GAO Mission and Operations:
International Peer Review of the Performance Audit Practice of the United States Government Accountability Office
Published: Apr 20, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 2005.
An international peer review team with representatives from the supreme audit institutions of Canada, Australia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden reviewed the quality assurance system that the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has established for managing its performance audit practice. The GAO's quality assurance system encompasses its organizational structure and the policies and procedures established to provide it with reasonable assurance of complying with Government Auditing Standards. The GAO is responsible for the design of its quality assurance system and compliance with it, including the quality of its products. The responsibility of the peer review team is to express an opinion on whether the system is suitably designed and operating effectively to meet its objective. The criteria the peer review team used to assess the GAO's quality assurance system were drawn from GAO legislative authorities, Government Auditing Standards, and the GAO performance audit manual. The peer review team conducted the review in accordance with the peer review standards in Government Auditing Standards, and in a manner consistent with the Code of Ethics and auditing standards issued by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). The peer review team examined the GAO's documented policies and procedures relative to applicable professional standards, reviewed documentation for a representative sample of 2004 audits, and interviewed professional and administrative staff.
In the opinion of the peer review team, the United States Government Accountability Office's quality assurance system was suitably designed and operating effectively, during the year ended 31 December 2004, to provide the GAO with reasonable assurance of conforming with the United States Government Auditing Standards in conducting its performance audit practice.