SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
COSTS CLAIMED BY THE
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: July 16, 2004
To: James C. Everett
Regional Commissioner Denver
From: Assistant Inspector General for Audit
Subject: Administrative Costs Claimed by the Wyoming Disability Determination Services (A 07-04-14051)
The objectives of our audit were to evaluate the Wyoming Disability Determination Services' (WY-DDS) internal controls over the accounting and reporting of administrative costs, determine whether costs claimed were allowable and funds were properly drawn, and assess limited areas of the general security controls environment. Our audit included the administrative costs claimed by the WY-DDS during Fiscal Years (FY) 2000 through 2002.
Disability determinations under the Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs are performed by Disability Determination Services (DDS) in each State or other responsible jurisdictions. Such determinations are required to be performed in accordance with Federal law and underlying regulations. In carrying out its obligation, each DDS is responsible for determining claimants' disabilities and ensuring that adequate evidence is available to support its determinations. To assist in making proper disability determinations, the DDS is authorized by SSA to purchase consultative examinations to supplement evidence obtained from the claimants' physicians or other treating sources. SSA authorizes an annual budget to reimburse the DDS for 100 percent of allowable expenditures.
The DDS withdraws Federal funds through the Department of the Treasury's (Treasury) Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP) system to pay for program expenditures. Funds drawn down must comply with Federal regulations and intergovernmental agreements entered into by Treasury and States under the Cash Management Improvement Act of 1990. At the end of each quarter of the FY, the DDS submits a State Agency Report of Obligations for SSA Disability Programs (SSA 4513) to account for program disbursements and unliquidated obligations.
The Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (WY-DVR) is the WY-DDS' parent agency. The WY-DDS is located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. See Appendix B for the scope and methodology of our review.
RESULTS OF REVIEW
The WY-DDS had effective internal controls over the accounting and reporting of administrative costs and the costs it claimed during our audit period were allowable. However, improvements are needed in the WY-DDS' inventory procedures. In addition, SSA should rescind the WY-DDS' FY 2000 funding authority in the ASAP system since it is no longer needed to make disability determinations.
The WY-DDS' inventory list was not complete because it did not include information on 27 computers and 7 printers. According to the WY-DDS, the lack of appropriate inventory procedures occurred because there was uncertainty between the WY-DDS and SSA on who was responsible for the inventory of this equipment. According to SSA instructions, "the State is responsible for maintenance and inventory of all equipment acquired whether purchased through SSA or the State." Maintaining complete inventory records will help prevent and/or detect stolen or misplaced equipment.
ASAP SYSTEM ACCOUNT BALANCE
Each DDS withdraws Federal funds through the ASAP system to pay for program expenditures. Funds withdrawn through the ASAP system are restricted solely for program use, and any unused money is to be returned to Treasury. For each FY, State DDSs are assigned an Account Identification number in the ASAP system. SSA is responsible for establishing, maintaining and funding DDS accounts in the ASAP system to control the flow of funds to the State. Cash draws made from the Account Identification number are to reimburse the DDS for expenditures incurred during the same period as the Account Identification number's FY reporting period. The ASAP system controls the amount of funds a DDS can draw from Treasury based on the funding amount authorized by SSA in each account.
On October 26, 2001, the WY-DDS submitted its final SSA 4513 for FY 2000, which reported to SSA that it had expended all funds necessary to make FY 2000 disability determinations. However, as of April 23, 2004, the WY-DDS' FY 2000 ASAP account had an available balance of $20,453. SSA should rescind the remaining ASAP funding authority to eliminate the risk that the State could inadvertently obtain the funds.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The WY-DDS generally had effective internal controls over the accounting and reporting of administrative costs and the costs it claimed during our audit period were allowable.
