GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY - Download as DOC by n09C7b

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 12

									    GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

OFFICE OF AUDIT AND ADVISORY SERVICES

             AUDIT REPORT

    PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION

JANUARY 1, 2001 THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2002




               April 1, 2002
               GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

           OFFICE OF AUDIT AND ADVISORY SERVICES

               PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION


                    TABLE OF CONTENTS


Executive Summary...………………………………………………….…………………………1

Introduction……………………………………………………………….………….…………...2

Organizational Structure………………………………………………………………………….2

Scope and Objectives……………………………………………………………………………..2

Auditor's Opinion……………………………………………………...………………………….3

Results of the Review …………………………………………………………………………… 4

Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………………………….10
                          GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

                    OFFICE OF AUDIT AND ADVISORY SERVICES

                           PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION


                                 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Office of Audit and Advisory Services has completed a review of the Division of Parking
and Transportation. Overall, appropriate internal controls have been implemented to ensure that
Parking and Transportation operates according to established guidelines and sound business
practices. Details of the areas examined may be found in this report under the section entitled
“Results of the Review.” The review revealed two conditions that warranted formal
recommendations:

          Revenue collections for outstanding parking citations have dropped from over
           $304,000 in FY1996 (a collection rate of 88%) to $253,000 in FY2001 (a collection
           rate of 58%) since the discontinuance of the use of holds on academic records as a
           means of effecting collection. We recommend that the University re-evaluate the
           discontinuance of the use of these academic holds.

          Two pieces of inventoried equipment could not be located. We recommend that
           Parking and Transportation be diligent in maintaining proper records for inventoried
           equipment and that proper paperwork be completed when equipment is acquired,
           transferred or surplused.




                                              1
                           GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

                     OFFICE OF AUDIT AND ADVISORY SERVICES

                           PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION


                                      INTRODUCTION

In establishing the annual audit plan for Georgia Southern University, the Office of Audit and
Advisory Services utilized a risk assessment model to identify those auditable areas that
presented the most exposure to risk, loss or misuse and/or misappropriation of the University's
assets. The results were used to design an audit plan for the 2002 fiscal year. A review of the
Division of Parking and Transportation was planned based upon the results of this assessment.
At the time this project was begun, the Board of Regents Internal Audit Department had finalized
its audit plan and the Office of Audit and Advisory Services was designated to perform this
review.


                             ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE


Parking and Transportation, a division of Auxiliary Services, is responsible for administering and
enforcing parking regulations on the Georgia Southern University campus. Eight full time
employees, several casual labor employees and numerous student workers staff the department.

Per the program review conducted by Parking and Transportation dated February 2001, the
primary mission of the department is to provide parking and transportation services for the
campus community for a fee. Parking and Transportation is a self-supporting, revenue
producing unit, and no tax or tuition monies are used by the department to build, operate or
maintain the parking and transportation facilities on campus.


                                 SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES

Based upon the background information obtained, it was determined that the audit period for the
Parking and Transportation review would be from January 1, 2001 through January 31, 2002.
The scope of the review was limited to the following audit objectives:

       1. To determine whether Parking and Transportation incorporates an effective internal
          control environment that includes clear lines of organizational authority and
          responsibility, job descriptions, documented policies and procedures and/or governing
          documents.

       2. To document and evaluate the controls and safeguards over the storage,
          accountability and issuance of parking permits and decals.



                                                2
       3. To document and evaluate the controls governing the collection and deposit of funds
          for parking permits and fines and the effectiveness of these controls.

       4. To document and evaluate the parking fine appeal process to determine its timeliness
          and effectiveness.

       5. To document and evaluate the procedures used for the collection of accounts
          receivables (i.e. delinquent parking fines), and to determine the adequacy and
          effectiveness of these procedures.

       6. To determine whether Parking and Transportation maintains proper controls and
          records over equipment inventory and fixed assets.


This review was not intended to cover all aspects and control issues associated with the
administration of Parking and Transportation. The review was conducted in accordance with
generally accepted auditing standards promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors. As such,
we performed tests on the records and utilized other auditing procedures we deemed necessary.
In addition, we gained an understanding of the administration of the Division of Parking and
Transportation, which was based primarily on inquiries and the selective review of departmental
records and related data.


