The Office of Management Assessment maintains the audit liaison function at NIH for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit reviews. Outside audit reviews are an important component of the oversight of internal NIH programs and operations. These audit reviews help the organization identify, prevent, and mitigate fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, and conflicts of interest. The prompt resolution and development of corrective actions to address audit recommendations are an integral part of good management. Corrective actions taken by management in order to resolve findings and recommendations are essential to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of NIH operations.
At the request of Congress and, to a much lesser degree, on their own initiative, GAO provides oversight of Federal programs and insight into ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, and equitable. GAO reports, testimonies, and legal decisions are reported to Congress. GAO also issues guidance on the development and use of internal and management controls to ensure effective and efficient government operations.
The OIG is mandated to protect the integrity of HHS programs, as well as the health and welfare of the beneficiaries of those programs. The OIG has the responsibility to report program and management problems, and make recommendations to correct them both to the Secretary of HHS and to Congress. OIG duties are carried out through audits, investigations, and inspections.
NIH supports, assists, and uses audit reviews as important tools for ensuring effective management of agency programs and operations. In accordance with OMB Circular A-50, NIH is committed to preparing prompt, responsive, constructive corrective actions in response to OIG and GAO audit report findings and recommendations. NIH considers audit follow-up to be an integral part of good management and a responsibility shared by NIH employees.
The NIH Manual Chapter 1752 policy outlines responsibilities for assisting the OIG or GAO program audit reviews conducted at NIH and for responding to, and taking corrective action on OIG or GAO program audit findings and recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is OMA's delegated authority to function as the audit liaison and perform follow-up functions related to GAO and OIG audits and evaluations?
OMA has three delegated authorities to perform the audit liaison and follow-up functions at NIH:
- To act as the NIH liaison for audits announced by the OIG and GAO that relate to topics including but not limited to departmental and agency program performance and agency administration.
- To conduct audit follow-up on audit findings, recommendations, and reporting to the Deputy Director for Management and Chief Financial Offer regarding corrective actions.
- To comply with standards and procedures prescribed by the Department, OMB, GAO, or other responsible Federal agency, as related to agency audit liaison and follow-up responsibilities.
What topic areas do the OIG and GAO audits cover?
The audits related to departmental and agency program performance, agency administration, agency or program management or internal controls, oversight and management of grants or contracts, information technology program performance, agency-wide budget and financial management practices, agency research funding prioritization, or NIH coordination with the Department or other external Federal Government entities.
Does the RMAL process audits or investigations of contractors and grantees conducted by outside
No. The RMAL does not process audits or investigations of contractors and grantees conducted by outside organizations. Please contact the Division of Financial Advisory Services within the Office of Acquisitions Management and Policy at (301) 496-4401.
Is the RMAL responsible for reviewing allegations of improper employee conduct, misuse of grant or contract funds, and grantee/contractor conflict of interest related to NIH programs and activities?
No. Within OMA, the Division of Program Integrity (DPI) is responsible for reviewing non-criminal allegations of improper employee conduct, misuse of grant or contract funds, and grantee/contractor conflict of interest related to NIH programs and activities. Please contact the DPI at (301) 496-5586.
Where can I find a link to OMB Circular A-50, Audit Follow-Up?
Information about the OMB Circular A-50 can be found here.
Where can I find a link to the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended?
Information about the OIG Act can be found here.