We recommend that SSA:
1. Instruct the WY-DDS to maintain a comprehensive inventory list that includes all computer equipment.
2. Reduce the WY-DDS' FY 2000 ASAP funding authority by $20,453.
In response to our draft report, the Denver Regional Office agreed with our
first recommendation. With regards to the second recommendation, the Regional
Office stated that in March 2002 it requested the Office of Disability Determinations
to reduce the WY-DDS' excess funding authority by $20,453. Accordingly, the
Regional Office stated that no further action was required on its part and requested
that we delete our recommendation. The WY-DDS agreed with our recommendations.
The full text of SSA and WY-DDS comments are included in Appendix C and D, respectively.
Although the Denver Regional Office requested that the WY-DDS' FY 2000 ASAP funding authority be reduced, the action had not been processed at the time of our draft audit report. In fact, over two years had elapsed since the Regional Office's request. Accordingly, our recommendation was appropriate. Following receipt of the Denver Regional Office's comments to our draft report, Office of Disability Determinations informed us that the WY-DDS' FY 2000 ASAP funding authority was rescinded on July 12, 2004.
Steven L. Schaeffer
APPENDIX A - Acronyms
APPENDIX B - Scope and Methodology
APPENDIX C - Agency Comments
APPENDIX D - DDS Comments
APPENDIX E - OIG Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments
C.F.R. Automated Standard Application for Payments
Code of Federal Regulations
DDS Disability Determination Service
FY Fiscal Year
SSA Social Security Administration
SSA-4513 State Agency Report of Obligations for SSA Disability Programs
U.S.C. Department of the Treasury
United States Code
WY-DDS Wyoming Disability Determination Services
WY-DVR Wyoming Division Vocational Rehabilitation
Scope and Methodology
To achieve our objective, we:
Reviewed applicable Federal regulations, pertinent parts of Program Operations Manual System DI 39500 DDS Fiscal and Administrative Management, and other instructions pertaining to administrative costs incurred by Wyoming Disability Determination Services (WY-DDS) and the draw down of Social Security Administration (SSA) funds.
Reviewed the Wyoming single audit report by McGee, Hearne & Piaz, Certified Public Accountants. The single audit report did not identify any findings related to the WY-DDS.
Interviewed staff at WY-DDS, Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
(WY-DVR) and SSA Denver Regional Office.
Reviewed State policies and procedures related to personnel, medical services, and all other nonpersonnel costs.
Evaluated and tested internal controls regarding accounting and financial reporting and cash management activities.
Reviewed the reconciliation of official State accounting records to the administrative costs reported by WY-DDS on the State Agency Report of Obligations for SSA Disability Programs (SSA 4513) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2000 through 2002.
Reviewed and examined the administrative expenditures (personnel, medical service, and all other nonpersonnel costs) incurred and claimed by WY-DDS for FYs 2000 through 2002 on the SSA-4513. We used statistical sampling to select documents to test for support of the medical service and all other nonpersonnel costs.
Examined the indirect costs claimed by WY-DDS for FYs 2000 through 2002.
Compared the amount of SSA funds drawn for support of program operations to the expenditures reported on the SSA-4513.
Reviewed WY-DDS general controls related to physical security and continuity
We determined that the data provided by WY-DVR and used in our audit was sufficiently reliable to achieve our audit objectives. We assessed the reliability of the data by reconciling it with the costs claimed on the SSA-4513. We also conducted detailed audit testing on selected data elements in the electronic data files.
We performed audit work in Cheyenne, Wyoming at the WY-DDS and WY-DVR. We conducted field work from September 2003 through March 2004. The audit was conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
We reviewed the $5,946,332 administrative costs WY-DDS reported on its SSA 4513 for FYs 2000 through 2002. The sampling methodology encompassed the four general areas of costs reported on the SSA-4513 (1) personnel, (2) medical, (3) indirect, and (4) all other nonpersonnel costs. We obtained a data extract of all costs and the associated invoices for FYs 2000 through and 2002 for use in statistical sampling. This was obtained from the accounting systems used in the preparation of the SSA-4513.
