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OIO - RPTA Assessment Roll Correction Executive Summary

Office of the Chief Financial Officer

Executive Summary for In Progress Reports

As of November 30, 2012

 

Original Report

Report No. 11-01-23-OTR: FINAL REPORT: Audit of the Office of Tax and Revenue Real Property Tax Administration’s Assessment Roll Correction Process and Related Refunds, dated September 19, 2012

Report No. 11-01-23-OTR: Audit of the Office of Tax and Revenue Real Property Tax Administration’s Assessment Roll Correction Process and Related Refunds, dated March 15, 2012.

 

Current Status

In Progress.  OTR’s Tax Systems Group (TSG) is going through its deliberative prioritization of IT-based recommendations, and business process owners have determined timely completion dates for its non-IT recommendations.  No issues have been identified.

 

Chief Risk Officer’s Risk Assessment

OIO identified two significant findings in its evaluation of the assessment roll correction process:  transactional integrity and documentation and controls for assessment roll corrections.  The Inherent Risk Rating assigned to data integrity risks is classified as Medium.  The Inherent Risk Rating associated with lack of documentation is classified as High as documentation provides evidentiary support to mitigate risks of unauthorized transactions and/or fraud.  It is important to note that OIO cited in its report that “Roll corrections that reduce a property’s assessed value and result in a refund appear to be a rare occurrence.”  All OIO recommendations were considered, though particular emphasis was given to those recommendations associated with the second finding because of its High risk classification.  Management’s plans for remediation were regarded by OIO to be either responsive to or effectively address all recommendations.

 

Overview of Recommendations

In response to its finding concerning transaction integrity, OIO offered six recommendations.  Two have been fully implemented.  Recommendations implemented to strengthen existing controls include the following:

 

  • Real Property Tax Administration (RPTA) reconciles the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system balances against the Integrated Tax System (ITS) balances. RPTA has procedures that formalize and document the reconciliations that will be performed monthly.  It includes a check to identify and correct unbalanced transactions.
  • Real Property Assessment Division (RPAD) recently revised its policies and procedures to ensure better separation of duties pertaining to the approval of assessment changes made by super-users and the entire staff. The revised procedures include additional levels of approval to ensure that a single individual cannot modify a record and then act as the approver of the change. Training has been provided to the staff as part of a comprehensive training program.

 

In response to its finding concerning lack of documentation, OIO offered eight recommendations, and three have been fully implemented and one partially implemented.

 

  • RPTA has developed and implemented a process for documentation of the assessment roll updates. This process includes a written Access application to generate proper roll corrections.  Staff training has been provided.
  • RPTA has implemented a policy that requires the appropriate personnel to review and approve or reject  an assessment change within three days of receipt.  Further, RPTA has reviewed the necessary supervisory approval levels for the assessment roll correction and long ticket forms, and these revised approval levels and procedures have been incorporated into the procedures manual and disseminated to staff.
  • RPTA did not agree with the portion of the recommendation that the roll correction and long form ticket be combined; each form serves a unique and distinct purpose. The roll correction form is used to update existing records in CAMA; the long form ticket provides the basis for creating new records in both CAMA and ITS. However, RPTA did agree with the portion of the recommendation that addressed the inclusion of signature approvals on the long form tickets. RPTA provided staff training to accompany the roll out of the new form.
  • TSG has developed an audit report, which includes the reason code for assessment changes.

 

The remaining eight recommendations are still In Progress.  Five of these are in the Technology Services Group (TSG) prioritization queue.  Across the OCFO, and especially OTR, there are a variety of technology needs.  TSG has a bi-weekly meeting to prioritize OTR’s needs.  The meeting is attended by the OTR Board of Directors, as well as the Office of the Chief Risk Officer (OCRO) and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). 
 

  • In order to establish separate user passwords for super-users, TSG must upgrade CAMA to version 7.0.  This upgrade has been scheduled for 9/30/2013.  In the interim, these users will be reviewed by the Director and the Chief Assessor going forward.
  • To facilitate the periodic monitoring and validation of the change transactions, as well as report development to support details on the transactions sent to ITS, OTR has requested Tax Systems Group (TSG) to develop a nightly import log to identify all value and/or use code (i.e. classification) changes imported into the billing system from the CAMA system via the existing interface. OTR will compare supporting documentation to that log to identify any case where the imported value and/or use code change is not supported by proper and complete documentation, including all necessary levels of supervisory sign-off. OTR will draft and promulgate procedures to formalize this process and include what action is to be taken when improper or undocumented changes are discovered. OTR will implement this review and accompanying procedures no later than December 31, 2012. This will also ensure the accuracy and integrity of CAMA transactions. (Recommendations 2, 3 and 14 are also met with this action.)
  • In order to restrict access to CAMA’s audit log, TSG must upgrade CAMA to version 7.0.  This upgrade has been scheduled for 9/30/2013. 

 

 

The remaining three recommendations In Progress are as follows:

 

  • RPAD implemented policies and procedures and conducted training related to the processing of roll corrections.  CAMA super-users have been determined and documentation requirements established. These users will be reviewed by the Director and the Chief Assessor going forward. Policies and procedures are being reviewed for implementation.  The Chief Assessor will develop procedures to formalize and document these reconciliations. CAMA and ITS balances are reconciled monthly.  The projected date for implementation of these changes is December 31, 2012.
  • Quarterly reviews of assessment roll changes will be performed by the Systems Accountant in the Assessment Services Division, which is outside RPAD, but within RPTA. This will be implemented by December 31, 2012.
  • Written filing procedures will be developed. OTR has secured the access to the file room where the roll corrections are located.  They are currently in the in the process of changing the locks on the roll correction file cabinets so that only authorized staff has access. Work continues with the DC Archivist on documentation retention.

 

To view the full report, Click : RPTA Assessment Roll Correction Full Report