Our annual audit follow up process includes an evaluation of the status of recommendations made in audit reports issued. Once we determine that recommendations have been implemented, we conduct no further follow up on these recommendations.
However, it is becoming apparent through a number of sources, generally through the Fraud and Waste Hotline that circumstances which led to the original recommendation have reoccurred. Such situations have resulted in internal control deficiencies which had originally been rectified.
While it is not practical to conduct specific follow up work on all recommendations previously implemented, one of the objectives in developing our audit work plan is to revisit areas that have not been audited for a number of years. This is an effective method of identifying re-emerging control weaknesses. However, for the most part, we have not been able to do this due to audit resource limitations.
To compensate for resource constraints we have attempted to leverage our work to the extent possible. For example, in our November 7, 2011 report entitled “Previous Audit Reports – Common Themes and Issues” one of the issues identified pertained to:
“Audit recommendations which are specific to individual Divisions, Agencies, Boards and Commissions need to be considered on a City-wide basis. Recommendations generally have applicability not only to the entity subject to audit but also to other entities throughout the City.”
Again, in the case of a number of recent audits, it is clear that this recommendation has not received adequate attention.