Survey of GSA's Internal Audit Function

LCD-78-315: Published: Feb 16, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 1978.

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The operations of the General Services Administration's (GSA) Office of Audits, which audits both internal agency activities and GSA contracts, were surveyed with an emphasis on planning functions and staffing needs. GSA has not developed explicit criteria for deciding on the size of its audit staff. Instead, the subjective judgment and experience of GSA officials is heavily relied on in requesting and approving or disapproving increases in the size of the audit staff. GSA internal guidance requires a 5-year audit plan that identifies all areas subject to audit; this 5-year plan is, in effect, the GSA audit universe. The Office of Audits did not consider this plan adequate for establishing priorities or identifying specific audit areas because it was directed toward GSA organizations and did not sufficiently consider its functions or activities. In addition to compiling an adequate audit universe, other ways to make better use of GSA existing audit resources include: closer coordination by the Office with GSA program evaluation groups, possible reduction in scope of some audits, and a better method of selecting and documenting the types of audit work performed on each assignment. The Office of Audits should: establish explicit criteria to be followed in deciding on the appropriate size of the GSA audit staff, assure that a current and complete audit universe is used in annual audit planning, and develop closer coordination among management review groups.

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