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Triannual Review Processes Need Improvement at Three Naval Budget Submitting Offices

DODIG-2015-127

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Objective

Our objective was to determine whether selected budget submitting offices (BSOs) within the Department of the Navy (DoN) performed the triannual review (TAR) of unliquidated obligations and unfilled orders in accordance with applicable regulations. This is the second of a series of reports on the Navy’s TAR.

Finding

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) did not support the validity and accuracy of obligations reviewed during the TAR. Specifically, of the 209 nonstatistically selected obligations reviewed, BSO personnel did not have documentation that supported the accuracy and validity of 200 obligations, valued at $201.7 million, for:
  • 59 NAVAIR obligations valued at $123.1 million;
  • 60 USMC obligations valued at $27.5 million; and
  • 81 NAVFAC obligations valued at $51.1 million.

This occurred because the Navy Office of Budget did not issue standard operating procedures for the TAR. NAVAIR, USMC, and NAVFAC did not have standard operating procedures to perform and document the TAR. Each BSO performed its triannual review differently and used different types of documentation that did not support its review. The DoD Financial Management Regulation (DoD FMR) does not specify what documents support the TAR. In addition, the Navy Office of Budget did not perform quality assurance reviews to confirm the accuracy and validity of obligations.

As a result of NAVAIR, USMC, and NAVFAC’s inability to perform a reliable TAR, DoN may lose the opportunity to use funds for other purposes. The TAR is a key internal control to ensure management has reliable budget information. The auditability of DoN’s financial statements could be impaired. When the TAR is not well executed and documented, DoN does not have assurance that the financial reports appropriately reflected the status of the obligations and financial reports including the Schedule of Budgetary Activity currently under audit and information used by management to make decisions is accurate. Until DoN can demonstrate an effective TAR process for which supporting documentation is maintained, its material weaknesses for financial reporting will remain.

Recommendations

The Director, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should update DoD FMR, volume 3, chapter 8, to specify what documents are sufficient to support the performance of the TAR.

The Director, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) Office of Budget should create and implement procedures based on updates to the DoD FMR; train funds holders on their responsibilities; perform quality assurance reviews; and identify corrective actions and train noncompliant BSOs.

Management Comments and Our Response

Comments from Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller), responding for the Director of the Office of Budget, addressed the specifics of the recommendations, and no further comments are required.