July 6, 2020
The Office of Science’s Audit Resolution and Followup Process
The Department's audit resolution and followup process provides an important mechanism for assisting management with improving the performance of the Department and its programs. With this goal in mind, the Order generally requires that audit reports and all associated recommendations be closed within 1 year. Further, management officials must sign an Assurance of Effectiveness of Corrective Actions Taken to certify that corrective actions have satisfactorily addressed audit report recommendations.
Per the Order, the OIG is tasked with periodically evaluating the Department's audit followup systems and assessing whether these systems result in effective, prompt, and proper resolution of audit recommendations. As such, we completed audits of The Department of Energy’s Audit Resolution and Follow-up Process (DOE/IG-0840, September 2010) and The Department of Energy’s Audit Resolution and Followup Process (DOE-OIG-16-08, March 2016).
Because the Order was under revision and the recommendations for both prior reports remained open, we deviated from the methodology of the previous audits to focus on a particular program office, rather than a Department-wide review. As such, the objective of this audit was to determine whether Science’s audit resolution and followup process was in accordance with requirements.
We found that the Office of Science’s audit resolution and followup process was not in accordance with all of the requirements of Department of Energy Order 224.3, Audit Resolution and Follow-up Program. Specifically, we found that required audit followup assessments were not performed for four sampled reports and that formal procedures did not exist for the Office of Science’s audit resolution and followup program. We found that resolution for a Government Accountability Office audit report was not submitted timely to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress. Further, justifications were not documented in the Departmental Audit Report Tracking System for audit reports that were open for more than 1 year in the Departmental Audit Report Tracking System. To its credit, we found that Science resolved the three Office of Inspector General reports in a timely manner, as required by the Department Order.