Audit Resolution

Strengthened Guidance Needed to Ensure Effective Action Gao ID: AFMD-92-16 March 24, 1992

Managers at NASA and the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs do not always ensure that actions have been completed on audit recommendations before claiming credit for completing such actions, nor do managers always maintain adequate documentation to support their claims that actions have been completed. Incomplete action can render audit resources less effective and can result in losses in federal programs and operations. Audit resolution problems are partly due to outdated federal guidance, which does not indicate when an audit recommendation should be closed or what documentation is enough to support closure of an audit recommendation. The Office of Management and Budget agrees with GAO's recommendations and has already begun revising the guidance.

GAO found that: (1) of 34 audit recommendations reviewed at the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs, and at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 28 had audit resolution problems; (2) in eight cases, agencies closed the recommendations without completing corrective actions; (3) the agencies closed 18 audit recommendations without sufficiently documenting that corrective actions had been completed; (4) OMB guidance does not provide specific information for managers to determine when to close an audit recommendation or what kind of documentation is sufficient to support closure of an audit recommendation; and (5) OMB has not updated its guidance to reflect the additional reporting requirements mandated by the 1988 amendments.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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