Office of Inspector General
C. Audit Services (EFA)
Audit Services (AS) is responsible for audit activities relating to improving the Department's programs and operations. AS conducts, coordinates, and oversees audits and other activities and makes recommendations to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of programs and operations administered or funded by the Department. AS also recommends changes needed in the Department's existing and proposed legislation and regulations to clarify requirements, improve program performance and operations, and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in its programs and operations.
AS formulates, recommends, and executes audit policy consistent with the overall policy guidance of the Inspector General, and assures that all audits of Departmental organizations, programs, activities, and functions are conducted in accordance with the standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States.
AS conducts audits and other activities in accordance with policies and procedures established by the OIG, and, when appropriate, audit standards prescribed by the Comptroller General. AS issues reports to advise appropriate officials of findings and recommendations on adequate financial accountability and reporting, efficient and economical use of resources, and effective achievement of program results.
AS coordinates with other components of the OIG to ensure the effective, efficient, and economic utilization of resources. The AS function is performed by headquarters and field Regional offices, which report to the Assistant Inspector General for Audit (AIGA) and Deputy AIGA (DAIGA).
Audit Services Immediate Office
The AIGA and DAIGA are supported by immediate office staff that direct and coordinate activities required for effective management of Audit Services. Major tasks include:
- Audit policy and quality assurance activities;
- Training initiatives, including the CIGIE Introductory Auditor Training provided to the IG Community;
- Technical support and advancement in the use OIG’s audit documentation software;
- Audit reporting formats and style, report consistency and presentation;
- Strategic planning, including development and execution of the OIG Annual Work Plan and Recovery Act Work Plan;
- Reports such as the Semiannual Report to Congress and the annual Department of Education Management Challenges report.
- AS performance tracking;
- Budget development and execution; and
- Audit resolution activities.
Advisory and Assistance Teams
The Student Financial Assistance Programs and State and Local Programs Advisory and Assistance Teams, which report to the AIGA and DAIGA provide the means for OIG to build and maintain additional program or technical expertise and enhance its availability to provide such expertise to its work teams in headquarters and regional offices when planning and executing their assignments. The Advisory and Assistance Teams also provide staff to meet the requests for advice and assistance from the Department, such as serving in an advisory capacity on rule-making teams, on efforts to improve program monitoring, etc. The Advisory and Assistance Teams have an OIG-wide, Department-wide, nationwide focus. They have broad responsibilities for advice, assistance, communicating across organizational boundaries, planning, liaison, and representation of OIG positions to work teams, Department officials, and parties outside the Department who seek information about the efforts of the OIG to meet its improvement and integrity missions.
Teams are responsible for developing, maintaining, and communicating their expertise in program or technical areas to OIG work teams, providing knowledge of the current status of Department policy, or providing essential program information. In addition, the teams provide expertise to the Department by commenting on proposed legislation and regulations, or responding to inquiries about OIG positions or recommendations concerning the operations of the Department’s programs.
In performing its responsibilities, the teams:
- Provide accurate and timely information about assigned programs and responds, as necessary, to special requests from the Congress, OIG, GAO, and principal Department officials.
- Provide technical guidance on areas assigned and assure timely exchange of information in conduct of the OIG's activities.
- Participate in nationwide and special audits, investigations, inspections, or other activities, providing technical guidance and expert assistance as necessary and appropriate.
- Function as liaison with Assistant Secretaries and other principal headquarters and regional officials to discuss problem areas and ascertain critical or sensitive areas.
- Propose audits and other activities in accordance with policies and procedures established by the OIG. Issue reports to advise appropriate officials of findings and recommendations on adequate financial accountability and reporting, efficient and effective use of resources, and effective achievement of desired results.
Non Federal Audits Team
The team is responsible for the guidance, training, and technical assistance of OIG and non-Federal auditors. It is also responsible for exercising oversight of non-Federal audits and liaison with the Department, and participation on in an advisory capacity on Departmental teams as appropriate.
In performing its responsibilities, the team:
- Develops policies, procedures, and guidance to assure that audits performed by non Federal auditors are carried out in consonance with standards established by the Comptroller General and the specific applicable audit requirements.
- Provides information to non-Federal auditors concerning audit requirements of Department of Education programs.
- Provides technical assistance to the Department and non-Federal auditors as necessary.
- Manages the process, which non-Federal auditors are referred to State licensing boards and professional organizations for disciplinary actions, including debarment and suspension if appropriate.
- Prepares reports for the IG on the Single Audit Act function, including the relevant portions of the Semi-Annual Report to Congress and the Department's Single Audit Act report to OMB.
- Coordinates with Federal, State, and local governments, or private audit organizations on the performance of audits and examinations carried out by such audit organizations.
- Evaluates the adequacy of audits performed by non-Federal organizations, including those conducted under OMB Circulars A-128 and A-133, to determine whether such audits are being conducted in accordance with standards established by the Comptroller General and the specific applicable audit requirements.
Financial Audit Team
The Financial Statement Internal Audit Team conducts audits of internal Departmental financial programs and activities. The team is responsible for liaison with the Department and participation in an advisory capacity on Departmental teams as appropriate. The team also participates on interagency work groups related to Federal financial statements.
In performing its functions, the team:
- Provides oversight of the performance of the annual Department-wide consolidated financial statement audit and the annual Federal Student Aid financial statement audit, which are performed by an outside firm under contract for OIG.
- Performs special studies of financial-related audit areas.
- Provides advice and assistance regarding financial-related issues.
- Provides quick-response work related to the Department financial issues.
- Establishes and maintains effective working relationships on matters relating to financial audits and review activities.
Operations Internal Operations Audit Team
The Operations Internal Audit Team conducts audits relating to the internal operations of the Department, mainly at the headquarters level, with the exception of financial-related and information technology audits. The team ensures that audit activities it performs are consistent with the Annual Work Plan and OIG priorities...
In performing its functions, the team:
- Conducts audits of the internal operations of the Department, to include activities performed by contractors, and advises appropriate officials of their findings and needed corrective actions regarding accountability, the efficient and economical use of resources, and the achievement of desired outcomes.
- Provides advice and assistance on issues involving internal Department operations.
- Coordinates planned activities with Evaluation, Inspection, and Management Services as needed.
- Provides quick-response work related to the Department's operations.
- Reviews proposed policy and procedures governing operational issues within the Department.
- Assures that matters needing investigative attention are promptly coordinated with Investigation Services.
- Establishes and maintains effective working relationships on matters relating to internal audit and review activities.
Regional Audit Teams:
OIG's regional audit teams are located in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, and Sacramento. Some audit regional offices have staff located in subsidiary field offices and flexi-place duty stations. The teams ensure that audit activities they perform are consistent with the Annual Work Plan and OIG priorities.
In performing their functions, the regional audit teams:
- Conduct audits, primarily of external entities who receive Departmental funding. These entities include State and local educational agencies and other grantees, post-secondary institutions, guaranty agencies, lenders, servicers, contractors, and other entities.
- May also conduct internal audits of aspects of the Department's programs and operations.
- Advise appropriate officials of their findings and needed corrective actions regarding accountability, the efficient and economical use of resources, and the achievement of desired outcomes.
- Assure that matters needing investigative attention are promptly coordinated with Investigation Services.