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Highlights

A growing reliance on computers, coupled with increasing cost, requires that Federal managers assure themselves that computers support management goals and objectives, operate efficiently and economically, and encompass adequate controls to prevent errors, fraud, waste, and abuse. Internal auditing is an important management tool to help provide such assurance. GAO conducted a review to evaluate the progress of Federal internal audit organizations and provided guidance for agencies in establishing proper computer audit coverage.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Heads of Federal Agencies 1. The heads of Federal agencies should help ensure that their inspector general and internal audit organizations properly consider agency computer operations in providing internal audit coverage by requiring them to identify the agency's computer audit universe, including existing computer systems and major applications as well as those being planned for design and development.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Heads of Federal Agencies 2. The heads of Federal agencies should help ensure that their inspector general and internal audit organizations properly consider agency computer operations in providing internal audit coverage by requiring them to determine the extent to which computer activities need auditing and conduct needed audits based on the requirements of the GAO computer audit standards relating to the adequacy of general and application controls.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Heads of Federal Agencies 3. The heads of Federal agencies should help ensure that their inspector general and internal audit organizations properly consider agency computer operations in providing internal audit coverage by requiring them to determine the staff and skills needed to meet computer audit responsibilities, and consider alternatives for developing and sustaining these capabilities.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Heads of Federal Agencies 4. The heads of Federal agencies should help ensure that their inspector general and internal audit organizations properly consider agency computer operations in providing internal audit coverage by requiring them to periodically review audit coverage of computer systems and adjust allocations of staff resources accordingly.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Heads of Federal Agencies 5. The heads of Federal agencies should help ensure that their inspector general and internal audit organizations properly consider agency computer operations in providing internal audit coverage by requiring them to establish a basic level of computer knowledge which all audit staff must attain. Auditors may reach this basic level through their own educational programs or by training during their employment.
Closed - Not Implemented
Federal agencies are severely limited by training and travel resources. This will always affect the training program such that this recommendation could remain outstanding indefinitely. Many agencies now feel that new auditors receive such training in college. GAO suggests no further followup of recommendations are warranted.
Heads of Federal Agencies 6. The heads of Federal agencies should help ensure that their inspector general and internal audit organizations properly consider agency computer operations in providing internal audit coverage by requiring them to consider computers in fulfilling audit responsibilities to review for efficient, effective, and economical operations.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Office of Management and Budget 7. The Office of Management and Budget should play a more active role in monitoring agencies' progress in developing and maintaining their computer audit capabilities and provide guidance as appropriate, addressing internal audit evaluation of computer-related controls.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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