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Report to Congress on Audit Follow-up

The Inspector General Act, as amended, requires that the Secretary report to the Congress on the final action taken for the Inspector General audits. With this Performance and Accountability Report, the Department of Education is reporting on audit follow-up activities for the period October 1, 2004, through September 30, 2005.

The Audit Accountability and Resolution Tracking System (AARTS) is the Department's single database system used for tracking, monitoring, and reporting on the audit follow-up status of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits; the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued internal audits, external audits, and alternative products; and Single Audits of funds held by non-federal entities. AARTS functionalities allow the following:

  • Tracking of internal, external, GAO, sensitive, and alternative product types from inception to final disposition.
  • Evaluation and escalation points for audit reports and recommendations at appropriate levels in the user hierarchy.
  • Notifying users of audit decisions and approaching or expiring events and transactions.
  • Downloading report and query results into electronic file formats.
  • Attaching files to the audit record.
  • Providing a personal portal (Digital Dashboard) for user-assigned transactions.
  • Providing a search function to query application (Audit Report) data.
  • Providing for both a defined and an ad hoc report generation environment.

Number of Audit Reports and Dollar Value of Disallowed Cost.

At the start of this reporting period, the balance for audit reports with disallowed costs totaled 62, representing $31.7 million. At the end of the reporting period, the outstanding balance was 59 audits, representing $34.3 million. The information in the table below represents audit reports for which receivables were established.

Final Actions on Audits with Disallowed Costs for Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2005
  Number of Reports Disallowed Costs
Beginning Balance as of 10/1/2004
+ Management Decision
Pending Final Action
- Final Action
Ending Balance as of 9/30/2005

Number of Audit Reports and Dollar Value of Recommendations That Funds Be Put to Better Use

The Department has a total of nine audit reports totaling $244 million with recommendations that funds be put to better use. Only three of these, totaling $5.3 million, have been resolved. Resolution occurs when there is agreement between the program office and the Department's OIG on the corrective actions that will be taken to address all of the recommendations in the audit.

Reports Pending Final Action One Year or More After
Issuance of a Management Decision

As of September 30, 2005, the Department has a total of 11 OIG internal and nationwide audit reports on which final action was not taken within a year after the issuance of a management decision; 82 percent were less than two years old. Many corrective actions are dependent upon major system changes that are currently being implemented. For detailed information on these audits, refer to the Department's Semiannual Report to Congress on Audit Follow-up Number 33.