Staffing Shortages Within the Defense Audit Service

FGMSD-78-02: Published: Oct 31, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1977.

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The authorized staffing level of the Defense Audit Service makes it incapable of conducting required audits. However, in July 1977, the Secretary of Defense ordered that the staff be reduced by 25 percent, from 357 to 268.

According to documented workload estimates prepared by the Defense Audit Service, a staff of 762 is necessary to provide the required audit coverage. Although the workload estimates appear to be conservative, it is unlikely that additional staff will be provided to meet the projected workload requirements. Audit coverage for some of the major Defense agencies and programs has been inadequate over the last 6 years. The audit function has been cost effective in identifying over $100 in potential savings for every dollar spent on audit. The 25 percent staff reduction ordered by the Secretary of Defense was not based on any type of detailed analysis, but instead was estimated by personnel officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense based on their knowledge of audit operations and requirements. Although the staff reduction was rescinded, the Audit Service is still staffed at only half its required strength. Defense managers should be prepared to accept the increased risks and consequences that accompany reduced staffing and reduced audit coverage.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should assess the risks involved when too few auditors are given too large an audit burden and should attempt to bring the staff capability into balance with the identified workload requirements.

    Agency Affected:


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