Sneak Preview: ACF Is Working To Improve Its Responses to Audits

August 10, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

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xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), responding to recommendations in a recent HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit, said that it developed processes earlier this year that are helping it to issue management decisions on audits within the required six-month resolution period and to resolve hundreds of outstanding audit recommendations.

ACF officials are responsible for working with their grant recipients to resolve federal and nonfederal audit report recommendations. After an OIG audit in 2009 found that ACF did not always comply with federal requirements during federal fiscal years (FYs) 2006 through 2008 to resolve auditee findings and recommendations in a timely manner, OIG followed up by conducting audit work last year to determine whether the agency’s audit resolution process during FY 2015 and FY 2016 was more timely, as well as to identify how many audit recommendations had gone unresolved by the Sept. 30, 2016, due date.

Applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance in effect during the time of OIG’s latest audit, which was OMB Circular A-133, required ACF to respond to audit recommendations through a management letter within six months after formal receipt of the audit report, and grantees to initiate corrective action within six months after ACF’s receipt of the audit report. Current HHS regulations at 45 C.F.R.§75.521(d) require the HHS awarding agency or responsible pass-through entity to issue a management decision within six months of acceptance of the audit report by the Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC), and that the auditee must initiate and proceed with corrective action no later than upon FAC’s receipt of the audit report.

In addition, ACF’s External Audit Resolution Manual applicable at the time of the audit required ACF, again within six months, to submit an OIG clearance document (OCD) to the OIG that includes the management decision and actions taken on recommendations. OIG then prepares and forwards to ACF monthly stewardship reports that show the status of these reported audit recommendations.

OIG found ACF had policies and procedures in place to ensure that audit recommendations were resolved in compliance with federal requirements, specifically stating that audit recommendations are considered unresolved if they are not resolved within six months of the audit report’s issue date. However, ACF did not always issue management decisions and submit the related OCDs to OIG within the required six-month resolution period.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

As a reminder, our final Federal Funding Training Forum scheduled for 2018 will be Wednesday October 17 through Friday October 19 in Atlanta. Please let me know if you have questions or can make this forum. We hope to see you there!

In addition, we are now offering a procurement boot camp Wednesday October 24 in Washington, D.C. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in this program!


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