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FORT WORTH DISTRICT OFFICE
Audit No. 345
November 16, 2001
Limited Audit of Financial and Administrative Controls
The Office of Inspector General conducted a limited audit of selected financial and administrative controls in the Commission's District office in Forth Worth, TX (FWDO). The audit procedures included interviewing FWDO staff, reviewing supporting documentation, and conducting limited tests of transactions. The purpose of the audit was to provide the Commission with negative assurance concerning these controls.1 We performed our audit in October 2001, in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
The Fort Worth District Office assists the Central Regional Office in Denver, CO, in carrying out the Commission's programs, subject to Commission oversight, in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The FWDO exercises a broad range of financial and administrative functions, including: time and attendance; purchasing; travel arrangements; property management; and budgeting.
During the limited audit described above, no material weaknesses in the FWDO's financial and administrative controls came to our attention.
We informally discussed a number of non-material findings and recommendations with FWDO management, including the finding below. Management generally concurred with the findings and agreed to implement the recommendations.
We found that the FWDO has proactively taken several measures to protect its employees and electronic data after the recent terrorist attacks. As discussed below, office security can be further enhanced.
Physical access to the FWDO suite is obtained by entering a pass code on a keypunch pad. 2 Currently, the code is changed when an FWDO employee leaves or other significant event occurs. Periodic (e.g., every two months) changes of the pass code would enhance security.
Within the suite, most offices and rooms, including the mail and supply rooms, do not have locks. Door locks would better protect sensitive information (such as case files), and supplies.
We noted that a non-public case document was left on a printer in an open suite area overnight, where it could be lost or taken. Reminding FWDO to safeguard non-public information appears appropriate.
The District Administrator indicated that he favors installation of a walk-through metal detector at the FWDO. 3 He stated that FWDO staff occasionally receive threats from persons under investigation.
The FWDO should enhance security by periodically changing door pass codes, installing door locks and reminding its staff to safeguard non-public information in common areas.
1 Negative assurance means that no material internal control weaknesses came to our attention during our limited audit.
2 Building personnel and cleaning staff enter the suite with a master key.
3 The Office of Administrative and Personnel Management stated that the installation of a walk-through metal detector would be inappropriate because a trained professional security guard must be present to monitor its use in case there is a positive alert from the metal detector. The FWDO does not have security guards or trained personnel to confront someone with a weapon.