Enactment of the Transportation Act of 1940 made post payment audit a requirement for federal agencies. The post payment audit occurs once a transportation bill has been paid by a federal agency. Since the time of the Transportation Act of 1940 GSA has been auditing bills after payment. GSA is responsible for conducting post payment audits on all federal agency transportation bills.
A transportation audit is a thorough review and validation of transportation related bills. The audit must examine the validity, propriety, and conformity of the charges with tariffs, quotations, agreements, or tenders, as appropriate. Each agency must ensure that its internal transportation audit procedures prevent duplicate payments and only allow payment for authorized services, and that the Transportation Service Provider's (TSP) bill is complete with required documentation.
Upon receipt of these bills, GSA examines and audits them to confirm that it contains the lowest charges applicable. These audits ensure that the bills are valid and proper, while in compliance with rates, tariffs, quotations, agreements, tenders, and/or other applicable rate authorities.
When GSA performs a post payment audit, the GSA Audit Division has the delegated authority to implement the following procedures, which includes, but is not limited to:
- Audit selected TSP bills after payment;
- Audit selected TSP bills before payment as needed to protect the Government’s interest (i.e.; bankruptcy, fraud);
- Examine, settle, and adjust accounts involving payment for transportation and related services for the account of agencies;
- Adjudicate and settle transportation claims by and against agencies;
- Offset an overcharge by any TSP from an amount subsequently found to be due that TSP;
- Issue a Notice of Overcharge stating that a TSP owes a debt to the agency. This notice states the amount paid, the basis for the proper charge for the document reference number, and cites applicable tariff or tender along with other data relied on to support the overcharge. A separate Notice of Overcharge is prepared and mailed for each bill; and
- Issue a GSA Notice of Indebtedness when a TSP owes an ordinary debt to an agency. This notice states the basis for the debt, the TSP’s rights, interest, penalty, and other results of nonpayment. The debt is due immediately and subject to interest charges, penalties, and administrative cost under 31 U.S.C. 3717.
The Transportation Audits Division, in conjunction with three audit contracting companies, review an average of over 12 million transportation invoices per year, recovering millions of dollars in the process. Funds recovered because of post payment audits are returned to the Treasury Department.
In addition to GSA auditors, our commercial audit firms, under contract to GSA, continue to identify millions of dollars in excess transportation charges.
In all instances, a goal of this office, when deemed reasonable, is to confer with individual TSPs or related groups and associations presenting specific modes of transportation to resolve mutual problems concerning technical and accounting matters and acquainting them with agency requirements
Do you have technical questions and/or need additional information?
Contact George Thomas Jr. for GSA's position on all Notices of Overcharge.
Contact Donna Jack for GSA's Agency Review and Assistance Program (ARAP): a program to conduct site visits and assist agencies in following the laws and regulations concerning payment of transportation bills.
Contact Elsie Harley for GSA's Accounts Receivable Tracking System (ARTS): A program to track agencies' submission of paid transportation bills to GSA.