THE INSPECTOR GENERAL
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
INDIRECT COSTS CLAIMED
BY THE TEXAS DISABILITY
By conducting independent and objective audits, evaluations and investigations, we inspire public confidence in the integrity and security of SSA’s programs and operations and protect them against fraud, waste and abuse. We provide timely, useful and reliable information and advice to Administration officials, Congress and the public.
The Inspector General Act created independent audit and investigative units, called the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The mission of the OIG, as spelled out in the Act, is to:
Conduct and supervise independent and objective audits and investigations relating to agency programs and operations.
Promote economy, effectiveness, and efficiency within the agency.
Prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse in agency programs and operations.
Review and make recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations relating to agency programs and operations.
Keep the agency head and the Congress fully and currently informed of problems in agency programs and operations.
To ensure objectivity, the IG Act empowers the IG with:
Independence to determine what reviews to perform.
Access to all information necessary for the reviews.
Authority to publish findings and recommendations based on the reviews.
We strive for continual improvement in SSA’s programs, operations and management by proactively seeking new ways to prevent and deter fraud, waste and abuse. We commit to integrity and excellence by supporting an environment that provides a valuable public service while encouraging employee development and retention and fostering diversity and innovation.
Date: January 26, 2009 Refer To:
To: Ramona Schuenemeyer
From: Inspector General
Subject: Indirect Costs Claimed by the Texas Disability Determination Services (A-06-08-18092)
Our objective was to determine whether the indirect costs claimed by the Texas Disability Determination Services (TX-DDS) for Federal Fiscal Years (FY) 2006 and 2007 were allowable and properly allocated.
The Disability Insurance (DI) program was established in 1954 under Title II of the Social Security Act (Act). The DI program provides benefits to wage earners and their families in the event the wage earner becomes disabled. In 1972, Congress enacted the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program under Title XVI of the Act. The SSI program provides benefits to financially needy individuals who are aged, blind, or disabled.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for implementing policies for the development of claims under the DI and SSI programs. Disability determinations under both DI and SSI are performed by disability determination services (DDS) in each State in accordance with Federal regulations. In carrying out its obligation, each DDS is responsible for determining claimants’ disabilities and ensuring adequate evidence is available to support its determinations. SSA reimburses the DDS for 100 percent of allowable expenditures up to its approved funding authorization. Allowable expenditures include both direct and indirect costs. At the end of each quarter of the FY, each DDS submits a Form SSA-4513, State Agency Report of Obligations for SSA Disability Programs, to account for program disbursements and unliquidated obligations. The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (TX-DARS) was created in March 2004 and serves as the DDS’ parent agency. Parent agencies often provide State-designated DDS administrative services, such as accounting and procurement. Costs associated with these services are referred to as indirect costs. Federally assisted programs bear their fair share of indirect costs except where restricted or prohibited by law. Federal cost standards state that expenditures may be allocated to a particular program if the goods or services are charged in accordance with the relative benefits received. TX-DARS allocates indirect costs to each of its four Divisions: Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Division for Blind Services (DBS), Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), and TX-DDS.
Each year, TX-DARS prepares and submits an Indirect Cost Rate Proposal to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), the cognizant Federal agency, for approval. The indirect cost rate proposal is prepared based on the actual costs incurred 2 FYs prior. For example, the FY 2007 proposal was prepared based on actual costs from FY 2005. The total actual indirect costs are allocated from various indirect cost pools based on a predetermined set of allocation bases, such as the percentage of accounting transactions processed, full-time equivalent (FTE) employees assigned, or “Other Operating Expenses” incurred. The total indirect costs allocated from all cost pools are divided by the total actual direct costs incurred during the same period, resulting in the indirect cost rate. Current year indirect costs are then determined by applying the approved rate multiplied by the current year’s direct costs.
