Office of Audits

Office of Audits

Norman P. Brown
Assistant Inspector General


The Office of Audits has a leading role in helping the Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) improve management; strengthen integrity and accountability; and ensure the most efficient, effective, and economical use of resources. Our activities are global in scope, supporting the highest priorities of the Department. We also provide oversight for the United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). We remain at the forefront of efforts to identify potential savings and cost efficiencies for the Department and BBG, and we strive to provide timely, relevant, and useful feedback on the progress of their programs and initiatives. Our mandate includes the traditional areas of emphasis for the Department and BBG—including diplomatic and consular affairs, security, international broadcasting, administrative and financial management, and information technology—as well as new initiatives and priorities.

The Assistant Inspector General for Audits is responsible for leading the Office of Audits, which is comprised of the Audit Directorate and the MERO Directorate. The Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audits is responsible for the Audit Directorate and is charged with conducting audits and program evaluations of the management and financial operations of the Department and BBG, including their audited financial statements, information security, internal operations, and external activities funded by the Department through contracts or financial assistance. The Deputy Assistant Inspector General for MERO is responsible for the MERO Directorate and for performing engagements within the Middle East Region, covering the Department’s Bureaus of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) and South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA). The Deputy Assistant Inspector General for MERO is also responsible for general operation of our overseas offices located Kabul, Afghanistan; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Baghdad, Iraq.

The Audit Compliance and Followup (ACF) Division and Audit Operations Division report directly to the Assistant Inspector General for Audits. ACF is responsible for coordinating, tracking, and reporting compliance with the recommendations we offer to further demonstrate the degree to which our oversight efforts have resulted in more effective, efficient, and/or economical operations. Audit Operations is responsible for our quality control operations; performing workforce planning and analysis; developing and managing our budget; recruiting, training, and retaining qualified auditors and analysts.

State Dept Image/Sep 25, 2013
Date: 09/25/2013 Description: OIG Office of Audits org chart - State Dept Image

Office of Audits Organization Chart (text only): September 2013

This chart displays the structural organization of the Office of Audits.

The Office of Audits is led by the Assistant Inspector General for Audits.

The Audit Compliance and Followup Division and the Audit Operations Division report directly to the Assistant Inspector General for Audits.

The Office of Audits comprises two directorates: Audits and Middle East Region Operations (MERO). The directorates are respectively led by the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audits and the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for MERO, who both report directly to the Assistant Inspector General.

The Audit Directorate is composed of five divisions: Contracts and Grants, Financial Management, Human Capital and Infrastructure, Information Technology, and Security and Intelligence. All five divisions report to the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audits.

The MERO Directorate has its headquarters in Washington, DC, and has offices in three additional locations: Kabul, Afghanistan; Baghdad, Iraq; and Islamabad, Pakistan. Offices in all four locations report to the Deputy Assistant Inspector General for MERO.


Audit Directorate

Contracts and Grants Division (CG)

The Contracts and Grants (CG) Division conducts mandated, requested, and self-generated audits and other reviews of the Department of State (Department) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and similar assistance instruments. These audits and reviews assist the Department and BBG with ensuring efficient and effective administration and oversight of contracted activities and other Federal assistance programs, and that recipients are spending Federal funds as intended, performing program activities as stipulated, and achieving desired results.


Financial Management Division (FM)

The Financial Management (FM) Division assists the Department of State (Department) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in achieving effective financial management of their programs and adequate accountability over their resources. FM’s responsibilities include conducting audits of financial issues, activities, and operations, including overseeing the annual financial statement audits. The Department accounts for more than $27 billion in total financing and $79 billion in assets, while BBG accounts for more than $765 million in total financing and $293 million in assets. FM works mainly with the Chief Financial Officers and their staff, but FM work can be performed at any bureau or overseas post.


Human Capital and Infrastructure Division (HCI)

The Human Capital and Infrastructure Division conducts audits and other reviews that assist the Department of State (Department) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to effectively and efficiently utilize human capital and other resources to meet operational and infrastructure needs in support of their respective missions. The Department has more than 29,800 employees domestically and at over 270 overseas posts. The FY 2012 budget for the Department operations totaled $17 billion. The BBG has 4,000 employees, 1,500 stringer reporters, and 50 overseas news bureaus. The FY 2012 budget for BBG international broadcasting operations totaled approximately $744 million.


