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Highlights

GAO reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to determine whether OIG: (1) audit functions complied with Comptroller General and President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) standards; and (2) investigation function satisfactorily complied with PCIE quality and professional standards.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of the Inspector General 1. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the audit standards, the Inspector General (IG) should develop and implement policies and procedures clarifying the applicability of audit standards for desk audits.
Closed - Implemented
On July 14, 1987, OIG implemented policies and procedures clarifying the applicability of audit standards for desk audits.
Office of the Inspector General 2. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the audit standards, IG should require the use of OIG checklists to provide greater assurance that audit supervisors document and retain supervisory reviews of all work products.
Closed - Implemented
Audit supervisors are now required by OIG Policy Manual, chapter 118, to use OIG checklists to document supervisory reviews.
Office of the Inspector General 3. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the audit standards, IG should develop and implement policies and procedures outlining when an identification and evaluation study of internal controls is required.
Closed - Implemented
On June 30, 1986, OIG implemented policies and procedures outlining when an identification and evaluation study of internal controls is needed. On September 5, 1986, additional instructions were issued for instances when OIG auditors must rely on computer-generated information.
Office of the Inspector General 4. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the audit standards, IG should develop and implement policies and procedures requiring the reporting of the scope of internal control work.
Closed - Implemented
On June 10, 1986, OIG implemented policies and procedures requiring the reporting of the scope of internal audit work.
Office of the Inspector General 5. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the audit standards, IG should develop and implement a quality-assurance mechanism, such as referencing, to help ensure the adequacy of evidence.
Closed - Implemented
On October 23, 1986, OIG implemented policies and procedures requiring referencing on all major, or potentially controversial, audits.
Office of the Inspector General 6. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the audit standards, IG should resolve the inconsistencies between OIG and EPA on public access to audit reports.
Closed - Not Implemented
OIG policy is one of full disclosure. Audit reports are available upon request either through the EPA Freedom of Information Office or directly from OIG. Access to reports is only restricted when a requested report contains confidential information. The fact that there are various options for obtaining OIG audit reports does not represent inconsistencies that need to be corrected.
Office of the Inspector General 7. To increase the discipline for sound financial management, enhance oversight, and help ensure financial integrity, IG should expand the current financial program by performing additional audits, which examine financial reports and the reliability of accounting systems which produce the reports. Eventually, more OIG audits should be undertaken with the objective of expressing an opinion on the accuracy and adequacy of EPA financial reports.
Closed - Implemented
OIG annual planning routinely considers examining financial reports and reliability of accounting systems. OIG is currently conducting a financial audit of the Superfund Trust Fund.
Office of the Inspector General 8. To enhance its audit follow-up efforts, IG should develop and implement policies and procedures for tracking and ascertaining, on a systematic basis, the audit resolution of OIG recommendations.
Closed - Implemented
On August 21, 1986, OIG implemented policies and procedures for systematically tracking and ascertaining the audit resolution of OIG recommendations.
Office of the Inspector General 9. To enhance its audit follow-up efforts, IG should coordinate with agency follow-up officials to obtain feedback on the status of actions taken to implement OIG recommendations.
Closed - Implemented
On September 10, 1986, OIG arranged to receive reports from the new EPA Corrective Action Tracking System. The reports will be used to monitor progress on audit resolution.
Office of the Inspector General 10. To assist OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain aspects of the standards, IG should develop an annual investigation plan which specifies the goals, objectives, or tasks to be accomplished, and the accomplishments, benefits, or results to be derived from attaining the goals.
Closed - Implemented
OIG developed an investigation plan which discusses goals and objectives, specific output and performance expectations, FTE allocations, and travel requirements.
Office of the Inspector General 11. IG should establish a system for cross-referencing investigation cases.
Closed - Implemented
OIG is using its new Automated Management Information System to cross-reference common subjects between investigations.

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