The work of the Audit Division provides the foundation for fiscal and programmatic accountability for all aspects of CDHS, the 64 county departments of human/social services, and a wide range of other government, not-for-profit, and for-profit entities that receive funds through CDHS, as the pass through agency for Federal funds.
The Audit Division is working to ensure program integrity, reduce service barriers for our clients, improve internal controls, and share data systematically, as part of President Obama’s Executive Order on Reducing Improper Payments and Eliminating Waste in Federal Programs. The intent is to “make every effort to confirm that the right recipient is receiving the right payment for the right reason at the right time.” The Audit Division performs frequent data-mining on our largest benefit payment (and other information systems in the future) and provides outlier reports to county directors for further review:
The Audit Division performs the Department’s mandatory subrecipient monitoring of agencies that receive funds through CDHS and follows up on county and non-county independent audit reports for subrecipients that expend $500,000 or more in Federal funds annually. CDHS, as the pass through agency for Federal funds, is required to assume the mandatory responsibility for administering Federal funds in a manner consistent with the underlying agreements, program objectives, and the terms and conditions of Federal awards. The Audit Division sends notification letters to all agencies that receive funds (Federal and State) from CDHS, informing them about the funds they received and the requirements about how they can expend those funds, in order to comply with our OMB Circular A-133 subrecipient monitoring responsibilities. In addition, the Audit Division monitors county and non-county independent audit reports for findings and recovers questioned costs identified in those reports.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has significant implications for audits performed under OMB Circular A-133. It is important that all funds are transparent to the public, and the public benefits of these funds are reported clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner. In order to meet the criteria for a low-risk auditee (OMB Circular A-133 §___.530) in the current year, the prior two years audits must have met the requirements of OMB Circular A-133, including report submission to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse by the due date (OMB Circular A-133 §___.320). To qualify as a low-risk auditee, an entity must file its Single Audit within nine months after the end of the audit period (e.g., for county departments of human/social services that date is September 30). If an entity meets the criteria of a low-risk auditee, the independent auditor is required to test at least 25 percent of the total Federal awards expended. If an entity does not meet that criterion, the independent auditor is required to test at least 50 percent of the total Federal awards expended.
The Audit Division partners with the county departments of human/social services, county independent audit firms, and various internal and external stakeholders to provide technical assistance and training. Over the years, the Audit Division has developed institutional knowledge of county department policies and procedures and CDHS programs and information systems, as well as working relationships with county and program staff. In addition, auditors handle a substantial number of phone calls and emails that seek assistance on financial-related matters. The questions range from assisting entities in performing their duties according to Federal and State rules and regulations, to assisting in the overall effectiveness of the spending of taxpayer dollars. Historically, auditors have been part of various committees and workgroups, such as to design internal controls and financial parameters into the new information systems. Audit Division staff also have spent considerable time and resources to help train quality assurance staff in the various programs, so they can perform their job duties effectively, such as how to audit, how to sample, and how to interpret independent audit reports. All this proactive technical assistance lessens the risk that programs and county departments of human/social services will incur expenditures that are inappropriate or that waste taxpayer dollars.