Are There “Minimal” Value Single Audits?
President Obama’s most recent Executive Order aimed at reducing improper payments by federal agencies includes an interesting item. Not only does it direct OMB to examine the effectiveness of single audits in detecting and preventing improper payments, but it also asks for recommendations on how to “streamline or eliminate single audit requirements where their value is minimal.”
Most of the Executive Order is aimed at identifying which federal programs are most vulnerable to improper payments, setting targets and action plans for reducing those erroneous assistance awards, and establishing individual accountability responsibilities for federal agencies.
But in Section 4 of the order, Obama tells OMB to work with state and local governments to reduce improper payments. The agency is to establish two working groups that include representatives from state, local, and federal government entities. One will make recommendations for administrative actions designed to improve the incentives and accountability of state and local governments for reducing improper payments. The other group will focus on single audits.
Both working groups are to be established within one month and must submit their recommendations within six months.