A contractor prepared TX-DARS’ initial indirect cost proposal for FY 2006 based on actual financial data from FY 2004. Upon recommendation of the cognizant agency, TX-DARS simplified its methodology and presentation format for the FY 2007 proposal. The FY 2007 proposal was based on FY 2005 actual data, which was the first full year of TX-DARS’ operation. We focused our review on the FY 2007 proposal since it was the first TX-DARS proposal based on a full year of its operations. SSA reimbursed $12.5 million for FY 2006 indirect costs and $11.8 million for FY 2007 indirect costs. TX-DARS’ FY 2009 indirect cost rate proposal allocates approximately $12.2 million in indirect costs to TX-DDS. See Appendix B for additional background information and Appendix C for our audit scope and methodology.
RESULTS OF REVIEW
Indirect costs claimed for reimbursement under SSA’s disability programs were generally allowable and were paid in accordance with the cost rates approved by the cognizant agency. However, TX-DARS allocated indirect costs to TX-DDS in amounts that were not equitable in consideration of the relative benefit received. TX-DARS allocated costs to TX-DDS based on the percentage of accounting transactions processed, FTEs assigned, or “Other Operating Expenses” incurred when these allocation bases had little or no relation to the relative benefits received by TX-DDS. Use of this methodology resulted in cost allocations from TX-DARS cost pools in proportions significantly greater than TX-DDS’ share of TX-DARS’ budget.
Based on discussions with key TX-DARS personnel and our review of available information, the TX-DARS allocation methodology resulted in approximately $2.2 million in excessive indirect costs charged to TX-DDS in FY 2007. As long as TX-DARS continues to use a similar indirect cost allocation methodology, excessive indirect cost allocations will continue to be allocated to TX-DDS. We estimate use of the current indirect cost allocation methodology will result in approximately $3.3 million in excessive indirect cost allocations to TX-DDS in FY 2009.
TX-DARS’ INDIRECT COST ALLOCATION METHODOLOGY
TX-DARS used three primary methods of allocating indirect costs to TX-DDS from its various cost pools. Based on the type of costs in a specific cost pool, it is reasonable to use a method for one cost pool that is different from other cost pools. However, the method chosen for a specific cost pool should make a reasonable allocation of the costs in that cost pool relative to the benefits received by the programs.
The three primary methods TX-DARS used to allocate indirect costs to its Divisions were based on percentage of accounting transactions processed, FTEs assigned, or “Other Operating Expenses” incurred. The chart below provides the percentage of the budget as well as the applicable TX-DARS allocation percentages for FY 2005 (used to calculate the indirect cost rate applied in FY 2007).
FY 2005 Percentage of Budget, Accounting Transactions, FTEs
And “Other Operating Expenses” by TX-DARS Division
FTEs “Other Operating Expenses”
DRS 40.7% 37.4% 47.0% 25.0%
DBS 9.9% 7.8% 18.9% 15.1%
ECI 29.7% 1.8% 1.3% 3.2%
DDS 19.7% 53.0% 32.8% 56.7%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
Use of the three allocation methodologies outlined in the chart above resulted in cost allocations that were significantly greater than TX-DDS’ share of TX-DARS’ budget. Specifically, TX-DDS represented about 20 percent of the $514 million TX-DARS budget. However, TX-DDS was allocated between 33 and 57 percent of the indirect costs from the indirect cost pools. In contrast, ECI represented about 30 percent of TX DARS’ budget but received allocations of only 3.2 percent or less from TX-DARS’ indirect cost pools.
Allocations Based on Number of Accounting Transactions
In calculating the FY 2007 indirect cost rate, TX-DARS allocated about $1.6 million of its FY 2005 Accounting Department costs to TX-DDS based on the percentage of accounting transactions processed. Primarily as the result of a large number of
low-dollar fees paid for medical record reviews, approximately 53 percent of the transactions processed by the TX-DARS Accounting Department in FY 2005 were
TX-DDS transactions. Therefore, TX-DARS allocated approximately 53 percent of its Accounting Department costs to TX-DDS. Allocation of these costs based on a percentage of accounting transactions processed appeared equitable considering the relative benefits received by TX-DDS.
