The Office of Audit (OA) conducts independent and objective audits, inspections, evaluations and related projects, under the authority of the IG Act of 1978. These projects promote economy, effectiveness, and efficiency in FCC programs and operations; and deter fraud, waste, abuse and violations of laws and regulations. OA mandatory and discretionary projects are conducted in accordance with relevant professional standards, including the GAO Yellow Book and the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) Quality Standards for Inspections and Evaluations. OA develops fact-based findings, recommends improvements and corrective actions to improve agency programs and operations, and reports project results to FCC leadership and external stakeholders. OA auditors also respond to special requests from FCC senior leadership and members of Congress or other stakeholders. OA consults with Office of Investigations for possible further review and action when improper or illegal acts are suspected.

OA performs audit planning to prioritize discretionary projects in order of highest risk or potential for improving the economy and efficiency of FCC’s mission and operations. Our risk-based approach is a continuous process of assessing the likelihood and impact of risks on FCC and component programs and operations. OA leadership periodically meets with agency management to discuss ongoing and proposed OIG projects and management initiatives, and to inquire about high risk areas, priorities, and challenges, and considers this information when developing potential audit and other project leads.

OA utilizes a highly effective quality control and assurance system, comprised of six general elements –
1.) leadership,
2.) independence, legal, and ethical requirements,
3.) initiation, acceptance, and continuation of audit engagements,
4.) human resources,
5.) audit performance, documentation, and reporting, and
6.) monitoring of quality.

The review elements of our quality control and assurance system include independent report review and internal quality controls reviews.

Information about Key Audit Areas

OA is organized into three divisions - the Operations, Financial, and Information Technology Division (OFID), the Universal Service Fund Division (USFD), and the Policy and Quality Assurance Division (PQAD). OFID and USFD utilize a combination of in-house and contracted staff to perform audits and other projects. See Published Audit Reports.

Operations, Financial, and Information Technology Division (OFID)

OFID’s first responsibility is to ensure that OA satisfies all statutorily mandated audit and evaluation requirements, including overseeing annual reviews of FCC’s financial statements, improper payment reporting, and Information Security. Secondly, OFID uses a risk-based approach to conduct discretionary financial-related, information technology, and operational performance audits, inspections, and evaluations that focus on determining whether the FCC operations are effectively and efficiently achieving their intended results.

Universal Service Fund Division (USFD)

USFD conducts audits and inspections of Universal Service Fund (USF) program operations and program beneficiaries. USFD is organized into three operating Directorates: Contributors and Lifeline; High Cost; and E-rate and Rural Healthcare. USFD performs random and targeted audits based on requests, referrals, and our internal assessments of program risks. USFD identifies impactful and cost-effective audits and coordinates with USAC’s Internal Audit Division when planning audits and other projects to avoid duplication of work.

Policy and Quality Assurance Division (PQAD)

PQAD develops and maintains OA policies and procedures and performs oversight and assessments of OA audit work to provide reasonable assurance that our quality control system is suitably designed and operating effectively. PQAD focuses on policy and quality assurance processes that ensure compliance with professional standards and timely performance of projects.

In conjunction with OFID and USFD, PQAD:
1.) develops OA’s annual audit plan;
2.) maintains OA directives and compliance checklists;
3.) leads OA peer reviews of CIGIE member IGs and internal reviews;
4.) monitors peer reviews of OA operations conducted by CIGIE member IGs; and
5.) leads OA efforts for semiannual reports to Congress and reports on the status of monetary benefits and open recommendations.