Sneak Preview: Commerce OIG Advised To Expand Audit Coverage

August 14, 2015 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Department of Commerce (DOC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is considering ways to conduct performance audits in fiscal year 2016 on federal award programs under each of DOC’s 13 agencies and offices, in response to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendation.

The GAO found that from FY 2011 through FY 2013, the DOC OIG conducted 18 performance audits, all relating to programs overseen by five of DOC’s larger agencies and offices — the Office of the Secretary, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the OIG did not conduct any performance audits of programs administered by the remaining eight agencies and offices — Economics and Statistics Administration, International Trade Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Economic Development Administration, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Industry and Security, Minority Business Development Agency and the National Technical Information Service.

The GAO added that during those three years, the OIG issued 90 total reports including performance audits, mandatory audits, evaluations and memorandums. Eighty-four of these 90 reports were directed to the five larger agencies and offices. Of the remaining six reports that were addressed to programs managed by the smaller bureaus and offices, two were American Recovery and Reinvestment Act audits of National Institute of Standards and Technology programs. However, none of the six were performance audits.

The GAO said that the eight smaller agencies and offices still represent about $2.4 billion, or about 11 percent, of the department’s total budgetary resources for FY 2013, and “make important contributions to maintaining a strong national economy by providing businesses and other organizations with reliable information, helping the U.S. compete in international trade and assisting U.S. businesses.”

“Because of the significance of the programs in the smaller bureaus and offices, the lack of performance audit coverage specific to these programs places them at an increased risk of not addressing potential issues of economy, efficiency and effectiveness in handling the taxpayer dollars they receive,” the GAO explained.


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