JUNE 30, 2002

March 2004




We improve SSA programs and operations and protect them against fraud, waste, and abuse by conducting independent and objective audits, evaluations, and investigations. We provide timely, useful, and reliable information and advice to Administration officials, the 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.


By conducting independent and objective audits, investigations, and evaluations, we are agents of positive change striving for continuous improvement in the Social Security Administration's programs, operations, and management and in our own office.


Date: March 18, 2004

To: Candace Skurnik
Director Audit Management and Liaison Staff

From: Assistant Inspector General for Audit

Subject: Management Advisory Report: Single Audit of the State of Rhode Island for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2002 (A-77-04-00008)

This report presents the Social Security Administration's (SSA) portion of the single audit of the State of Rhode Island for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2002. Our objective was to report internal control weaknesses, noncompliance issues, and unallowable costs identified in the single audit to SSA for resolution action.

The Rhode Island Auditor General performed the audit. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) desk review concluded that the audit met Federal requirements. In reporting the results of the single audit, we relied entirely on the internal control and compliance work performed by the Rhode Island Auditor General and the reviews performed by HHS.

For single audit purposes, the Office of Management and Budget assigns Federal programs a Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number. SSA's Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are identified by CFDA number 96. SSA is responsible for resolving single audit findings reported under this CFDA number.

The Rhode Island Disability Determination Services (DDS) performs disability determinations under SSA's DI and SSI programs in accordance with Federal regulations. The DDS is reimbursed for 100 percent of allowable costs. The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) is the Rhode Island DDS' parent agency.

The single audit reported that controls were inadequate to ensure the accuracy of information in Federal reports. Specifically,

1. Disbursements reported on the SSA-4513 (State Agency Report of Obligations) were understated by $411,389 (Attachment A, page 1 and 2).

2. Overtime hours were reported twice on the SSA 4514 (Time Report of Personnel Services) (Attachment A, page 2).

The corrective action plan indicates that DHS will prepare timely quarterly reports based on the State accounting records. Both reports were revised and re-submitted to SSA (Attachment A, page 3).

We recommend that SSA instruct the DDS to implement procedures that ensure the accuracy of information reported on the SSA-4513 and SSA-4514.

The single audit also disclosed the following findings that may impact DDS operations, although they were not specifically identified to SSA. I am bringing these matters to your attention as they represent potentially serious service delivery and financial control problems for the Agency.

Monthly bank reconciliations were not performed timely because of the implementation of a new accounting system (Attachment B, pages 1 through 3).

Access controls for employee passwords over entry into the State payroll accounting system were not in place (Attachment B, page 4).

The State did not have accounting controls in place over the acquisition, disposal, and inventory of equipment (Attachment B, page 5).

Cost allocation reports were not reconciled to the State's accounting system (Attachment B, pages 6 through 8).

Please send copies of the final Audit Clearance Document to Shannon Agee and Rona Rustigian. If you have questions contact Shannon Agee at (816) 936 5590.

Overview of the Office of the Inspector General

Office of Audit

The Office of Audit (OA) conducts comprehensive financial and performance audits of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) programs and makes recommendations to ensure that program objectives are achieved effectively and efficiently. Financial audits, required by the Chief Financial Officers' Act of 1990, assess whether SSA's financial statements fairly present the Agency's financial position, results of operations and cash flow. Performance audits review the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of SSA's programs. OA also conducts short-term management and program evaluations focused on issues of concern to SSA, Congress and the general public. Evaluations often focus on identifying and recommending ways to prevent and minimize program fraud and inefficiency, rather than detecting problems after they occur.

Office of Executive Operations

The Office of Executive Operations (OEO) supports the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) by providing information resource management; systems security; and the coordination of budget, procurement, telecommunications, facilities and equipment, and human resources. In addition, this office is the focal point for the OIG's strategic planning function and the development and implementation of performance measures required by the Government Performance and Results Act. OEO is also responsible for performing internal reviews to ensure that OIG offices nationwide hold themselves to the same rigorous standards that we expect from SSA, as well as conducting investigations of OIG employees, when necessary. Finally, OEO administers OIG's public affairs, media, and interagency activities, coordinates responses to Congressional requests for information, and also communicates OIG's planned and current activities and their results to the Commissioner and Congress.

Office of Investigations

The Office of Investigations (OI) conducts and coordinates investigative activity related to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of SSA programs and operations. This includes wrongdoing by applicants, beneficiaries, contractors, physicians, interpreters, representative payees, third parties, and by SSA employees in the performance of their duties. OI also conducts joint investigations with other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.

Counsel to the Inspector General

The Counsel to the Inspector General provides legal advice and counsel to the Inspector General on various matters, including: 1) statutes, regulations, legislation, and policy directives governing the administration of SSA's programs; 2) investigative procedures and techniques; and 3) legal implications and conclusions to be drawn from audit and investigative material produced by the OIG. The Counsel's office also administers the civil monetary penalty program.