Reporting, Staffing, and Other Changes Would Enhance the Internal Audit Function

CED-77-58: Published: Jun 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 1977.

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Generally, the Department of Commerce's Office of Audits performed its activities satisfactorily; however, greater benefits could be achieved if more personnel were available.

The average estimated cycle for auditing Commerce's programs and activities, once every 12 to 13 years, is unduly long. Some programs and activities have not been audited since 1967, and only selected aspects of many others have been audited in recent years. There are several advantages and disadvantages in the survey approach technique adopted by the Office of Audits, under which only a limited amount of detailed examination work was performed to identify weaknesses. There is a possibility that independence of the Office of Audit could be adversely affected because of its placement in the organizational structure.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Commerce should: (1) determine whether staffing-level requirements can be met through position realignments within the Office of Audits, an increased use of the studies made by the Office of Program Evaluation and the audits by independent public accountants only to the extent practicable, or a proposal to Congress for additional staff; (2) direct the Director of the Office of Audits to review a sufficient percentage of the workpapers prepared by independent public accountants; and (3) require, to the extent practicable, the use of independent public accountants for audits of grants and contracts awarded by the Office of Minority Business Enterprise.

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