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What We Audit

The Office of Inspector General is required by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, to conduct audits, evaluations and reviews of agency programs and activities. In general, these activities involve an examination and analysis of FTC bureaus or offices, programs or operations. The auditor may analyze, and verify agency records and obtain information by interviews, questionnaires, and physical inspections. Audits are selected based on a number of factors, including (i) statutory requirements, (ii) materiality of the activity, (iii) agency staff comments regarding perceived vulnerabilities or inefficiencies, and (iv) complaints from individuals outside the agency, including Congress, the media and the public.

The audit process involves the following steps:

    • Written notification followed by an entrance meeting with pertinent FTC managers before the audit begins;
    • Audit fieldwork;
    • An exit meeting with management to discuss the audit results;
    • A draft audit report to FTC management for comment;
    • A final audit report presenting the results of the audit along with applicable findings and recommendations;
    • A management decision after an evaluation of the audit findings and recommendations; and
    • The final action taken to resolve the audit findings and recommendations.

The OIG performs its audits and evaluations in accordance with applicable standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.

Final audit reports are generally provided to the Commission, management officials responsible for implementing the audit recommendations and to the agency's executive director. Audit reports are public documents and are available on the OIG's website and upon request.

The OIG also prepares an annual report of the top management challenges facing the agency. This report is included in the agency's annual Performance and Accountability Report to Congress.

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