However, TX-DARS also used the percent of accounting transactions processed to allocate $2.1 million in costs associated with the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Internal Audit, and State Auditor cost pools. Allocation of these cost pools to TX-DDS based on the percentage of accounting transactions processed resulted in SSA paying more than its fair share of indirect costs.
• The Comptroller of Public Accounts cost pool consists of costs passed to TX-DARS by the Comptroller of Public Accounts through the Statewide Cost Plan. The Comptroller is the chief steward of the State’s finances, acting as tax collector, chief accountant, chief revenue estimator and treasurer for all of the State government. We found nothing to indicate the number of accounting transactions processed by TX-DDS affected the Comptroller of Public Accounts’ operating expenses. Therefore, allocating these costs based on accounting transaction percentage was not justified. Instead, allocating these costs based on budget percentage was justified and would more closely align the sharing of these costs with the benefits received.
• The CFO cost pool includes the costs incurred to operate the CFO’s office. The CFO manages the TX-DARS budget and financial operations and is responsible for establishing and monitoring policies and procedures for budget, accounting, cash management, contract management, grants management, and financial reporting. The CFO stated that his office represented all four TX-DARS Divisions equally, and its operating costs were not driven by the number of accounting transactions processed by TX-DARS Divisions. Because the number of accounting transactions processed by TX-DDS has no correlation with the CFO’s operating costs, allocation of the CFO cost pool based on the percentage of accounting transactions is not equitable. Allocation of these costs based on budget percentage or an equal sharing of these costs among the four TX-DARS Divisions can be justified and would more closely align the sharing of these costs in accordance with the relative benefits received. TX-DDS’ fair share of these costs should not exceed 25 percent.
• A review of audit reports published by both the Internal Audit Department and the State Auditor’s Office during FYs 2006 and 2007 indicated that neither department had issued any audit reports specifically related to TX DDS. This clearly demonstrates that the level of support these departments provide TX-DDS has no relationship to the number of accounting transactions processed by TX-DDS. It also demonstrates that allocating these costs on the basis of accounting transactions results in a disproportional cost allocation to TX-DDS. Indirect costs from these departments should be allocated on the basis of budget percentage.
Excess Indirect Costs Allocated to TX-DDS
on the Basis of Number of Accounting Transactions
Cost Pool Actual Allocation
Based on Accounting Transactions
Proposed Allocation Basis
TX-DDS Allocation Difference
Comptroller of Public Accounts $1,132,425 Budget $420,628 $711,797
Chief Financial Officer 808,254 Equal $392,344 $415,910
Internal Audit 275,037 Budget 105,377 169,660
State Auditor 174,456 Budget 66,840 107,616
Use of the accounting transactions to allocate these cost pools resulted in SSA paying approximately $1.4 million more than its fair share of indirect costs in FY 2007. This methodology will continue to result in excessive indirect cost allocations to TX-DDS in FY 2009 and later FYs if the methodology is not changed.
Allocations Based on FTE Employees
In calculating the FY 2007 indirect cost rate, TX-DARS allocated about $2.4 million of its FY 2005 Lump Sum Termination Pay, Post Retirement Health Benefits, Media Services, Records Management, Library, Facilities Leasing and Management, and Warehouse costs to TX-DDS based on the percentage of assigned FTEs. Approximately 32 percent of TX-DARS employees are assigned to TX-DDS. As a result, TX-DARS allocated approximately 32 percent of these costs to TX-DDS. Allocation of these costs based on FTEs appeared equitable considering the relative benefits TX-DDS received.
However, TX-DARS also used the FTE percentage to allocate $2.6 million in costs associated with operating 11 additional cost pools to TX-DDS. Use of this allocation methodology resulted in SSA paying more than its fair share of indirect costs.
