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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Army Audit Agency's (AAA): (1) allocation of audit resources; (2) audit quality; and (3) independence.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. To enhance audit coverage and ensure that audit recommendations are implemented to improve Army operations, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Auditor General to direct more of AAA financial management coverage toward auditing Army-wide issues, accounting system redesign efforts, and the data included in the Army's financial reports.
Closed - Implemented
The AAA audit plan for FY 1990 shows an increase of 2,000 auditor days devoted to Army-wide financial issues as compared to FY 1989. These auditor days are scheduled for multilocation audits that will also carry over into 1991.
Department of the Army 2. To ensure the accuracy and validity of AAA audit reports, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Auditor General to require that auditors-in-charge or other appropriate individuals remain involved in audit assignments during the processing of audit reports to fulfill the responsibility for documenting all meetings with Army management and for indexing the final audit report to the working papers.
Closed - Implemented
The Auditor General issued a letter to all staff emphasizing the importance of managers remaining involved in the final stages of audit and report processing. The AAA assurance procedure now includes verification that report processing procedures are followed by all audit managers.
Department of the Army 3. To enhance audit coverage and ensure that audit recommendations are implemented to improve Army operations, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Auditor General to follow up to determine whether appropriate corrective actions have been taken on all significant AAA audit findings and recommendations.
Closed - Implemented
AAA has established a trial procedure for receiving data from the Army Inspector General on the status of significant recommendations. The Auditor General intends to review the benefits of this approach. The Auditor General has now determined that it is of benefit to auditors to receive followup information on significant recommendations. Auditors will receive information on a permanent basis.
Department of the Army 4. To ensure the accuracy and validity of AAA audit reports, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Auditor General to institute improved quality control procedures, such as report referencing, to provide verification of information in final audit reports.
Closed - Implemented
The Auditor General instituted a revised quality control checklist for all audits. The AAA quality assurance program will help ensure that the checklist is used.
Department of the Army 5. To ensure the accuracy and validity of AAA audit reports, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Auditor General to schedule a quality assurance review to determine if causes of problems are being appropriately identified, analyzed, and reported following implementation of the recommended report review procedures, and report to the Secretary within 1 year on the progress toward correcting this weakness.
Closed - Implemented
AAA includes a review of reports in each of its quality assessments. These reviews specifically require that cause be identified in each input. The Auditor General plans to report to the Secretary of the Army after July 1990. The Auditor General issued his written report to the Secretary on July 31, 1990, outlining actions taken to improve reporting the cause of audit findings.

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