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C17/1996 FINANCE REGULATION 45A CERTIFICATION OF THE ADP PENSION PAYMENTS SYSTEM
DATE OF ISSUE: 1 March 1996
FINANCE REGULATION 45A CERTIFICATION OF THE ADP PENSION PAYMENTS SYSTEM
The fortnightly payments to veterans, which are generated by the Pension Payments System, are classified under Finance Regulation 45A as "a prescribed class of payment". They require certification by a prescribed officer, known as the Certifying Officer, that the payment is correct and may properly be made. The certifying officer does not need to check each pension payment but needs to be sure that the automated and manual systems generate the payments relevant to the particular pay period. Automated payment systems have been in place for some time now and the procedures associated with them require adjustment to reflect any changes.
The controls relating to the Pension Payment process have been reviewed and this has lead to modifications to the existing system. In turn, the accounting procedures have been revised. As a consequence, approval to the changes made to the Pension Payment System was requested from the delegate for the Minister for Finance. Appropriate procedures and controls were a prerequisite for this approval and the revised manual filled this requirement.
The purpose of this instruction is twofold:
to communicate the existence of an updated manual concerning the certification of the ADP Pension Payments System as per Finance Regulation 45A; and,
to give an overview of the contents of the manual.
The manual is divided into three main parts, dealing with:
the guidelines applicable to Finance Regulation 45A;
controls and accounting procedures for the Pension Payments System; and,
the Quality Assurance (QA) program for the Compensation Claims Processing System. This section of the manual makes up the majority of the document as it spells out data integrity and fraud control procedures as well as some guidelines for State Office QA.
Finance Regulation 45A - Guidelines
Guideline 1: Assurance that the amount of Payment is Correct.
This guideline deals with those systems in place for payments effected by the Payment Master File (PMF) from information stored on the Client Data Base (CDB). It includes automated payments such as CCPS and the manually prepared authorities in place for pensions and allowances, such as AMS and Carers Pensions and Education, Attendant and Recreation Transport Allowances.
In addition, details of the controls and procedures associated with the Special Processing Runs deal with:
Automatic Batch reassessments;
Telephone Allowance Processing; and,
Overseas Pension and Exchange Rate Processing.
Guideline 2: Payment Is Being Made To A Person Or An Authority In Accordance With The Conditions Of Finance Regulation 68
This guideline deals with the processes in place for the approval of new grants and their addition to the CDB.
Guideline 3: The Payment Has Not Previously Been Made
This guideline sets out the procedures for ensuring that duplicate records are not made for one claimant.
Guideline 4: All Stages Of The Approved System, Manual and Computerised, Have Been Carried Out.
The Authorising Officers need to be satisfied that all procedures and controls applying to automatic and manually calculated payments have been subject to the checks and controls approved by the Minister.
Guideline 5: All Corrective Actions Necessary, Manual and Computerised, Have Been Taken in the Event Of the Output Advising Errors or Incorrect Data.
This details the procedures to follow in case of an error being identified in the payment authority.
Guideline 6: The Output has been Reconciled
This guideline sets out the controls in place for ensuring that the total fortnightly instalments and one time variations are correct.
Guideline 7: All General Environmental Controls, Including Arrangements for the Formal Approval of the Development and Amendment of Programs which have General and Specific Application to the System Under Review have been Exercised.
This outlines the steps involved in seeking approval by the Delegate for changes to the controls procedures.
Pension Payment System Controls & Accounting Procedures
This part of the manual spells out the responsibilities of the Authorised Officers, including the authorising of the PMF, and details the following:
ADP Processing - including the ADP Security System, Pensions Processing System, Pension Payments System and Address Control System
PMF Transactions - Descriptions and Flow
Supporting Documentation - Procedures Manuals and Code Books
System Controls - the Transaction Trail, PMF Controls, ADP Processing Controls and Payment Controls
The chapter includes the Accounting Procedures to be employed regarding Pension Payments. It details:
Control of Authorities
Pension Payments generated Payment Authorities
Control of System Output
Duties of Authorised Officer
Duties of Output Examination Officers
Duties of Certifying Officer
Responsibilities of the Authorised Officer
Responsibilities of the Paymaster
System Controls Integrity
The detail of the ADP Environment is discussed, including the development and production of the System Controls such as Operations Information Management (OIM) facility, requirements for backup and recovery and systems failure procedures.
The special processing requirements of Automatic Batch Reassessments, the Death Processing System, Telephone Allowance Processing and Testing Requirements are also specified in this chapter.
CCPS - Quality Assurance Program (1996 Revised Edition)
Claims processing, which is the basis on which the payment to clients is made, is subject to appropriate system controls, accounting procedures and effective deterrent measures. The next chapters of the manual set out the procedures for quality assurance within the CCPS environment. They are specifically:
National Decision Analysis
State Office Quality Assurance
Within these categories the following topics are addressed:
Data Integrity - the purpose of procedures, sampling unit, revised sampling procedures, data integrity items for sampling, method of sampling, recording of checks.
Fraud Control - purpose of procedures, the categories of cases requiring checking and checking procedures, performance benchmarks and performance standards
National Decision Analysis - the purpose of the procedures and their outline, performance benchmarks and performance standards
State Office Quality Assurance - AGR, TPI and EDA cases, general rate assessments, additional items for checking whilst undertaking data integrity work, and the performance benchmarks and standards.
All those involved in the preparation of data for the PPS should have access to a copy of the procedures required for correct certification under Finance Regulation 45A. The delegation of Certifying Officer should be attached to positions which have responsibility for releasing data for input on to the PPS. If this is not so, then the appointments need to be made through the State Office finance area for onforwarding to Resources Branch in National Office.
The Communication, Operations & Review Section of Income Support Branch in National Office is responsible for updating and distributing the manual. A distribution list is to be compiled. To that end, the position numbers and title of the sections requiring copies should be sent to Director CO&R as soon as possible. This will also ensure that any amendments to the manual can be forwarded as soon as they are produced.