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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) to determine whether the Inspector General conducted audits and investigations in accordance with generally accepted standards.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of the Inspector General 1. To assist DOT OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain areas of the audit standards, the Inspector General should expand OIG policies on evidence to define the various types of evidence, such as documentary and analytical, and provide guidance on their appropriate use.
Closed - Implemented
In October 1987, OIG expanded its policies to define the various types of evidence. A copy of the policy change was provided on November 2, 1987 in OPM, Part II, chapter 1.
Office of the Inspector General 2. To assist DOT OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain areas of the audit standards, the Inspector General should develop and implement a process, such as referencing, to help ensure the adequacy of evidence.
Closed - Implemented
OIG developed a supervisory checklist which requires supervisors to ensure report indices are verified. It does not require an independent review; however, this is not required by GAGAS. In October 1987, the checklist was incorporated in OIG policies. Documentation was provided to GAO on November 2, 1987. OIG will expand its Quality Assurance Program to evaluate the adequacy of evidence.
Office of the Inspector General 3. To assist DOT OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain areas of the audit standards, the Inspector General should examine the OIG process for reviewing audit reports to determine whether it is functioning in a manner which ensures reasonable assurance of compliance with the reporting standard.
Closed - Implemented
The Inspector General incorporated a report review list into the supervisory checklist, which became part of OIG policies in October 1987, OPM Part II, chapter 1. Documentation was provided to GAO on November 2, 1987.
Office of the Inspector General 4. To assist DOT OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain areas of the audit standards, the Inspector General should enforce OIG policies which require supervisors to fully review all of the audit work performed, document their supervisory review, and educate the staff on these policies.
Closed - Implemented
OIG developed a supervisory checklist to be used on all audits to better ensure and document supervisory review. In October 1987, OIG incorporated the checklist into its policies, OPM Part II, chapter 1. Documentation was provided to GAO on November 2, 1987. In addition, an internal memo was sent to all supervisors instructing them to review all observations and fully adhere to OIG policies.
Office of the Inspector General 5. To assist DOT OIG in satisfactorily complying with certain areas of the audit standards, the Inspector General should expand the scope of the OIG quality assurance program to provide reasonable assurance of adherence to the standards for performing audits and conduct more frequent reviews.
Closed - Implemented
OIG revised its quality assurance program to expand the scope of its review. In January 1988, OIG incorporated the revised program into its policies, OPM part I, chapter 19. Documentation was provided to GAO on January 25, 1988.
Office of the Inspector General 6. To further strengthen operations at DOT OIG, the Inspector General should revise OIG policies and procedures to provide more precise guidance on preparing clear and understandable working papers.
Closed - Implemented
OIG established training courses for all entry level auditors and made resources available for remedial training for journeymen auditors identified as needing such assistance. In addition, the supervisory checklist placed greater emphasis on working paper preparation and, in October 1987, was incorporated into OIG policies. Documentation was provided on November 2, 1987.
Office of the Inspector General 7. To further strengthen operations at DOT OIG, the Inspector General should clarify OIG policies on reporting to ensure that: (1) audit reports accurately reflect the audit's objectives and scope; and (2) the objectives are adequately addressed.
Closed - Implemented
OIG revised its policies on Audit Survey and Coordinated Audits to require precise audit objectives, ensure that objectives are adequately addressed, and the scope is identified. Documentation was provided on November 2, 1987. In April 1988, OIG revised its reporting policies to clarify and strengthen the requirement for the adequate reporting of scope and objectives.
Office of the Inspector General 8. To further strengthen operations at DOT OIG, the Inspector General should implement OIG policy on following up on the evaluation report recommendations.
Closed - Implemented
This was included in the revision to the OIG Quality Assurance Program, OPM Part I, chapter 19. This chapter was finalized and GAO received documentation in January 1988.
Office of the Inspector General 9. To further strengthen operations at DOT OIG, the Inspector General should track all of its significant recommendations through implementation and take prompt and appropriate action to resolve any recommendation that the agency managers do not fully implement.
Closed - Implemented
OIG issued modifications to the follow-up process in March 1989, and a memo was sent to all staff explaining the changes and new procedures. In addition, the new follow-up process will be included in the OIG automated management system in July 1989.
Office of the Inspector General 10. To further strengthen operations at DOT OIG, the Inspector General should explain in the semiannual report why some of the dollar figures reported differ from those in the corresponding audit reports.
Closed - Implemented
OIG agreed to explain any difference between dollar figures in audit reports and those reported in semiannual reports.

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