Water Resources should require the last official who approves an employee's expense claim for job-required and job-related training to forward that claim to the training division, the division of fiscal services, or both, for a separate review of the employee's training forms and supporting documents before Water Resources reimburses the employee.
Water Resources plans to implement in 2018 a management system that should provide continuous monitoring of employee training expenditures. Until its intended management system is operational, training office staff and fiscal services staff will complete spot reviews of job-required and job-related training reimbursement packages.
Water Resources provided us with documentation of its spot reviews. Subsequently, we requested additional details about the spot reviews, such as their frequency and any associated findings. Without this information, we could not ascertain whether the reviews sufficiently met the intent of the recommendation, which was to provide a separate review of the job-required and job-related training from individuals other than the approving officials.
Water Resources provided a travel expense claim audit operating procedure for job-required and job-related expense claim packages. We requested that Water Resources also provide its monthly spot audits since July 2016 as well as the first quarterly review by the fiscal services supervisor and office chief. Water Resources subsequently provided a spreadsheet tracking the number of travel expense claims sampled for review each month from July through November 2016, but it did not provide its quarterly review.
Water Resources reported that it implemented spot checks. We requested that Water Resources provide more details surrounding the spot checks, such as how frequently the spot checks would occur, whether the selections are random, and any findings from the spot checks it has completed.
Water Resources stated that supervisors and managers are responsible for approving reimbursements for training within their limits, in accordance with its policy and procedures. Thus, given the magnitude of the number of job-related and job-required training courses, Water Resources stated that it does not believe another level of review and approval is necessary or required.
Currently, Water Resources' fiscal services staff reviews expense claims. Until its intended management system is operational, which should provide continuous monitoring of employee training expenditures, training office staff and fiscal services staff will complete spot reviews of job-related and job-required training reimbursement packages. Once Water Resources has conducted these spot reviews and reported its results to our office, we will evaluate whether this temporary solution is adequate.