Information Technology Division (IT)

The Information Technology Division conducts audits, reviews, and evaluations of the Department of State (Department) and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) information technology (IT) management and IT security programs and initiatives. The division examines the Department’s and BBG’s efforts to protect their global IT infrastructures and reviews the effectiveness of IT security management programs at bureaus and overseas posts. The division also reviews issues related to the cost-effective acquisition, development, implementation, and management of major IT systems; telecommunications networks; and other technologies across the Department and BBG.

The division assists the Department and BBG in identifying and mitigating IT risk exposure; enhancing the efficiency of critical in-house governance, internal audit, and regulatory compliance functions; and promoting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems by requiring appropriate corrective actions to address deficient internal controls.


Security and Intelligence Division (SI)

Protecting people, facilities, and information is the one of the Department of State’s (Department) highest priorities and greatest challenges, and billions of dollars are spent each year to fund these activities. The Security and Intelligence (SI) Division conducts audits, reviews, and evaluations of Department programs, policies, procedures, and organizational elements designed to protect people, facilities, and information. SI examines the management and administration of security and intelligence programs at headquarters, overseas posts, and Broadcasting Board of Governors facilities. SI seeks to find ways to help security professionals become more efficient and effective in their work at a time when staffing shortages, increased security requirements, and the demands of high-threat posts have increased the workload of Department security personnel.

Middle East Region Operations Directorate (MERO)

The Middle East Region Operations (MERO) Directorate plans, coordinates, and oversees high-cost, high-risk Department of State (Department) programs in crisis and post-conflict areas in the Middle East, North Africa, as well as South and Central Asia. MERO conducts audits and evaluations of Department programs, contracts, grants, contractor performance, and procurement related activities. Specifically, MERO audits and evaluates embassy operations and personnel security, as well as the effectiveness of the Department’s foreign assistance programs related to refugees, anti-corruption, police training, and rule of law, among others.

Support Divisions

Audit Compliance Followup (ACF) Division

Audit followup is an integral part of good management and is a share of responsibility of agency management officials and OIG. Corrective action taken by management to resolve findings and recommendations is essential to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of agency operations. The Audit Compliance Followup (ACF) Division tracks the status of recommendations from audit reports for the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, verifies that corrective actions have been taken to implement agreed-upon findings and recommendation in reports, assist in obtaining agreement (resolution) for audit recommendations not previously agreed to by the management, and coordinates followup reviews and evaluations as needed. ACF is also responsible for periodic reporting of corrective actions. These reports are included in the Office of Inspector General’s Semiannual Report, testimonies to Congress, and other communications.


Audit Operations Division (AO)

The Audit Operations (AO) Division’s responsibilities include conducting quality control reviews of audits, performing workforce planning and analysis for the Office of Audits, developing and managing budget information in coordination with the Office of Inspector General’s budget office, recruiting and hiring qualified auditors and analysts, and managing the continuing professional education requirements for auditors and analysts. AO also provides statistical sampling and technical methodology support, editing services for all published and official documents, and a full range of administrative support to both Office of Audits directorates. AO serves as the primary liaison with other OIG offices and outside entities.

Audit Process

Audits and program evaluations determine the degree to which an organization, program, or function is effectively managed, as well as the extent to which program results are achieved. The definition for effectiveness is derived from the agency objectives, operating within the relevant laws and directives pertaining to the organization or program. The overall objective of an audit is to identify challenges impeding progress and offer solutions that address the root cause of those challenges, as well as to identify and report best management practices that can be replicated to promote operational efficiency and the effective management of all Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors programs. The audit process includes:

  • Audit notification. The Office of Audits notifies the agency in writing that an audit is scheduled to start.
  • Entrance conference. After written notification, a meeting is held to inform the agency of the purpose, objectives, and scope of the audit and the methodology to be followed.
  • Audit fieldwork. A detailed evaluation of the program, activity, or function is conducted in accordance with Government Accountability Office standards.
  • Exit conference. At the conclusion of an audit, a formal conference is held with the principal post and bureau officials to present the audit results. This provides an opportunity for the audit team and the auditee to discuss the audit findings and the recommendations offered to address the root cause of the challenges identified.

During the audit, the auditee is kept apprised of audit activities. The Inspector General is given a detailed briefing before the audit begins and at the conclusion of audit fieldwork. Following the exit conference, the audit team prepares a draft report, which is vetted for comment and clearance within OIG. The auditee then typically has up to 15 calendar days to provide comments on the draft report and to specify whether it agrees with the report’s recommendations and with the amount of any potential monetary benefits or recoveries. Those comments are incorporated into the final report. The auditee has 30 days from issuance of the final report to provide information on actions planned and taken to implement the recommendations.