GAO Audits Involving DOD: Status of Efforts to Schedule and Hold Timely Entrance Conferences
[Technical Report, Congressional Report]
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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GAOs agency protocols govern GAOs relationships with audited entities. These protocols, coordinated with federal agencies including the Department of Defense DOD, assist GAO in scheduling an entrance conference within 14 days of receiving notice of a new audit.1 Entranceconferences provide GAO an opportunity to communicate its audit objectives and enable agencies to assign key points of contact to support its work. In past years, DOD has experienced difficulty in meeting the protocol target for the timely facilitation of entrance conferences. In Senate Report 116-48 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the Senate Armed Services Committee included a provision for GAO to review DODs timely scheduling and holding of entrance conferences. In our report, we evaluate the extent to which DOD scheduled entrance conferences within 14 days, consistent with GAO protocols, and also held those conferences within 30 days. This is the third of four quarterly reports that we will produce on this topic for fiscal year 2020.2 In the first two quarterly reports, we found that DOD had improved its ability to meet the protocol target.3 To address our objective, we collected and analyzed data on GAO audits involving DOD that were initiated in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020. Specifically, we determined the number of notification letters requesting entrance conferences that GAO sent to DOD during that time period. We also reviewed data collected by DOD on entrance conference requests to ensure data consistency. We defined the date an entrance conference was scheduled as the date the relevant GAO team had received a communication, such as an email, appointment, or phone call from DOD, stating that an entrance conference had been scheduled.
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