• The Director of Operations, Center for Program Coordination, Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and Chief Operating Officer cost pools provide direction, coordination, and administration to all TX-DARS activities. Review of available documentation and discussions with TX-DARS staff indicated the level of support provided to TX-DDS did not depend on the number of employees assigned to
TX-DDS. Instead, these departments represented TX-DARS, as a whole, and supported its Divisions equally. Therefore, allocating these costs to TX-DDS on the basis of FTEs was not equitable and resulted in TX-DDS bearing more than its fair share of costs.
• The Budget section provides financial information and technical assistance to effectively expend available funds, project funding needs, and maximize available resources. Responsibilities include preparing the annual operating budget; monitoring budget coding, budget revisions, and budget transactions for compliance; reviewing fiscal implications, proposed rules, and cost estimates; and reporting on a variety of financial information. Instead of allocating Budget Department costs based on the percentage of the budget expended in each of its four Divisions, TX DARS allocated the costs based on the number of assigned FTEs. However, the number of FTEs assigned to TX-DDS bears no relationship to the level of support provided by the Budget section. Allocating Budget section expenses to TX-DDS based on FTEs instead of budget percentage was not equitable. Allocation of these costs based on budget percentage would align the sharing of these costs in accordance with the relative benefits received.
• For five additional cost pools, we found no relationship between the number of FTEs and the actual support provided to TX-DDS. We found nothing to indicate the level of support provided by these cost pools varied in relation to the number of employees in each of TX-DARS’ four Divisions. Instead, these pools appeared to represent TX-DARS, as a whole, and support its Divisions equally.
The Legal Services section interprets and drafts laws, regulations, and legal opinions; coordinates agency litigation with the Office of the Attorney General; prosecutes and adjudicates administrative enforcement matters; reviews contracts; and liaisons with the Secretary of State for Texas Register filings of rules and meeting notices.
The Program Reporting and Analysis section is responsible for providing information and analysis to assist TX-DARS management in reporting program performance to Federal and State agencies, the State legislature, and interested stakeholders; and in evaluating of the effectiveness of TX-DARS operations.
The Center for DARS Policy develops, evaluates, disseminates, and provides assistance regarding program administrative policy and procedures and ensures that Department policies comply with Federal and State policies.
The Center for Consumer and External Affairs provides a central contact for public and stakeholder input and the acquisition of information on TX-DARS policies, procedures, and services. The Center coordinates the referral of inquiries to the appropriate TX-DARS Division, serves as the liaison for governmental affairs, tracks legislation affecting TX-DARS programs, develops public awareness activities and maintains stakeholder relations.
Attorney General costs include legal costs billed by the State Attorney General’s Office to TX-DARS on the Statewide Cost Allocation Plan.
Excess Indirect Costs Allocated to TX-DDS
on the Basis of Number of FTE Employees
Cost Pool Actual Allocation
FTEs Proposed Allocation Basis Revised TX DDS Allocation Difference
Director of Operations $732,795 Equal $578,298 $154,497
Program Coordination 503,495 Equal 397,341 106,154
Budget 346,105 Budget 215,121 130,984
Legal Services 304,642 Equal 240,413 64,229
Program Reporting and Analysis 297,320 Equal 234,635 62,685
Commissioner 123,645 Equal 97,577 26,068
DARS Policy 95,586 Equal 75,433 20,153
Deputy Commissioner 61,243 Equal 48,331 12,912
Chief Operating Officer 60,538 Equal 47,774 12,764
Consumer and External Affairs 49,414 Equal 38,996 10,418
Attorney General 27,294 Equal 21,539 5,755
Totals $2,602,077 $1,995,458 $606,619
Based on our review of information provided by TX-DARS, we did not find a relationship between the number of FTEs assigned to TX-DDS and the level of support provided by these cost pools. Use of FTE percentage to allocate these cost pools resulted in SSA paying approximately $607,000 more than its fair share of indirect costs in FY 2007. This methodology will continue to result in excessive indirect cost allocations to TX-DDS in FY 2009 and later FYs if the methodology is not changed.
