The Audit Office covers the management and financial operations, the economy or efficiency with which an organization, program, or function is managed; and the program results achieved. For this program auditors assess the degree to which an organization complies with laws, regulations, and internal policies in carrying out programs, and they test program effectiveness as well as the accuracy and reliability of financial statements. The overall objective of an audit is to identify ways to enhance agency operations and promote greater economy and efficiency. Audits comprise four phases:
- Survey phase. An initial phase of the audit usually is conducted to gather information, without detailed verification, on the agency's organization, programs, activities, and functions. An assessment of vulnerable areas determines whether further review is needed.
- Fieldwork phase. Detailed information is obtained to verify findings and support conclusions and recommendations.
- Reporting phase. The auditors present the information, findings, conclusions, and recommendations that are supported by the evidence gathered during the survey and verification phases. Exit conferences are held with management officials to obtain their views on the issues in the report. Comments from the exit conferences and any written comments are presented in the published audit report.
- Resolution phase. Positive change results from the resolution process in which management takes action to improve operations based on the recommendations in the published audit report. Management actions are monitored until final action is taken on all recommendations. When management and the OIG cannot agree on the actions needed to correct a problem identified in an audit report, the issue can be taken to the Chairman for resolution.
To help auditors fulfill their oversight roles and comply with statutory requirements, professional standards, and established policies and procedures, an external peer review of an OIG audit organization is required by generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS) and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). View all our peer review reports for more information.