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Agreed-Upon Procedures: Employee Benefits, Withholdings, Contributions, and Supplemental Semiannual Headcount Reporting Submitted to the Office of Personnel Management FY 2020

OIG performed agreed-upon procedures for assessing information reported by USDA’s NFC.

Audit Report: 11401-0005-31
Published: 09/22/2020
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Fast Facts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has performed the procedures described in Exhibit A, which were agreed to by the Inspector General and Chief Financial Officer of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), solely to assist OPM with respect to the employee withholdings and employer contributions reported by USDA’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s (OCFO) National Finance Center (NFC) on the Standard Form 2812, Report of Withholdings and Contributions for Health Benefits, Life Insurance and Retirement, and OPM 1523, Supplemental Semiannual Headcount Report,1 for the 12 months ended August 31, 2020. The reports submitted by NFC included information for the following agencies listed in Appendix A of the Office of Management and Budget Bulletin 19-03, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Small Business Administration.

The engagement to apply the agreed-upon procedures was performed in accordance with applicable Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards and the Statements of Standards for Attestation Engagements, established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The sufficiency of the procedures is solely the responsibility of the Inspector General and the Chief Financial Officer of OPM. Consequently, we make no representation regarding the sufficiency of the procedures described either for the purpose for which this report has been requested or for any other purpose. The results of the engagement are detailed in Exhibit A.

We were not engaged to and did not conduct an audit, the objective of which would be the expression of an opinion on the withholdings and contributions for health benefits, life insurance, and retirements, and the headcount reports prepared by OCFO/NFC. Therefore, we do not express such an opinion. If we had performed additional procedures, other matters might have come to our attention that would have been reported to you.

To assist OPM in assessing the reasonableness of Retirement, Health Benefits, and Life Insurance withholdings and contributions as well as enrollment information submitted via the Semiannual Headcount Report.

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Finance Center (NFC) reports Federal employee benefits and enrollment information to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Reported information includes headcounts, as well as withholdings and contributions for retirement, health benefits, and life insurance.  In applying agreed-upon audit procedures, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified differences through calculations, analyses, and comparisons.  For example, we noted an employee (and/or annuitant) headcount that differed from NFC’s by more than 2 percent.  To address this difference, NFC is planning to take corrective actions with the goal of having the corrections in place by the March 2021 Semiannual Headcount Report.  NFC provided reasons for the differences we identified.

Our sample document review found a total of 152 differences for benefits entered into the system by agency personnel officers. Furthermore, we were unable to verify all sampled entries because agency personnel officers were unable to locate the documents covering all of the pay periods selected.