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HHS-OIG Oversight Activities

Single Audits assist HHS-OIG in fulfilling its oversight responsibility to provide assurance that non-Federal entities receiving Federal funds for HHS programs are properly administering and using the funds for their intended purposes and in compliance with Federal requirements. HHS‑OIG uses Single Audit data to make informed management decisions about where to focus its efforts to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in non-Federal entities’ use of HHS program funds.

Desk Reviews and Quality Control Reviews

HHS-OIG assesses the quality and reliability of Single Audits through desk reviews and quality control reviews (QCRs). A desk review is an analysis and evaluation of the data in a Single Audit reporting package that has been submitted to and accepted at the Federal Audit Clearinghouse to ensure compliance with professional auditing standards and Federal reporting requirements. A QCR is a single engagement review that expands the scope of a desk review by performing a more in-depth analysis and evaluation of the underlying audit documentation supporting the planning, fieldwork, and results reported in the Single Audit. HHS-OIG conducts desk reviews and QCRs on Single Audits for which HHS is the designated Federal cognizant or oversight agency.

HHS-OIG desk review and QCR oversight activities enable users, including Federal program officials, to confidently rely on the Single Audit data as a monitoring tool to increase the integrity of HHS programs and to hold non-Federal entities accountable for meeting program objectives involving their use of Federal funds.

An example of how HHS-OIG oversight activities impacted program integrity and accountability of Federal funds within Federal programs in fiscal year 2023 is illustrated below.

In 2023, HHS-OIG reviewed 545 Single Audit reports for which HHS was the Federal cognizant or oversight agency. $4.2T total audited costs were covered by these audit reports. 1.3T Federal dollars. $606B HHS program funds.

2023 Results

HHS-OIG desk review and QCR results visually illustrate a clear and concise summary of the frequency of deficiencies uncovered across the Single Audit landscape in fiscal year 2023. HHS-OIG reviews evaluated Single Audit quality across three key phases in the audit process: planning, performance, and reporting.

Quality deficiencies identified in the report and underlying audit documentation affect the reliability and value of the Single Audit, which in turn influence Federal program officials’ ability to rely on the Audit to make informed management decisions.

HHS-OIG has developed lists of common Single Audit quality deficiencies that it finds in desk reviews and QCRs. These are fatal flaw deficiencies that require corrective actions, either in the current audit or reporting package under review, or in future audits.

Both the Desk Review Common Quality Deficiencies list and the Quality Control Review Common Quality Deficiencies list have the following goals:

  1. provide a learning tool to stakeholders in the Single Audit community,
  2. improve Single Audit quality, and
  3. promote continuous improvement in the management of HHS programs.