -		     ZIP: 				  D/L STATE:
Work: DALLAS FINANCE CENTER TRAVEL SECTION, DALLAS, TX 
Phone:    -   -		     ZIP: 
Judicial Action: 

COMPLAINANT: SMEENK, HERMAN 					      SSNO:    -  -
Title: ACCT 			Pay Plan: -/				    D.O.B.:    /  /
Component: OIG 		EOD Date: / / 			Alien Number:
Misc: 									F.B.I. No.:
Home: , , 								B.O.P. No.:
Phone:   -   -		ZIP:					D/L STATE:
Work: OIG HQ, INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION, WASHINGTON, DC 		No.:
Phone: 202-616-0650 	ZIP: 
Contact: 		Confidential: N 	Revealed:		Authority: 

ALLEGATIONS: Offense: 412 - Job Performance Failure 
Occurrence Date: ONGOING 	Time: UNKNOWN 	City: DALLAS, 	State: TX

Details:
The OIG initiated an investigation concerning possible travel voucher fraud in connection with the unauthorized acceptance of amenities in the form of cash credits, meal allowances, grocery food coupons, that were offered by hotels in Southern Arizona that were competing for business to house Border Patrol Agents in support of Operation Safeguard.

In that regard, an audit of travel vouchers submitted, was conducted (DIG 2001002553-1 Gadsden Hotel, et al), for a two year period covering FY 99 and 2000

As a byproduct of this OIG investigation, this audit found what may be a systemic problem at the INS Fiance Center, Travel Section, with the accurate review of travel vouchers prior to payment thus resulting in overpayments to BPAs This audit discovered multiple errors for this two year period that totaled over $16,000.00.

DISPOSITION DATA: Office: TC 	Date: 05/15/2002 	Disposition: M 	Approval: RMW 
Referred To Agency: INS/OIA 	Component: INS
Fee Case: N 	Civil Rights: N 	Priority: N
Other Number: 	Consolidated Case Number:
Remarks: 

Relates to OIG 2001002553, Gadsden Hotel, et al.

Memo from AIG/I to Director Chase requesting consideration of OIA Audit of travel section at INS Finance Center, Dallas, Tx. and response within 60 days.