The Office of Inspector General's mission is to provide citizens living within the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management District, including its Governing Board, elected representatives and District management with an independent view of operations through objective and professional audits, investigations, reviews,and evaluations of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of taxpayer-financed programs.
Contact us to report significant instances of waste, misconduct, or mismanagement including the following:
- Illegal or fraudulent conduct that endangers the public's health, safety, or welfare
- Gross mismanagement
- Gross waste of public funds
- Gross neglect of duty
Inspector General's Reports
The legal basis for the Inspector General's authority to conduct these audits is contained in Chapter 20.055, F.S. Agency inspector general. Chapter 373.079, F.S. authorizes the Governing Board to appoint an Inspector General whose scope of work is unrestricted. Our office is independent of District management and cannot be prevented "from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation." As such, we also have the authority to audit the records of private firms and nonprofit organizations which are awarded contracts by the District or receive District funds through cooperative agreements. We are also responsible for advising on performance measures, standards and procedures for evaluating our programs, and assessing the reliability and validity of information we provide which measures our programs, and make recommendations for improvement, if necessary. We also help ensure that there is effective coordination and cooperation with federal and state auditors with a view towards facilitating their work and avoiding duplication.
We prepare an annual audit plan each fiscal year based upon a periodic risk assessment. The annual plan is reviewed and approved by the Governing Board's Audit Committee. From time to time, the Executive Director and his Department heads may request that we perform an audit, investigation, or review. We evaluate the merits of these requests before they are initiated. The annual plan may subsequently be amended to reflect these projects after review by the Audit Committee.
A typical audit has several interrelated stages or activities. These include an Opening Conference, Preliminary Audit Survey, Fieldwork Phase, Preliminary Audit Survey and Closing Conference.
An opening conference is scheduled with District officials. A major objective of the opening conference is establishing a climate in which management and staff are aware of the audit process and are provided an opportunity for input. The following matters should be covered:
- Scope of audit including program areas being reviewed and period of time covered or specific areas District officials may want examined
- Procedures for obtaining information and transmitting preliminary audit findings
- Establishing appropriate communication channels
- Any known improprieties that have occurred since the last audit
- Standard reporting procedures for preliminary, draft and final reports, including the need for responses from management
- Arrangements for office space, equipment, etc.
We conduct a survey of organizational and program information before the major audit effort begins. The objective is to develop a more complete understanding of the areas which will be audited. Laws, regulations, policies, and other background material is gathered. The organizational structure relating to the activity is examined and some preliminary testing of transactions may occur to assess the strength of internal controls.
This phase consists of the focused audit effort and usually comprises the single largest amount of time. It consists of gathering documentary evidence and performing analysis and substantive tests of the records relating to the areas audited. We compare criteria gathered in the survey stage to conditions actually found and determine cause and effect.
After completing the fieldwork phase for each audit segment, we will discuss the findings and conclusions with involved District management and develop recommendations. Responses to these preliminary findings should be provided and all factual differences resolved before the audit team leaves the site. This facilitates the preparation of an accurate draft report but more importantly alerts District Staff, on a timely basis, of our findings. We will recognize early implementation of audit recommendations when it occurs and acknowledge the corrective action taken in the final audit report.
At the completion of fieldwork, the audit team will meet with District management to discuss audit results. Since most of the preliminary findings were transmitted and discussed during the audit fieldwork, the closing conference will primarily be a broad summary of audit results and, possibly, include any additional comments from District officials.
Draft and Final Audit Report
The report is the audit's end product and is the basic means by which we inform interested parties of the results of our efforts.
Draft audit reports are distributed only to District officials, including Governing Board members, for review and comment. Final audit reports are presented to the Governing Board's Audit Committee and subsequently become public documents available to anyone requesting them.
Responsibilities of the District's Management and Staff
- Have a responsibility to apply resources efficiently, effectively, and economically so that taxpayers receive value for their money
- Are accountable to the public and to other levels and branches of government
- Are responsible for establishing and maintaining effective internal control systems to ensure:
- Goals and objectives are met
- District assets and resources are safeguarded
- Laws and regulations are followed
- Reliable data are obtained, maintained, and accurately reported
We understand the audit process can put a strain on the auditee. Our auditors are always seeking ways to reduce disruption to operations and to minimize the additional burden on staff. We seek and welcome your cooperation during our review, as well as your constructive suggestions for improving the audit process.