                                   AUDITOR’S OPINION

Based upon the results of the review of Parking and Transportation, appropriate policies and
procedures have been implemented to ensure that Parking and Transportation operates within
established guidelines. Further details of the areas examined may be found in the following
section of this report entitled “Results of the Review.”




                                               3
                    OFFICE OF AUDIT AND ADVISORY SERVICES

                           PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION

                                RESULTS OF THE REVIEW


To achieve the objectives of the Parking and Transportation review, we used methods ranging
from interviews to selective testing. The following provides a brief description of the resources
used and the results of our review:


OBJECTIVE #1: To determine whether Parking and Transportation incorporates an effective
internal control environment that includes clear lines of organizational authority and
responsibility, job descriptions, documented policies and procedures and/or governing
documents.

          Policies and Procedures, Organizational Structure, and Control Environment

       Parking and Transportation has developed several sets of policies and procedures
       manuals designed to assist employees in the performance of their duties. Manuals
       developed by Parking and Transportation include a “Parking Training Manual,” “Money
       Handling Procedures,” and a “Ticket Writing Manual.” Each manual contains
       comprehensive guidelines for operational procedures. Written policies have also been
       developed regarding appeals, lost or stolen permits, EagleExpress closeout, and rules of
       conduct.

       The manuals are periodically reviewed and updated with revisions made as deemed
       necessary. The review of these manuals is also part of the new employee orientation
       process. The organizational chart and position descriptions for Parking and
       Transportation clearly define the reporting structure and each individual’s job
       responsibilities.

              RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the results of the review, the guidance
              provided by the organizational structure and policies and procedures manuals
              serve to create an effective internal control environment. No recommendations are
              deemed necessary at this time.


OBJECTIVE #2: To document and evaluate the controls and safeguards over the storage,
accountability and issuance of parking permits and decals.

                                Permit Controls and Safeguards

       Each fiscal year, Parking and Transportation management assesses the anticipated
       parking permit and decal needs. An order is then placed for each type of permit or decal



                                               4
      used by the office, which include different permits for faculty/staff parking, state
      vehicles, service/delivery vehicles, guests, commuters, residents, and motorcycles. Upon
      receipt, the order is verified to ensure that the entire order was received and the
      numbering sequences are correct. The unused permit numbers are entered into the
      automated Power Park system to maintain inventory accountability. Permits are securely
      stored until ready for use.

      As permits are sold, pertinent data is entered into the Power Park system in order to
      activate the permit. If a permit were stolen prior to sale, it would be inactive in the Power
      Park system and could be electronically detected by the ticket writers out in the field if
      they were to encounter the permit.

             RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the review of parking permit controls and
             safeguards, Parking and Transportation has an effective internal control structure
             to ensure the safe storage and accountability of the various permits and decals.
             No recommendations are deemed necessary at this time.


OBJECTIVE #3: To document and evaluate the controls governing the collection and deposit
of funds for parking permits and fines and the effectiveness of these controls.

                                 Fund Collection and Deposit

      Parking and Transportation is responsible for enforcing parking regulations as established
      by University administration. The department collects funds from the issuance of
      parking permits, as well as the collection of parking citation fines. Parking and
      Transportation has developed a written set of policies and procedures that covers the
      collection, receipt and deposit of funds collected.

      Each cashier in Parking and Transportation is assigned a personal password to sign into
      the computer server and another login password to sign into Power Park, the computer
      system utilized by Parking and Transportation to track payments for parking permits and
      fines. When funds are received, the payments are processed through Power Park. A
      receipt is printed for each payment, which is given to the customer. In the event the
      computer system is inoperable, a two-part hand-written deposit ticket is generated, with a
      copy being given to the customer and the other retained in the office to be entered in to
      the Power Park System when it is again operable. If for any reason the cashier leaves
      his/her station, they lock the cash drawer and take the key with them prohibiting
      unauthorized access to the funds. The cashier also logs out of Power Park to prevent any
      transactions from occurring under their assigned login password.

      If for any reason a payment is to be voided, a supervisor must conduct this transaction, as
      the cashiers do not have the authority within the Power Park system to perform these
      transactions. Refunds/voids are not common.




