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Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resolved Nearly All Audit Recommendations, It Did Not Always Do So in Accordance With Federal Timeframe Requirements

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), did not always resolve audit recommendations in a timely manner during Federal fiscal years (FYs) 2015 and 2016. Specifically, CDC resolved 855 of the 888 audit recommendations that were outstanding during FYs 2015 and 2016. However, it did not resolve 827 of the 855 recommendations (96.7 percent) within the required 6-month resolution period. In addition, as of September 30, 2016, CDC had not resolved 33 audit recommendations that were past due for resolution. Some of the past-due recommendations had associated dollar amounts that totaled $140,946; others of the past-due recommendations were procedural in nature and involved policies and procedures and internal controls.

CDC had policies and procedures in place to ensure that audit recommendations were resolved in compliance with Federal requirements, which require resolution of audit recommendations within 6 months of the audit report's issue date. However, CDC did not generally follow these policies and procedures. As a result, CDC did not usually issue management decisions and submit the related clearance documents within the required 6-month resolution period.

Without resolving all audit recommendations in a timely manner, CDC runs the risk of noncompliance with Federal requirements and mismanagement of Federal funds. The prompt resolution of audit recommendations helps ensure that Federal funds are effectively and efficiently used to carry out the activities for which they were authorized.

We recommended that CDC follow its policies and procedures related to the audit resolution process and promptly resolve the 27 outstanding audit recommendations (33 that were past due as of September 30, 2016, less 6 resolved after the end of our audit period).

CDC did not directly concur with our recommendations but described corrective actions that it had taken or planned to take. CDC stated that it has improved its process and standard operating procedures to submit clearance documents within the 6-month resolution period and added that it had resolved the 27 outstanding audit recommendations.

Filed under: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention