The Life of an Audit

Planning Phase

Audits begin with a planning phase. OIG audit staff spend a lot of time learning about the subject of the audit. Once OIG learns how things work in theory and practice, there is a better idea of where to take a closer look.

Typical tasks an audit team might work on in the planning phase include background research, data analysis, and interviews. Talking to people about how they do their jobs helps OIG understand what is, and isn't, working.

Fieldwork Phase

During fieldwork, OIG staff focus on priority areas that were identified in planning. For example, OIG might test whether a crucial procedure is being followed.

Typical tasks an audit team might work on in fieldwork include more intensive data analysis, direct observation, and documentation review.

Reporting Phase

During reporting, OIG writes up what was learned and shares the results with management and the public. If OIG finds an area that needs to be improved, OIG will summarize the issue in a finding. OIG will also at that time make recommendations for improvement. Later, OIG will follow up on the recommendations to see if they were implemented.

Departmental Response & Follow-up

When OIG issues an audit report, the department is required to respond to the recommendations. OIG standards require follow up on all accepted recommendations to confirm whether they were implemented. OIG will publicly release the results of these follow-up activities. If recommendations are not implemented, the department is accountable to City decision-makers and the public.