                                               5
At the end of a work shift, the cashier gets a count of their cash, checks, Visa,
MasterCard, EagleExpress and payroll deduction slips. These totals are recorded on the
“End of the Day Count” form. A daily journal tape is run which details all payments
received by that cashier for their shift. All monies and forms are then turned in to the
supervisor who verifies the funds. Overages or shortages are investigated and the cashier
is notified of any discrepancies before leaving. Funds are then secured by the
Administrative Secretary.

Deposits of funds are made on a daily basis. Each morning, the Administrative Secretary
and one other person will verify the funds and prepare the “Deposit Transmittal Form.”
Two employees transport the deposit to the Cashier’s Office and if the deposit is large, a
police escort is requested. A receipt is received from the Cashier’s Office and is
reconciled with the backup documentation in the Parking and Transportation office.

       RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the review of collections and deposits,
       adequate procedures are place in to ensure that funds are properly accounted for
       and secured until deposit. No recommendations are deemed necessary at this
       time.

                             Voiding of Parking Fines

When a customer comes to Parking and Transportation to voice a complaint over a
parking citation, employees are instructed to observe the ticket noting the violation and
location. After listening to the customer’s concerns, the employee will determine
whether the ticket can be voided at that point. Valid reasons for voiding a ticket include,
but are not limited to, circumstances where the ticket was written in error, it’s a visitor’s
ticket, or the permit was stolen. If one of these various legitimate situations is present,
the customer is assured that the citation may be voided.

In order to void a citation, the employee must get the approval of a Parking and
Transportation supervisor, who then voids the citation. If a supervisor is not available,
the cashier will complete a “Voids/Reductions” slip. This slip indicates the void code
and the corresponding ticket number. The voided ticket and accompanying
“Voids/Reductions” slip are then placed in a box where a supervisor will void the ticket
(or reduce the amount) in the Power Park system. Cashiers do not have the authority
within Power Park to void citations.

       RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the review of the voiding of parking fines,
       proper controls appear to be in place to ensure that tickets are not voided without
       the proper supervisory approval. No recommendations are deemed necessary at
       this time.




                                         6
OBJECTIVE #4: To document and evaluate the parking fine appeal process to determine its
timeliness and effectiveness.

                                       Appeals Process

      Parking and Transportation is responsible for enforcing parking regulations as established
      by University administration. Parking citations issued can either be paid by the violator,
      voided, or appealed to an outside committee. The appeal should be submitted within five
      days from the date of issue.

      When someone receives a parking citation and comes to the Parking Office to voice a
      complaint or question the validity of the ticket, this is considered the first step of the
      appeals process. If any of the aforementioned circumstances exist that would warrant a
      ticket to be voided, such action may be instituted.

      The supervisor is responsible for deciding whether to void the citation or forward it to the
      Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee is comprised of four faculty/staff
      representatives and six student representatives. As appeals are submitted to Parking and
      Transportation, they are compiled in to a notebook that at least three of the committee
      members normally review (one faculty, one staff, one student). Efforts are made to try to
      ensure that at least one student is involved in each appeal processed. The reviewers vote
      on whether to grant or deny the appeal. If the first two reviewers vote one way, the appeal
      has been decided and there is no need for a third vote.

      During the period from January 1, 2001 through January 31, 2002, approximately 1,496
      appeals were filed. Of these appeals, 34 (2.3%) were administratively granted, 291
      (19.4%) were granted by the Appeals Committee, and 958 (64.0%) were denied. The
      remaining were still in process at the time of this review.

      In Fall 2001, Parking and Transportation implemented the Power Park software program
      within their operation. The program allows appeals to be tracked through the process,
      including dates the appeals were submitted and the dates the appeals were resolved. The
      following is an analysis of the time that elapsed from the date of the original appeal to
      final resolution:

             September – 25.48 days
             October – 21.26 days
             November – 44.72
             December – 43.78

      The Appeals Committee is not under the authority of Parking and Transportation and thus
      acts independently on its decisions. Appeals for November and December were skewed
      due to the holidays during these months. It should be noted that Auxiliary Services and
      Parking and Transportation have made the reduction of both the number of appeals and
      the processing time required to resolve such appeals a priority in order to improve their
      overall service.



                                               7
              RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the examination of the appeals process for
              citations issued by Parking and Transportation, the process appears to provide
              persons requesting appeals with an independent and impartial review of their
              concerns. No recommendations are deemed necessary at this time.


