417 FW 2
Administered Audits of Grantees - Planning

Supersedes 417 FW 2, FWM 454, 08/23/04

Date:  April 19, 2010

Series: Audits

Part 417: Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Audits

Originating Office: Office of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration



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2.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter tells employees how to plan Service-administered audits of grantees in the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR).


2.2 To which grant programs does this chapter apply? This chapter applies to the Federal grant programs in 417 FW 1.2.


2.3 What are the authorities for this chapter? The authorities for this and the other chapters in Part 417 are in 417 FW 1.


2.4 Who is responsible for planning Service-administered audits of grantees in the WSFR program? The individuals responsible for Service-administered audits of grantees in the WSFR program and their responsibilities are in 417 FW 1.


2.5 What is audit planning and why do it? Audit planning is a phase of the audit.


A. During the audit planning phase, the auditor, in consultation with the Service and the grantee, identifies:


(1) The scope of the audit (the scope includes the financial and program elements, time period, and locations) (see section 2.7),


(2) The audit schedule and milestones,


(3) The personnel who conduct the audit and points of contact,


(4) Logistics,


(5) Potential concerns, and


(6) How to conduct the audit.


B. Audit planning helps us to have a nationally consistent, effective, and timely audit process.


2.6 What are the key coordination steps in audit planning?


A. Initial Contact. Auditors contact the Regional Director before contacting the grantee to set a preferred start date. Once the Regional Director approves a time frame, the auditor contacts the grantee point-of-contact 60–90 calendar days before the preferred start of the audit fieldwork to set a preliminary start date. See 417 FW 1.6 for information on the qualifications of auditors, how the Service selects them, and the contractual arrangements under which they provide their services.


B. Engagement Letter. This is the official notification of a pending audit from the auditor to the grantee.  The auditor sends an engagement letter to the grantee with a copy to the Regional Director 30–45 calendar days before the audit entrance conference or as negotiated with the grantee. This letter informs the grantee of the:


(1) Audit objectives,


(2) Audit period,


(3) Key program elements we will audit,


(4) Information and documents the grantee must make available, and


(5) The logistics of conducting the fieldwork.


C. Grantee’s Reply to the Auditor’s Engagement Letter. The grantee acknowledges receipt of the auditor’s engagement letter within 10–15 calendar days of receiving it. If the grantee does not acknowledge receipt, the Service contacts the grantee directly to ensure that it received the engagement letter. Grantees provide available information we request in the engagement letter at the entrance conference (see 417 FW 3).


D. Pre-Audit Coordination. The auditor contacts the Regional Director to obtain a list of the grants that were open during the audit period and to discuss any audit-related concerns or recommended focus areas. The Regional Director may solicit grantee input before this discussion with the auditor.


E. Review previous audits. The auditor reviews previous audits of the grantee’s program and contacts previous auditors to:


(1) Find potential issues,


(2) Obtain a general understanding of the grantee’s accounting and internal control systems, and


(3) Avoid duplication of effort.


F. Auditor’s Review of Past Audit Findings. The auditor reviews corrective actions from previous audits using Government Auditing Standards to see if the grantee implemented them or if additional actions are necessary.


2.7 What is the scope of an audit and what can it include? The scope of the audit is the depth and coverage of the work that carries out the audit objectives. The scope of an audit may include one or more of the following elements:


A. A financial compliance element to find out if the grantee:


(1) Conducted financial operations according to applicable statutes and regulations,


(2) Completed financial reports according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,


(3) Submitted financial reports by the due dates, and


(4) Spent grant money that was eligible, allowable, allocable, and approved (if approval is required) to achieve the purposes of the grant.


B. An element to find out if the grantee completed the work or achieved the purposes of the grant.


C. An element to find out if the grantee managed grant resources efficiently and economically. Examples of grant resources are personnel, property, and space.


2.8 Who determines the scope of an audit? The auditor determines the scope of the audit by working with the grantee and the Service and by reviewing other audits of the grantee.                                                                                                              

2.9 May a grantee appeal the scope of an audit? No. An audit is an independent examination of the grantee, and the auditor sets the scope. The grantee may contact the Regional Director if the grantee has a concern about the programs or activities subject to the audit.



For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Office of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration. For more information on this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.



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