Allocations Based on “Other Operating Expenses”
In calculating the FY 2007 indirect cost rate, TX-DARS allocated about $500,000 of its FY 2005 Buyer Support Services and Historically Underutilized Business Services (HUBS) costs to TX-DDS based on the percentage of total “Other Operating Expenses.” Types of expenses TX DARS classifies as “Other Operating Expenses” include postage, contracted temporary services, furnishings and equipment, and building maintenance and repair. Using this methodology, TX-DARS allocated more than 50 percent of the costs associated with operating Buyer Support Services and HUBS to TX-DDS.
Excess Indirect Costs Allocated to TX-DDS
on the Basis of Percentage of “Other Operating Expenses”
Cost Pool Actual Allocation Based on “Other Operating Expenses” Proposed Allocation Basis Revised
TX-DDS Allocation Difference
Buyer Support Services $448,481 Budget $251,911 $196,570
HUBS 52,941 Budget 29,737 23,204
Based on the information provided by TX-DARS, we found nothing to indicate the use of “Other Operating Expenses” as an allocation basis had any relation to the level of support these cost pools provided TX-DDS. Therefore, allocation of these cost pools based on the percentage of “Other Operating Expenses” was not equitable and resulted in SSA paying approximately $220,000 more than its fair share of indirect costs in FY 2007. This methodology will continue to result in excessive indirect cost allocations to TX DDS in FY 2009 and later FYs if the methodology is not changed. Allocation of these costs based on the budget percentage can be justified and would more closely align the sharing of these costs in accordance with the relative benefits received.
TX-DARS FY 2009 INDIRECT COST PROPOSAL
Based on our review of FY 2007 indirect costs, TX-DARS’ cost allocation methodology resulted in TX-DDS bearing more than its fair share of TX DARS’ indirect costs. Review of TX-DARS FY 2009 indirect cost proposal indicated TX-DARS continued to use the accounting transaction percentage, FTE percentage, and “Other Operating Expenses” percentage as the bases for allocating indirect costs to TX DDS. As shown in the table below, we estimate that application of this allocation methodology will result in approximately $3.3 million in excessive indirect cost allocations to TX-DDS in FY 2009. If the methodology is not changed, it could result in approximately $9.8 million in excessive costs over the next 3 FYs.
Excess Indirect Costs Allocated to TX-DDS
Based on TX-DARS FY 2009 Indirect Cost Proposal
Cost Pool FY 2009 Allocation Basis FY 2009 Expected Allocation Proposed Allocation Basis Revised Allocation Difference
Chief Financial Officer Transactions $2,515,232 Trans/Equal $2,084,469 $430,763
Comptroller of Public Accounts Transactions 948,352 Budget 378,444 569,909
Internal Audit Transactions 332,552 Budget 132,706 199,846
State Auditor Transactions 56,657 Budget 22,609 34,048
HHSC Enterprise Oversight FTEs 1,465,745 Budget 882,079 583,666
Commissioner FTEs 1,064,146 Equal 770,080 294,066
Budget FTEs 461,874 Budget 277,954 183,920
Staff and Operations Support FTEs 431,484 Equal 312,248 119,236
Program Reporting and Analysis FTEs 293,554 Equal 212,433 81,121
Chief Operating Officer FTEs 260,942 Equal 188,834 72,109
Legal Services FTEs 226,943 Equal 164,230 62,713
Program Support FTEs 91,610 Equal 66,295 25,316
Buyer Support Services Other Op Exp 747,599 Budget 313,634 433,965
Facilities Management Other Op Exp 263,740 FTEs 183,860 79,880
Contract Monitoring and Risk Other Op Exp 229,988 FTEs 160,330 69,658
HUBS Other Op Exp 39,923 Budget 16,571 23,352
FY 2009 Totals $9,430,341
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Indirect costs claimed for reimbursement under SSA’s disability programs were generally allowable and paid in accordance with the cost rates approved by the cognizant agency. However, TX-DARS allocated indirect costs to TX-DDS in amounts that were not equitable in consideration of the relative benefit received. TX-DARS allocated costs to TX-DDS based on the number of accounting transactions processed, number of FTE employees assigned, or percentage of “Other Operating Expenses” incurred when these allocation bases had little or no relation to the level of support the cost pools actually provided to TX-DDS. Use of the current TX-DARS allocation methodology resulted in approximately $2.2 million in excessive indirect cost allocations to TX-DDS in FY 2007, and we estimate that continued use of the current methodology will result in approximately $3.3 million in excessive indirect cost allocations in FY 2009. Further, if the methodology is not changed, it could result in approximately $9.8 million in excessive costs over the next 3 FYs.
