Review of USAID's Compliance With Procedures for Approving Conference Expenses

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Office of Management Services update USAID's conference policy to cross-reference the Federal Travel Regulation, Part 301--74 and Chapter 301, Appendixes C and E.

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Recommendation 2

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer update all USAID conference-related guidance to reflect the Federal Travel Regulation, Part 301--74 and Chapter 301, Appendixes C and E, and ensure that staff members are trained accordingly.

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Recommendation 3

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer notify offices and missions that total conference cost estimates must reflect the total cost to the Agency, and establish controls to enforce this requirement.

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Recommendation 4

The Chief Operating Officer institute controls which require his approval before conference-related costs may be included in USAID-funded awards.

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Recommendation 5

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer adjust its conference reporting requirements to solicit Agency-wide information.

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Recommendation 6

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer implement a rolling conference approval process, and include a limitation on late registration in the updated conference guidance.

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Recommendation 7

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer include in its updated conference guidance a requirement that cost estimates include a government facility among possible venues and that planners consider alternatives such as teleconferencing.

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Recommendation 8

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer require written justification when a commercial facility is selected over a government facility offered at a cheaper rate.

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Recommendation 9

The Office of Management Services hold a refresher course for travel arrangers, voucher examiners, and travelers on the current methods for calculating per diem.

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Recommendation 10

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer recover the $90 overpayment made to a staff member who received reimbursement using the all-inclusive method (listed in Appendix III).

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Recommendation 11

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer require, as part of the approval process for a conference serving meals to local staff, that the approving official provide a written determination that provision of the meals is necessary for the employee to obtain the full benefit of the training.

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Recommendation 12

The Office of the Chief Operating Officer specify in its updated conference guidance that USAID conference attendees must declare all provided meals on their travel voucher.

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Recommendation 13

The Office of Management Services develop controls for travel arrangers and voucher examiners to recognize and avoid duplicated payments for furnished meals for staff on travel duty.

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Recommendation 14

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer recover $4,890 in overpayments for meals furnished to staff at the conferences reviewed (listed in Appendix III).

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