A. Usually about 10 days before the start of each audit of a program, the Service is notified and arrangements are made for an entrance conference. For audits of contracts and grants, the notice is given to the contractor or grantee and the administering office of the Service. If the grantee/contractor is a State or local government agency, the State auditor is also notified so as to facilitate coordination of Federal/State audit activities. Where audit cognizance is assigned to other Federal audit agencies, their procedures will be followed in this notification process and throughout the audit.
B. At the entrance conference, representatives of the Office of Inspector General examine the scope and objectives of the audit and make facilitating arrangements. The views of grantee, contractor, and Service officials are sought, including suggestions for modifying the proposed scope of the audit to appropriately include matters of special concern to management.
3.2 Coordination and Cooperation During the Audit.
A. The Service will cooperate with the auditors to facilitate the accomplishment of audits. All data required by the auditors will be made available promptly upon request. Access must be made available to records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, recommendations, or other material available to the Service which relate to the program/operation being audited.
B. Any grantee, contractor, or other appropriate official will be advised periodically during the course of the audit of the results to date, including tentative audit findings and recommendations being developed, except in certain circumstances, such as pre-award or claim audits or when disclosure of information would adversely affect the negotiating position of the contracting officer. Exceptions to this may be found in 360 DM 6.2.
C. Upon completion of the audit, an exit or close-out conference may be held with appropriate officials to provide a further opportunity to discuss the tentative findings and recommendations. Tentative findings and recommendations should not be discussed with contractors or grantees for contract or claim audits or when the information discussed would adversely affect the negotiating position of the contracting officer. This conference helps to ensure that:
(1) The information in the audit report is accurate and complete.
(2) Officials' views on tentative findings and recommendations are reflected as appropriate in the audit report.
3.3 Formal Comments to Audit Reports.
A. Internal audit reports and external audit reports covering lessee royalty payments generally include written comments obtained when:
(1) Full agreement on the audit points has been reached. Inclusion of the comments will convey information to recipients of the report.
(2) Disagreement exists on substantive audit points and it is desirable to include all views.
(3) The comments present additional information that serves to improve the usefulness of the report.
B. When formal written comments are requested on a draft report, they are usually to be furnished within 30 days of the date of the request. Copies of all draft reports relating to Service programs will be provided to the Assistant Secretary - Policy, Management and Budget or to the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
C. Formal written comments are usually required on final published audit reports issued, including those reports prepared by other Federal audit agencies, State and local governments auditors, and independent public accountants. The requirements for a response may be waived by the Office of Inspector General if problem solution has occurred before publication of the final report or if there are no major unresolved issues. In such instances, the audit report transmittal letter will state that a response is not required.
D. Responses to final audit reports are normally due within 60 days after the report for internal audit reports on Service programs, activities, and functions and within 90 days for external audit reports on grants and contracts. A shorter response time frame may be required in special cases. The report transmittal letters will state such instances.
E. For all final audit reports (sent through the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks) except those requiring a record of negotiation or settlement agreement, the responses should state for each finding and recommendation:
(1) Whether there is agreement with the findings and recommendations. If there is nonconcurrence, the specific reasons must be stated.
(2) The actions taken or planned to remedy the problem. If the response provides for some future actions, the expected completion date and the responsible official must be listed. If available, copies of new or revised policies, operating procedures, and other appropriate documents issued in response to the audit report recommendations should be attached to the response.
(3) The amount of disallowed, questioned, or unsupported costs which have been resolved or are still under review by the Service.
(4) Specific guidance relating to contract pre-award audits, contract termination settlements, and claim audits may be found in 360 DM 5.3.
3.4 Distribution of Audit Reports. Service audit reports are usually addressed to the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks with a copy to the Service Director. Information copies of the audit may be sent to other interested Interior bureaus. In addition to these distributions:
A. Copies of audit reports are provided to the General Accounting Office and various Congressional committees routinely, and to others outside the Federal Government, in whole or in part, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
B. Audit reports of contracts and grants are distributed in accordance
with 360 DM 6.1.