We recommend SSA ensure TX-DDS bears no more than its fair share of indirect costs by working with TX-DARS and DOE to develop and implement a methodology that allocates indirect costs in accordance with the relative benefits received by TX-DDS.
SSA agreed with our recommendation and will work with TX DARS and DOE to implement the necessary changes. See Appendix D for the full text of SSA’s comments.
TX-DARS agreed with the premise of our recommendation and stated it would work with the cognizant agency to allocate indirect costs in accordance with the relative benefits received. TX-DARS also provided several observations indicating either agreement or disagreement with specific proposed changes to allocation bases discussed in the report and stated its belief that percentage of budget is not a legitimate basis for allocating indirect costs. TX-DARS noted that implementation of all the allocation changes discussed in the report would result in a shifting of costs from SSA to the DOE, which would reduce funds available for DOE programs. TX-DARS believes this would result in removal of fewer SSI claimants from SSA rolls because fewer DOE dollars would be available to put Texans with disabilities to work. See Appendix E for the full text of TX-DARS’ comments.
We appreciate the comments from SSA and TX-DARS. We are encouraged that both parties indicated willingness to develop and implement a methodology that will better allocate indirect costs to SSA in accordance with the relative benefits received.
TX-DARS stated it found no evidence to support use of “budget” as an allocation basis. TX-DARS cited experts who stated they had never seen budget percentage used as a legitimate allocation basis and said the OMB Circular A-87 Implementation Guide shows no such basis. We point out the Guide also states the bases listed are “suggestions only” and that “Any method of distribution can be used which will produce an equitable distribution of cost.” We continue to believe that percentage of budget is a method of allocation that would produce more equitable distributions of various
TX-DARS indirect cost pools (for example, Budget, Internal Audit, State Auditor) than methods currently employed.
TX-DARS stated that implementation of the proposed allocation basis changes would shift costs from SSA to DOE resulting in a decrease in DOE funds currently used for various client services. However, we reiterate that federally assisted programs are required to bear their fair share of indirect costs. Implementing the changes suggested in the report will help ensure SSA pays only its fair share of indirect costs and no longer subsidizes other State and/or Federal programs.
Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr.
APPENDIX A – Acronyms
APPENDIX B – Background
APPENDIX C – Scope and Methodology
APPENDIX D – Agency Comments
APPENDIX E – Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Comments
APPENDIX F – OIG Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments
ACT Social Security Act
CFO Chief Financial Officer
C.F.R. Code of Federal Regulations
DBS Division for Blind Services
DDS Disability Determination Services
DI Disability Insurance
DOE Department of Education
DRS Division for Rehabilitation Services
ECI Early Childhood Intervention
FTE Full-Time Equivalent
FY Fiscal Year
HUBS Historically Underutilized Business Services
OIG Office of the Inspector General
OMB Office of Management and Budget
SSA Social Security Administration
SSI Supplemental Security Income
TX-DARS Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
TX-DDS Texas Disability Determination Services
SSA-4513 State Agency Report of Obligations for SSA Disability Programs
The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (TX-DARS) allocates indirect costs to each of its four Divisions: Division for Rehabilitation Services, Division for Blind Services, Early Childhood Intervention, and Disability Determination Services, all headed by the Commissioner of TX-DARS. The following chart provides an overview of TX-DARS’ organizational structure.