We reviewed 19 employees from one judgmentally selected pay period in FY 2002 and 17 medical consultants from a different pay period in FY 2002. We tested the payroll records to ensure individuals were paid correctly and payroll was adequately documented.
We sampled 150 items (50 items from each FY) using a stratified random sample of medical costs based on the proportion of Medical Evidence of Record and Consultative Examination costs to the total medical costs claimed.
WY-DDS indirect costs are computed by applying a Federally approved rate to a cost base. This methodology was approved by the Department of Labor, which is the Federal agency designated the responsibility of approving indirect costs for the WY DVR. During FYs 2000 through 2002, WY DDS claimed $324,607 for indirect costs. We reviewed the FY 2000, 2001, and 2002 indirect cost calculations to ensure the correct rate was applied.
All Other Nonpersonnel Costs
We sampled 150 items (50 expenditures from each FY) using a stratified random
sample based on the proportion of costs in each of the 10 SSA-4513 all other
nonpersonnel cost categories to the total all other nonpersonnel cost. In addition,
we reviewed all occupancy costs for each FY.
Social Security Administration Comments
Wyoming Disability Determination Services Comments
Date: July 12, 2004
To: Steven L. Schaeffer, Assistant Inspector General for Audit Social Security Administration
From: Vicki L. Johnson, Program Manager
Re: Response to Office of the Inspector General Audit Draft
Subj: Administrative Cost Claimed by the Wyoming Disability Determination Services (A-07-04-14051)
I am responding to the draft report Administrative Costs Claimed by the Wyoming Disability Determination Services on behalf of Kathy Emmons, Director of the Department of Workforce Services.
The only audit consideration for the DDS was the lack of a comprehensive inventory list of SSA-purchased computer equipment. While the DDS has a very extensive listing of state owned equipment, there was confusion as to the responsibility for the list keeping on the equipment that SSA sent to the DDS. Once informed that it was the DDSs' responsibility, we took immediate action to create a spreadsheet for such an inventory list. That list was completed the day of notification (mid-audit) and continues to be maintained.
The other consideration on the audit was SSA's responsibility and has also been resolved.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the efforts of the OIG audit team of Ron Bussell, Tonya Coffelt and Khristan Kaufman. They were most thorough, professional and pleasant with which to work. We certainly appreciate all of their efforts to oversee the integrity of the program. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Vicki L. Johnson
OIG Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments
Mark Bailey, Director, Central Audit Division (816) 936-5591
Ron Bussell, Audit Manager, (816) 936-5577
In addition to those named above:
Kenneth Bennett, Information Technology Specialist
Tonya Coffelt, Auditor
Khristan Kaufman, Auditor
Cheryl Robinson, Writer-Editor
Overview of the Office of the Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is comprised of our Office of Investigations (OI), Office of Audit (OA), Office of the Chief Counsel to the Inspector General (OCCIG), and Office of Executive Operations (OEO). To ensure compliance with policies and procedures, internal controls, and professional standards, we also have a comprehensive Professional Responsibility and Quality Assurance program.
Office of Audit
OA conducts and/or supervises 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 and program evaluations and projects on issues of concern to SSA, Congress, and the general public.
Office of Investigations
OI conducts and coordinates investigative activity 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 OIG liaison to the Department of Justice on all matters relating to the investigations of SSA programs and personnel. OI also conducts joint investigations with other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies.
Office of the Chief Counsel to the Inspector General
OCCIG provides independent legal advice and counsel to the IG on various matters, including statutes, regulations, legislation, and policy directives. OCCIG 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. Finally, OCCIG administers the Civil Monetary Penalty program.
Office of Executive Operations
OEO supports OIG by providing information resource management and systems security. OEO also coordinates OIG's budget, procurement, telecommunications, facilities, and human resources. In addition, OEO is the focal point for OIG's strategic planning function and the development and implementation of performance measures required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993.