Improving Interior's Internal Auditing and Investigating Activities--Inspector General Faces Many Problems

CED-80-4: Published: Oct 24, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 1979.

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The Department of Interior's (DOI) new Inspector General faces many problems in carrying out independent and effective audits and investigations.

Audit activities could be more effective if management would give more emphasis to audit needs and be more responsive to audit findings and recommendations. DOI has not implemented effective policies and procedures to ensure that bureaus and offices take timely, appropriate corrective actions on audit findings. In some cases management either has not responded promptly or has simply ignored auditors' advice. Appropriate staff and funds have not been allocated to audit and investigate activities to provide coverage to DOI programs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of DOI should: direct managers at all levels to be more cooperative with the Inspector General and more responsive to audit findings and recommendations; revise the DOI budget so that the budget for the Inspector General can be considered independently of other departmental activities and set out as a separate appropriation; allocate the resources necessary to implement the Inspector General Act; and eliminate reimbursement funding of audit activities and find alternative ways to conduct external contract and grant audits and overhead rate negotiations so that more internal audits can be performed with available staff. The Secretary should also direct the Inspector General to: revise the audit planning process to ensure that periodic, independent assessments are made of all departmental programs and services to identify areas where potential management weaknesses exist; establish an appropriate information and reporting system to provide meaningful, periodic reports which will keep all management level informed of the status of ongoing audits and actions needed or taken on report findings and recommendations; and strengthen its report followup procedures to ensure that audit report findings and recommendations are not closed out without appropriate assurances that management has taken action.

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