Business Management Functions

Business Profile:

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The business entity profiled is a component of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); specifically, the HHS Office of Inspector General

OIG) Office of Audit Services (OAS). This component is the principal federal agent for conducting audits of all , professional organizations, and non-profit institutions throughout the United States, and Puerto Rico. Generally, the primary function of the office consists of auditing selected individuals and organizations to identify improper use of federal funds and lack of compliance with federal requirements regulating HHS-funded service providers.

As a result of the findings of , the office issues formal reports detailing recommendations ranging from the return of federal funds to extensive reorganization of business practices affecting the health and welfare of HHS program beneficiaries. The Inspector General’s Act of 1978 gives the weight of federal law to the recommendations issued by the OIG, with criminal prosecution and sanctions authorized for failure to comply with its directives (Nowalinski, 2001).


The HHS Inspector General in Washington, DC is the organizational director of all eight , which includes the following separate components:

Office of Investigation (OI), Office of Evaluations and Inspections (OEI), Office of Counsel to the Inspector General (OCIG), and Office of Audit Services (OAS). Each component maintains regional offices throughout the eight federal regions across the country, under the direction of a Regional Inspector General (RIG) for that component (, 2006). The RIG administrates approximately 3-8 audit managers, each of whom supervises a team of approximately 8-15 federal auditors, working in audit groups of 4-8 federal auditors. Generally, each audit group consists of one senior auditor and several junior auditors. The audit manager monitors the progress and results of all audits conducted by each audit groups within his audit team (, 2006).


Every year, the HHS Inspector General in Washington, DC directs audit objectives for the eight regional HHS-OIG-OAS field offices located throughout the country. Generally, the RIGs also contributes to the general audit objectives in Washington by proposing audit issues they have reason to believe require formal OIG review. Potential audit issues that affect many regions may generate a national audit, whereby each regional office conducts the same audit of all related individuals, programs, and entities within its respective regional jurisdiction (, 2006).

In addition to audits assigned by the HHS Inspector General, each RIG also convenes with his audit managers to select additional potential issues for regional audit, after which each audit manager assembles an annual audit plan of all audits scheduled to be conducted by federal auditors on his or her audit team.


While the Inspector General authorizes all matters pertaining to the eight regional offices, the and procedures of the individual regional offices are administrated by the RIG. The RIG supervises the audit managers in his region, sometimes among two or three remote field offices. As a typical example, Federal

Region II comprises New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. The Region II HHS-OIG-

OAS offices include a regional headquarters in New York City, a field office in Albany,

New York, and a field office in San Juan Puerto Rico (, 2006).

The Region II RIG maintains communications with all three OAS offices under his direction, primarily through meetings and correspondence with his audit managers in those offices. The audit managers provide operational leadership to their respective audit teams. Within each audit group forming each audit team, senior auditors supervise and assist junior auditors on an informal basis, both on the audit site and also during the many month-long process of analyzing the audit data and drafting findings into a report for review by the manager, and subsequently, by the RIG.


Technically, the HHS Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General maintain control of all operations of all four HHS-OIG components. On an operational level, a different Regional Inspector General directs each regional component of every regional office and any satellite field offices.

On a , the RIGs delegate operational responsibility to regional managers for the investigations, evaluations, analyses, and audits conducted by the OI,

OEI, OCIG, and OAS components, respectively. Managers assign and supervise specific projects to teams of criminal investigators, evaluators, attorneys and auditors within their regional offices and field offices. Within OIG-OAS, supervisory auditors monitor specific audit issues and report tentative findings and any operational difficulties to the audit manager, while also assisting junior auditors interview personnel at each audit site.

Upon the audit’s conclusion, the senior and supervisory auditors assist junior auditors analyze data and draft their respective portions of the draft report eventually submitted for review by the RIG.


Nowalinski, G. (2001)

Brief History of the HHS Office of Inspector General

USDHHS Office of Inspections and Evaluations: Washington, DC.

U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Public Website, Accessed September 24, 2007, at