TX-DARS Organization Chart
Scope and Methodology
We reviewed the indirect costs reported by the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (TX-DARS) and its component, the Texas Disability Determination Services (TX-DDS), on its State Agency Report of Obligations for SSA Disability Programs (Form SSA-4513) for Federal Fiscal Years (FY) 2006 and 2007. For the items tested, we reviewed TX-DARS’ and TX-DDS’ compliance with applicable laws and regulations over the allowability of indirect costs.
To accomplish our objective, we:
• Reviewed applicable sections of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87, the Code of Federal Regulations, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Program Operations Manual System, and TX-DDS’ Cost Allocation Plan.
• Interviewed employees from TX-DARS and TX-DDS.
• Examined the indirect costs incurred and claimed by TX-DARS.
• Reviewed the supporting documentation used to formulate the three allocation bases for distributing costs to TX-DDS.
• Reviewed actual indirect costs, by appropriation, for FY 2005, further examining selected high-dollar line items. The FY 2005 data were used in formulating the indirect cost rate for the FY 2007 cost proposal.
• Reconciled costs reported by TX-DARS on its Form SSA-4513 for FYs 2006 and 2007 to the related accounting records.
• Reviewed work papers and source documentation used in preparing the indirect cost proposal for FYs 2006 and 2007.
We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We performed our audit from February through September 2008 at TX-DDS and TX-DARS in Austin, Texas, and at the SSA regional office in Dallas, Texas.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Subject: Dallas Reply: Signed Draft Report (A-06-08-18092) - Indirect Costs Claimed by the Texas Disability Determination Services
We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Signed Draft Report (A-06-08-18092) - Indirect Costs Claimed by the Texas Disability Determination Services. We would like to thank the OIG Audit staff in the Dallas Region for the excellent manner in which they were able to organize and perform this audit. We appreciate their efforts to keep all parties informed of their progress during the course of the audit.
Our response to the recommendation contained in the narrative report is as follows:
OIG Recommendation: We recommend the SSA ensure TX-DDS bears no more than its fair share of indirect costs by working with TX DARS and the Department of Education to develop and implement a methodology that allocates indirect costs in accordance with the relative benefits received by TX DDS.
Response: We concur with this recommendation. We will work with Texas DARS and the Department of Education to implement the necessary changes.
If members of your staff have any questions, please have them call Irving Wilkerson at 214 767 3126 in Management and Operations Support, Center for Disability.
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Comments
From: Elise d'Auteuil [mailto:Elise_dAuteuil@mgtamer.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 7:30 PM
To: McKay, David; email@example.com
Cc: Wheeler, Bill; Dawson, James; Lavallee, Anita; Joel Nolan
Subject: RE: Process for Compiling SWCAP document
We have used total accounting transactions to allocate the Fund Accounting, USAS and Treasury Accounting functions of the Comptroller’s Office.
We have used a modified accounting transaction count (that excludes retirement warrants and child support warrants) to allocate the Claims section of the Comptroller’s Office.
We would take the position that the services provided by the Comptroller are more extensive than a “disbursing service” and that it is, in fact, an accounting service. ASMB C10 recommends accounting transactions as the allocation method for accounting services.
The Dallas based Division of Cost Allocation (that reviews and approves this SWCAP) scrutinized the allocation of the Comptroller’s cost several years ago when they happened to be focused on increasing costs/allocations going to the Title IVD program. The current methods of identifying cost pools and using transactions counts as the allocation statistic resulted from that round of negotiation with DCA.
