Ways the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Can Increase Benefits From Auditing

HRD-77-11: Published: Oct 25, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 1977.

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The Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) conducts and supervises audits and investigations of HEW programs and operations to promote economy and efficiency and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse. The HEW Audit Agency and is now a component of the Office.

Because the Audit Agency's workload has exceeded its staff, subjects for audit should be selected that will produce the best results with available resources. A method developed by GAO for showing which reasons for beginning audits produced better results could be valuable in the planning and selection process. Audit Agency findings are often classified as resolved although information is incomplete or unverified. The need for reliable data on the status of corrective actions is particularly important because of new legal reporting requirements.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Inspector General should consider: (1) modifying the automated audit information system to include the basis for selecting audits; (2) strengthening the monitoring of audits by non-Federal auditors with emphasis on identifying auditors doing quality work at the lowest cost; (3) developing automated audit information systems controls and unique identifiers for each entity; (4) establishing more specific guidance for HEW management officials' use in deciding whether sufficient corrective action has been taken and for Audit Agency officials' evaluation of reporting on the status of corrective action; and (5) requiring the Audit Agency to identify the scope of audits in terms of financial/compliance, economy/efficiency, or program results and to identify recommendations which are potentially eligible for quarterly reporting unless timely corrective action is taken.

    Agency Affected:

 

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