OBJECTIVE #5: To evaluate the procedures for the collection of accounts receivables (i.e.
parking fines) and to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of these procedures.

                                       Accounts Receivables

   Parking and Transportation has only limited means it can utilize to collect outstanding
   parking fines. Any vehicle found parked on campus against which there are three or more
   outstanding or otherwise unsettled parking violation citations, for which no appeal has been
   submitted within the prerequisite time period, may, under authority of the Director of Parking
   and Transportation, be immobilized (booted) in such a manner as to prevent its operation.
   The owner of the immobilized vehicle may repossess or secure the release of the vehicle
   upon satisfaction of all outstanding citations and payment of an immobilization fee of
   $20.00. The only other effective collection option available is a graduation hold, which
   prevents a student with over $25 in outstanding parking fines from clearing for graduation
   until all unpaid (or unsettled) parking obligations have been paid.

   Parking and Transportation periodically mails out statements to individuals with outstanding
   parking fines. These statements list the dates, citation numbers, violations, status and
   balances due. However, many statements are returned as non-deliverable as the addresses
   available to Parking and Transportation are no longer valid.

   At one time, holds were placed on the academic records of individuals with outstanding
   parking fines that prevented registration, graduation, or the release of transcripts unless the
   obligations were paid. During FY1996, parking revenues were $304,113, which represented
   an 88% collection rate. The use of holds on academic records was discontinued in Fall 1996.
   As a result, revenues dropped to $202,918 for FY1997, representing a collection rate of only
   50%. For the most recently completed FY2001, collections were $253,696, or only 58%. The
   discontinuance of such holds has resulted in a significant reduction in annual collections and
   a collection rate drop from 88% to only 58%. Currently, Parking and Transportation has
   very little leverage to collect past due fines other than booting, the use of graduation holds,
   and mailings of overdue statements.

              RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the results of the review, Parking and
              Transportation is doing the best it can to collect outstanding fines under the
              current existing policies. However, the University may consider re-instituting the
              use of holds by implementing an interactive integration between the Banner
              student information system and the Power Park system in Parking and
              Transportation to inform students of outstanding obligations that must be paid
              prior to registering, graduating, or receiving grades and transcripts. This would



                                               8
             also include the ability for students to pay their outstanding obligations on-line at
             the same time they are registering. The implementation of such a system would
             improve the collection process, provide Parking and Transportation with some
             collection leverage, and provide additional revenue that could be used to maintain
             and improve parking facilities campuswide.

                    AUDITEE’S RESPONSE: Auxiliary Services and Parking and
                    Transportation favor the re-institution of holds as a means of effecting
                    collection of outstanding parking citations. However, such a use of holds
                    would be contingent upon approval of the University administration and
                    the implementation of a user-friendly integration between the Banner
                    student information system and Power Park as described above.

                    Implementation Date:           Unknown.

OBJECTIVE #6: To determine whether Parking and Transportation maintains proper controls
and records over equipment inventory and fixed assets.

      An equipment inventory listing for Parking and Transportation was obtained from the
      Property Control Department. This listing showed 46 items being assigned to Parking
      and Transportation.

      Of the 46 items, two pieces of computer equipment purchased in 1991 and 1993 could
      not be located, and are believed to have been previously surplused. However, no
      associated documentation could be located to support the equipment’s disposition.


             RECOMMENDATION: Based upon the inventory of equipment in Parking and
             Transportation, two pieces of equipment remain unaccounted for. We recommend
             that Parking and Transportation be diligent in maintaining proper records for
             inventoried equipment and that the appropriate paperwork be completed when
             equipment is acquired, transferred, or surplused.

                    AUDITEE’S RESPONSE: Much of the property that was surplused
                    several years ago was not accounted for properly and corrective measures
                    have now been put in place to assure each piece of equipment is properly
                    accounted for on regular intervals and each time any piece of equipment is
                    moved to a different location. The parking staff have all been put on
                    notice that all equipment, inventoried and non-inventoried, must be
                    accounted for on an ongoing basis in accordance with procedures.

                    Implementation Date:           Immediately and ongoing.




                                               9
                                 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We sincerely appreciate the cooperation and assistance extended to us by Parking and
Transportation during this review.



________________________                           ________________________
N. Scott Pierce                                    R. Nicholas Smith
Director, Office of Audit and Advisory Services    Auditor II




                                              10

								
To top