Internal Audit Reports
In carrying out the audit duties and responsibilities of Section 20.055(5), Florida Statutes (F.S.), each Inspector General shall review and evaluate internal controls necessary to ensure fiscal accountability of the state agency and to serve as a central point for coordination of and responsibility for activities that promote accountability, integrity, and efficiency in government.
Internal Auditing is an independent assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and operational processes. Internal Auditors, following professional auditing standards, examine and evaluate the Department's system of internal controls and the quality of program operations to:
- Ensure consistent application of administrative policies and procedures.
- Ensure on-going scrutiny of financial operations and internal controls.
- Provide departmental management information on which to base operational and program decisions.
The scope of the Internal Audit section is to conduct financial, performance, information systems and compliance audits of all systems, processes, programs, operations, functions and financial activities, as required by Section 20.055, Florida Statutes (F.S.), in accordance with the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Government Auditing Standards.
In addition to internal audits, the section acts as a liaison between the Department and external auditors (Auditor General, Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability, Federal Auditors).
Internal Audit Process
An annual audit plan is published based on a department-wide risk assessment. Internal audit topics are selected from the plan and management is notified as an audit is initiated. An entrance conference is held with management and program staff to discuss the audit objectives, scope, and logistics.
During the audit, program staff and Management will be advised of preliminary findings, including health and safety issues, as necessary. A formal exit conference will be held to discuss the details of all findings and recommendations. Any concerns regarding the findings and recommendations should be voiced at this meeting.
As required by Section 20.055(5)(d) F.S., a report of preliminary and tentative findings and recommendations will be sent to program staff who must provide a written response within 20 working days after receipt. The response will be included as part of the final audit report. Final reports can be found on the Inspector Generals web site. Auditors track the status of corrective actions to ensure implementation.
External Audit Process and Responsibilities of Management:
To ensure a member of the Inspector General's Audit (OIA) section is present during external entrance conferences, program management shall notify OIA of any work being conducted at any departmental location by an external auditor (Auditor General, OPPAGA, Federal Auditors).
When external auditors complete an audit, an internal auditor will attend the exit conference along with program staff. External auditors send a draft report to the Secretary's Office. The Secretary's Office may send a copy of the report to the program office and to the Inspector General's Office through the DCF Tracker.
OIA has the responsibility for coordinating a written response from the program offices and sets due dates for return of responses. Due dates must be adhered to in order to facilitate obtaining the Secretary's signature and meet external audit deadlines. In order to meet required time lines, responses must be returned to OIA within the timeframes below.
- 20 calendar days for Federal Audits
- 20 calendar days for Auditor General Audits
- 10 calendar days for OPPAGA reports
Responding to an Audit:
The Department's responses to audits should be clearly written, tactful, non-defensive, and grammatically correct. It is important that all recommendations are addressed. Differences regarding the facts presented in the audit should have been resolved at the exit conference. If there is disagreement with the findings and recommendations, the response should explain the reasons and include supporting documentation. If there is agreement with the findings and recommendations, the response should note concurrence. Also:
- If corrective action has been taken to prevent recurrence of the finding, the response should indicate what action was taken and when it occurred.
- If the problem has not been corrected and there is agreement with the finding, the response should indicate what action will be taken and when it will be completed.
Status of Corrective Actions:
The Department is statutorily required to submit the following:
- Six-month status reports of corrective actions taken on Auditor General and OPPAGA findings and recommendations is due to the Secretary and the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC).
- Eighteen-month status reports of corrective actions taken are due to OPPAGA.