This wouldn’t be the first time we have found a grantor agency taking exception to what DCA has approved, but we are constrained by what DCA will approve.
Please let me know if you need additional information.
MGT of America, Inc.
From: McKay, David [mailto:David.McKay@dars.state.tx.us]
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 2:35 PM
Cc: Wheeler, Bill; Dawson, James; Lavallee, Anita
Subject: Process for Compiling SWCAP document
The SSA OIG does not agree with “transactions” as the allocation basis we use for the Comptroller’s costs.
Page 66 of ASMB C-10 suggests “Number of …warrants issued” as the basis for allocating the cost of “Disbursing service”. Our position is that each warrant is a transaction.
I’d appreciate your suggestion(s) / rationale / agreement re this issue.
Thank you very much.
OIG Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments
Ron Gunia, Director, Dallas Audit Division, (214) 767-6620
Jason Arrington, Audit Manager, (214) 767-1321
In addition to those named above:
Warren Wasson, Senior Auditor
Clara Soto, Senior Auditor
For additional copies of this report, please visit our web site at www.socialsecurity.gov/oig or contact the Office of the Inspector General’s Public Affairs Staff Assistant at (410) 965-4518. Refer to Common Identification Number
Commissioner of Social Security
Office of Management and Budget, Income Maintenance Branch
Chairman and Ranking Member, Committee on Ways and Means
Chief of Staff, Committee on Ways and Means
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Social Security
Majority and Minority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Social Security
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Committee on the Budget, House of Representatives
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives
Chairman and Ranking Minority, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations,
House of Representatives
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Finance
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Social Security Pensions and Family Policy
Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, Senate Special Committee on Aging
Social Security Advisory Board
Overview of the Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is comprised of an Office of Audit (OA), Office of Investigations (OI), Office of the Counsel to the Inspector General (OCIG), Office of External Relations (OER), and Office of Technology and Resource Management (OTRM). To ensure compliance with policies and procedures, internal controls, and professional standards, the OIG also has a comprehensive Professional Responsibility and Quality Assurance program.
Office of Audit
OA conducts financial and performance audits of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) programs and operations and makes recommendations to ensure program objectives are achieved effectively and efficiently. Financial audits assess whether SSA’s financial statements fairly present SSA’s financial position, results of operations, and cash flow. Performance audits review the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of SSA’s programs and operations. OA also conducts short-term management reviews and program evaluations on issues of concern to SSA, Congress, and the general public.
Office of Investigations
OI conducts investigations related to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in SSA programs and operations. This includes wrongdoing by applicants, beneficiaries, contractors, third parties, or SSA employees performing their official duties. This office serves as liaison to the Department of Justice on all matters relating to the investigation of SSA programs and personnel. OI also conducts joint investigations with other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.
Office of the Counsel to the Inspector General
OCIG provides independent legal advice and counsel to the IG on various matters, including statutes, regulations, legislation, and policy directives. OCIG also advises the IG on investigative procedures and techniques, as well as on legal implications and conclusions to be drawn from audit and investigative material. Also, OCIG administers the Civil Monetary Penalty program.
Office of External Relations
OER manages OIG’s external and public affairs programs, and serves as the principal advisor on news releases and in providing information to the various news reporting services. OER develops OIG’s media and public information policies, directs OIG’s external and public affairs programs, and serves as the primary contact for those seeking information about OIG. OER prepares OIG publications, speeches, and presentations to internal and external organizations, and responds to Congressional correspondence.
Office of Technology and Resource Management
OTRM supports OIG by providing information management and systems security. OTRM also coordinates OIG’s budget, procurement, telecommunications, facilities, and human resources. In addition, OTRM is the focal point for OIG’s strategic planning function, and the development and monitoring of performance measures. In addition, OTRM receives and assigns for action allegations of criminal and administrative violations of Social Security laws, identifies fugitives receiving benefit payments from SSA, and provides technological assistance to investigations.