Office of Audits


The Office of Audits (AUD) supports the Department of State (Department) and the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) in their efforts to improve management; strengthen integrity and accountability; and ensure the most efficient, effective, and economical use of resources. AUD also provides oversight of the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico,Office of Audits video U.S. Section (USIBWC). 

Many of the projects that AUD performs each year focus on major management challenges within the Department and USAGM. Because of limited resources, AUD generally focuses on high-cost programs, key management challenges, and vital operations. Such projects will provide Department and USAGM managers with information to help them make sound operational decisions and productive changes. AUD also devotes significant resources to fulfilling mandatory requirements, such as annual financial statement and information security audits, or to responding to congressional and agency requests. Finally, AUD conducts audits and other projects in response to consequential worldwide events. Areas of focus might include physical security at domestic and overseas locations; financial management; IT security; contracts, acquisition, and grants management; human capital and administrative issues; and high-risk programs and operations in crisis and post conflict areas. 


An audit provides an independent, objective assessment of the stewardship, performance, or cost of government programs or operations. Audits assist legislators, oversight bodies, management, and the public by determining whether (1) officials are managing government resources and using their authority properly and in compliance with laws and regulations; (2) government programs are achieving their objectives and desired outcomes; and (3) government entities are providing services effectively, efficiently, economically, ethically, and equitably.

OIG audits are objective, fact based, and performed in accordance with the U.S. Government Accountability Office's Government Auditing Standards. Audits include an evaluation of sufficient, appropriate evidence and criteria (e.g., laws, regulations, contracts, or other benchmarks). The audit team develops findings and recommendations based on the results of the audit work performed.

The audit process includes:

  • Audit notification. The audit team notifies external stakeholders, in writing, that an audit is scheduled to start.
  • Entrance conference. The audit team holds a meeting to inform external stakeholders of the purpose, objectives, and scope of the audit and the methodology to be followed.
  • Audit fieldwork. The audit team gathers evidence necessary to satisfy the project objective(s). The evidence must be sufficient and accurate to ensure that the team develops findings and recommendations that have a positive impact. Fieldwork must follow internal and external audit standards. 
  • Exit conference. At the conclusion of a project, the audit team holds a meeting with key external stakeholders to discuss the results of fieldwork, tentative findings, and anticipated recommendations. The audit team will solicit feedback from external stakeholders on the tentative findings and recommendations and use the feedback to modify the findings, as appropriate.
  • Report preparation. The audit team prepares a draft report, which is vetted and cleared within OIG. Key external stakeholders typically have 14 calendar days after the draft report is issued to provide written comments and to specify whether they agree with the report’s recommendations and with the amount of any potential monetary savings. The audit team incorporates those comments into the final report. Key external stakeholders have 30 days from issuance of the final report to provide information on actions planned and taken to implement the recommendations.


The Assistant Inspector General for Audits leads the Office of Audits, which is comprised of the Audit Directorate and the Middle East Region Operations Directorate (MERO). The Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audits is responsible for the Audit Directorate and is charged with auditing the management and financial operations of the Department, USAGM, and USIBWC, including their financial statements, information security, internal operations, and external activities funded through contracts or federal financial assistance. The Deputy Assistant Inspector General for MERO is responsible for the MERO Directorate and performs engagements located in crisis and post-conflict areas worldwide. The Deputy Assistant Inspector General for MERO is also responsible for general operation of overseas offices located in Baghdad, Iraq, and Frankfurt, Germany. 

Audit Directorate

The divisions within the Audit Directorate are discussed below.  

Contracts, Grants, and Infrastructure Division 

The Contracts, Grants, and Infrastructure Division (CGI) audits contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and similar assistance instruments. These projects assist external stakeholders to ensure that they efficiently and effectively administer and oversee contracted activities and other federal assistance programs. The projects also assist external stakeholders to ensure that recipients of federal funds are spending the funds as intended, performing program activities as stipulated, and achieving desired results. In addition, CGI conducts audits related to operations and infrastructure. 

Financial Management Division 
The Financial Management Division (FM) audits external stakeholders’ efforts to achieve effective financial management of their programs and adequate accountability for their resources. FM’s responsibilities include auditing financial issues, activities, and operations, including overseeing annual financial statement audits and performing mandated audits of improper payments.

Information Technology Division 

The Information Technology Division audits external stakeholders’ IT management and IT security programs and initiatives. The division examines efforts to protect external stakeholders’ global IT infrastructures and reviews the effectiveness of IT security management programs. The division also provides information that external stakeholders could use to identify and mitigate IT risk exposure; enhance the efficiency of critical in-house governance and regulatory compliance functions; and promote the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems.

Security and Intelligence Division 

The Security and Intelligence Division (SI) audits external stakeholders’ efforts to protect people, facilities, and information. SI examines the management and administration of security and intelligence programs domestically and at overseas posts. SI provides information that security professionals could use to work more efficiently and effectively at a time when staffing shortages, increased security requirements, and the demands of high-threat posts have increased the workload of security personnel.

Middle East Region Operations Directorate 

MERO plans, conducts, and coordinates audits and evaluations of high-cost, high-risk Department programs located in crisis and post-conflict areas worldwide. MERO audits and evaluates topics such as embassy operations and personnel security, as well as the effectiveness of the Department’s foreign assistance programs related to refugees, anti-corruption, police training, rule of law, and other topic areas. In addition to having staff at OIG’s headquarters, MERO has two overseas offices in Frankfurt, Germany; and Baghdad, Iraq.

Audit Operations, Quality, and Compliance Division

The Audit Operations, Quality, and Compliance Division (AOQC) conducts quality control reviews of audits, performs workforce planning and analysis for AUD, performs contracting officer’s representative duties, develops and manages budget information in coordination with OIG’s budget office, recruits and hires qualified employees, and manages the continuing professional education requirements for AUD employees. AOQC also provides editing services for all published and official AUD documents, and provides a full range of administrative support.

In addition, AOQC performs compliance follow up on AUD recommendations. Compliance follow up is an integral part of good management and is a shared responsibility between agency officials and OIG. Corrective action taken by management to resolve audit findings and recommendations is essential to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of agency operations. AOQC tracks the status of recommendations, verifies that corrective actions have been taken to implement recommendations, helps to obtain agreement (resolution) for audit recommendations not previously accepted by management, and coordinates follow-up reviews and evaluations as needed. AOQC is also responsible for periodic reporting of corrective actions. In addition, AOQC provides statistical sampling and technical methodology support for AUD teams and reviews draft reports for statistical and methodological soundness, clarity, and recommendation consistency.

Peer Reviews

2022 - U.S. Department of State Office of Inspector General External Peer Review 2022