U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Met the Requirements of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, With Areas That Require Improvement
Why OIG Did This Audit
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) requires each agency's Inspector General to perform a biannual performance audit of the agency's compliance with the DATA Act reporting requirements, as stipulated in guidance from the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury).
How OIG Did This Audit
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) engaged EY to conduct an independent performance audit to determine whether the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was in compliance with reporting requirements of the DATA Act for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021. The performance audit assessed the completeness, quality, accuracy, and timeliness of the data transmitted through the HHS submission. We reviewed a statistically valid sample of 269 items from the first quarter of fiscal year 2021's financial and award data submitted by HHS for publication on USASpending.gov.
What OIG Found
Our performance audit determined that HHS implemented and used Government-wide financial data standards and complied with the reporting requirements of the DATA Act as stipulated by OMB and Treasury. HHS's overall data quality earned a rating of excellent based on the areas we tested, indicating that HHS's data was generally reliable. While HHS met the reporting requirements, our performance audit determined that:
- Although progress was noted from the FY 2020 DATA Act audit and compensating controls were identified, we continue to recommend that management address certain control deficiencies identified within HHS information technology systems that house the source data utilized as part of the reporting of the DATA Act.
- EY identified the following: (1) 21 accuracy exceptions for data element 26, the period of performance start date; (2) 10 accuracy exceptions for data element 27, the period of performance end date; and (3) 5 accuracy exceptions for data element 28, the period of performance potential end date. In the 36 period of performance exceptions, the information in Files D1/D2 did not agree with the supporting documentation provided.
What OIG Recommends
We recommend that HHS focus on refreshing the operating divisions' understanding of Departmental guidance and identifying those areas for which operating division training would be developed to prevent and detect future accuracy issues related to the performance dates.
Filed under: General Departmental