Furnitures and fixtures audit - Audit of Expenditures for...

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Office of Inspector General Audit of Expenditures for Furnishing or Redecorating Commissioners’ Offices A15-05 September 2015 FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION
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Federal Maritime Commission Office of Inspector General Report The FMC Lacks an Effective Process to Account for Commissioners’ Furniture and Highlights Related Expenditures (Audit A15-05, September 2015) Why We Did This Audit The Office of Inspector General received a request on May 9, 2012 1 , from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a complete account for all purchases made for the then- Chairman. Background To ensure Presidential-appointees do not expend taxpayers’ dollars for lavish office suites, laws have been in place to limit amounts to be spent on office redecorating and improvements to a maximum of $5,000. Specifically, the law states the following: During the period in which the head of any department or agency, or any other officer or civilian employee of the Federal Government appointed by the President of the United States, holds office, no funds may be obligated or expended in excess of $5,000 to furnish or redecorate the office of such department head, agency head, officer, or employee, or to purchase furniture or make improvements for any such office, unless advance notice of such furnishing or redecoration is transmitted to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate. For the purposes of this section, the term ‘‘office’’ shall include the entire suite of offices assigned to the individual, as well as any other space used primarily by the individual or the use of which is directly controlled by the individual. What We Found The OIG’s audit determined that the $5,000 statutory limit to furnish or redecorate, or to purchase furniture or make improvements to a Presidential- appointee’s offices was exceeded for the former Chairman; this former Chairman served as FMC Chairman from September 2009 to March 2013. Specifically, the OIG found that for fiscal years 2009 – 2011, $12,084 was spent for furnishings and redecorating of this former Chairman’s office suite. The agency lacks a policy to ensure the $5,000 limit is not exceeded for each Commissioner. Specifically, there is no agency policy to provide the Commissioners and the responsible agency officials with guidance on the type of expenditures that are applied to the $5,000 limit, and to stipulate that the limit applies to the suite of offices assigned or under the control of the Commissioners. Further, the Office of Management Services (OMS) has not maintained adequate documentation on Commissioners’ expenditures for furnishing, redecorating and making improvements to Commissioners’ offices. The OIG found the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) addressed the recommendation made in a prior OIG report of recording purchases for the Commissioners; however, the controls in place are inadequate and did not include a log of all expenses.
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