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Letter to Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings on OIG's Open Audit Recommendations

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Requested by Chairman Darrell Issa and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings
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On December 21, 2012, we issued a letter to Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member, regarding the status of open OIG recommendations. Specifically, the Committee requested that we provide our 10 highest priority open recommendations—5 short-term and 5 long-term—to improve agency efficiency and reduce waste. The Committee also asked that we describe whether and what ways agency management solicits our input about how to improve efficiency and reduce waste.

As of December 10, 2012, we identified a total of 637 open recommendations, which were included in 217 audit reports issued between September 2004 and November 2012. We considered several criteria in identifying the open recommendations as the highest priorities, including their impact on safety, economy, or efficiency; documented vulnerabilities; dollar implications; and the ability of the Department to effect change in these programs or areas.

We also reported that the Department involves our office in various ways to aid its efforts to improve efficiency and reduce waste. These include requesting reviews of specific issues; soliciting our ideas on how to improve its practices during the course of audits; and inviting our staff to speak at conferences and panels, provide modal briefings, or attend workshops. In addition, our senior audit executives meet at least annually with senior management from each Operating Administration to discuss top audit priorities for combating waste, fraud, and abuse as well as ways to improve program efficiency.