Causes of negative unliquidated obligations in the Marine Corps' operations and maintenance appropriation and recommendations for their elimination
Foley, Daniel F.
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The purpose of this thesis was to identify and analyze the causes of negative unliquidated obligations (NULO) in the O&M, MC appropriation, using sample data drawn from Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. NULOs exist when recorded expenditures (liquidations) exceed amounts obligated. As such, NULOs represent out-of-balance conditions that should not have occurred. NULOs were found to be correlated with unmatched disbursements, specific transaction types (USMC Standard Accounting, Budgeting and Reporting System (SABRS) Document Identifier Codes 'XSI' and 'XRA'), and contracts containing multiple Contract Line Item Numbers. The thesis categorized causes as either fund administrator errors or disbursing errors. Eighty-eight percent of NULOs were attributable to fund administrators failure to record obligations initially, or only partially, and erroneous adjustments to recorded obligations. SABRS' internal controls were found to be only partially effective due to their reliance upon data elements that were incorrectly or incompletely input into SABRS and other accounting procedural weaknesses. NULOs remained uncorrected due to a lack of management reports detailing NULOs and fund administrators' failure to use existing management exception reports to identify and correct NULOs.
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