Letter to the Editor: DCAA Must Balance Quality and Quantity — and Soon

June 17, 2012

In defense of DCAA Regarding the June 11 editorial, "DCAA must balance quality and quantity — and soon," you neglected to consider important points that would give a more accurate picture of the Defense Contract Audit Agency's effectiveness and productivity.

To use the number of audits completed as your basis for evaluation isn't valid for two reasons. First, you imply that our performance standard should be the number of audits DCAA was completing at the time it was criticized by the Government Accountability Office. This just isn't where our agency needs to be. Second, doing more audits does not automatically result in more savings. In reality, the amount of net savings is one of the most tangible benefits of our audit work.

Choosing the right audits and doing them comprehensively is more effective and beneficial than simply completing more audits. For example, in fiscal 2003, we examined $265 billion, questioned $8 billion (3 percent) of costs and issued over 29,000 audit reports. In fiscal 2011, we examined $128 billion, questioned $11.9 billion (9 percent) of costs and issued about 7,000 reports. Although we issued about 75 percent fewer audit reports and examined fewer dollars, we questioned more costs on a percentage basis. 

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