Single Audit:

Actions Needed to Ensure That Findings Are Corrected

GAO-02-705: Published: Jun 26, 2002. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2002.

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In examining the efforts of the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation to ensure that recipients corrected single audit report findings, GAO found that each agency had procedures for obtaining and distributing the audit reports to appropriate officials for action. However, they often did not issue the required written management decisions or have documentary evidence of their evaluations of and conclusions on recipients' actions to correct the audit findings. In addition, program managers did not summarize and communicate information on single audit results and recipient actions to correct audit findings to agency management.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Open

    Comments: DOT officials stated that they believe the agency has other procedures in place that accomplish the intent of GAO's recommendations. However, DOT has not provided documentation of any alternative procedures. GAO will continue to monitor DOT's efforts to implement this recommendation. In a February 2016 telephone conversation, the DOT audit liaison stated that they were waiting for the current Single Audit Act report to be completed, before closing this recommendation. We contacted the DOT Audit Liaison again in July 2016 and asked about the status of the current Single Audit Act work and obtaining documentation which would allow us to close the recommendation. We are awaiting DOT's response.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including documenting results of evaluations of and conclusions on recipients' actions to correct audit findings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Education issued guidance to implement GAO's recommendations.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including preparing and issuing management decisions that clearly communicate the reports of agency analyses of single audit findings and the adequacy of corrective actions implemented or planned by the recipient.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Education issued guidance to implement GAO's recommendations.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of each of the three agencies should implement policies and procedures for reporting information to agency management on (1) the types and causes of findings identified in single audit reports and (2) the status of corrective actions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department issued relevant guidance, Handbook 2000.06 Rev-4 that is dated October 2011 that implements this recommendation. The Department also established a Web page that provides and reinforces the requirements of the Single Audit Act and OMB Circular A-133.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including preparing and issuing management decisions that clearly communicate the reports of agency analyses of single audit findings and the adequacy of corrective actions implemented or planned by the recipient.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (DOT) has addressed this recommendation by requiring (1) single audits with recommendations to be tracked in the Transportation Inspector General Reporting System (TIGR) and (2) departmental program officials in the operating administrations (OA) evaluate the actions taken and report back on the corrective actions. The National Single Audit Coordinator (NSAC) for DOT reviews the reported corrective actions in light of the recommendations that were made. If the NSAC determines that a corrective action has addressed the recommendation, the recommendation is taken out of the TIGR tracking system.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including preparing and issuing management decisions that clearly communicate the reports of agency analyses of single audit findings and the adequacy of corrective actions implemented or planned by the recipient.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: HUD has developed the Single Audit Act (SAA) module in the Audit Resolution and Corrective Action Tracking System (ARCATS) to provide a centralized system for managing the resolution of Single Audit Act audit findings and recommendations to meet requirements in accordance with the SAA and the OMB Circular A-133. The user guidance is available on the HUD CFO intranet website.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of each of the three agencies should implement policies and procedures for reporting information to agency management on (1) the types and causes of findings identified in single audit reports and (2) the status of corrective actions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (DOT) addressed this recommendation in two ways. The identification of the types and causes of findings is done by an official in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation's Office of the Senior Procurement Executive. This official analyzes trends in the single audit compliance findings. For example, the official will see how many single audit findings relate to noncompliance with unallocated costs or the Davis-Bacon Act. This official is responsible for single audit policy, oversight, and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of each of the three agencies should implement policies and procedures for reporting information to agency management on (1) the types and causes of findings identified in single audit reports and (2) the status of corrective actions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Education issued guidance to implement GAO's recommendations.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including performing follow up procedures to ensure that the recipient implemented adequate corrective action.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department issued guidance defining roles, responsibilites, and procedures related to follow-up on findings identified in Single Audit reports.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including performing follow up procedures to ensure that the recipient implemented adequate corrective action.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (DOT) has adopted this recommendation by requiring the National Single Audit Coordinator (NSAC) for DOT to review the reported corrective actions in light of the recommendations made. If the NSAC determines that a corrective action has addressed the recommendation, the recommendation is taken out of the DOT's Transportation Inspector General Reporting System (TIGR). implementing the step that has the NSAC reviewing the corrective action before its associated recommendation is closed in TIGR. DOT has addressed this recommendation by requiring (1) single audits with recommendations to be tracked in the Transportation Inspector General Reporting System (TIGR) and (2) departmental program officials in the operating administrations (OAs) evaluate the actions taken and report back on the corrective actions.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including performing follow up procedures to ensure that the recipient implemented adequate corrective action.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Education issued guidance to implement GAO's recommendations.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including documenting results of evaluations of and conclusions on recipients' actions to correct audit findings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department issued guidance defining roles, responsibilites, and procedures related to follow-up on findings identified in Single Audit reports.

    Recommendation: To ensure that recipients correct the weaknesses identified in single audit reports, the Secretary for the Departments of Education, HUD, and Transportation should ensure that each has established and follows guidance that addresses the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 requirements for all agency programs whose awards are subject to the Single Audit Act. This guidance should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each agency unit in ensuring appropriate and timely actions on single audit findings including documenting results of evaluations of and conclusions on recipients' actions to correct audit findings.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

 

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