Oregon Audits Division Continues to Receive National Acclaim

SALEM, OR — The work performed by the Oregon Audits Division continues to receive support and attention from national auditing organizations, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office as well as the Institute of Internal Auditors.

For the second time this year, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, cited the work of the Oregon Audits Division in testimony before a Congressional committee.

Dodaro testified August 21 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, again urging Congress to fund state auditors to perform Medicaid audit work as a way to strengthen oversight of the program.

“I think state auditors are a tremendously untapped resource,” Dodaro said. “With Medicaid expenses expected to continue to rise rather dramatically, we can’t afford to have the state auditors on the sidelines here. They need to get in the game, they need to have a substantive and ongoing role, and I think it will pay huge dividends.”

Dodaro again cited the work of the Oregon Audits Division in its audit of Medicaid program integrity and efforts to identify improper payments.

The Oregon Secretary of State, likewise, is asking the Oregon Legislature to fund a full-time team of auditors to focus specifically on Medicaid.

“I agree with Comptroller General Dodaro that state auditors are ideally positioned to audit Medicaid’s significant risks,” said Kip Memmott, director of the Oregon Audits Division. “That’s why we have requested funding from the Legislature to staff a team of auditors specifically to examine Medicaid.”

“The value these auditors bring in identifying risks in this costly and important program makes this budget request a worthy investment of taxpayer dollars,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “Given the complexity and expense of the Medicaid program, it is critical to have a team of auditors in place focused solely on auditing this high-risk program.”

The Institute of Internal Auditors, meanwhile, has publicly supported and shared with its members the division’s audit of internal audit functions at Oregon state agencies.

The Institute of Internal Auditors, or IIA, is an international professional association with more than 185,000 members around the world. In the organization’s November newsletter, the IIA strongly recommended all public sector auditors review the audit by the Oregon Audits Division and use its message to promote the value of internal audits.

As noted in the IIA’s November newsletter: “The report does an excellent job of outlining how internal audit functions that are properly structured and resourced can be a valuable asset for mitigating risks and improving performance and accountability.”

Additionally, the IIA has submitted a letter to Gov. Kate Brown fully supporting the recommendations made in the report and encouraging both the Governor and the Legislature to support the implementation of those recommendations.

Read the full Medicaid audit, “Oregon Health Authority Should Improve Efforts to Detect and Prevent Improper Medicaid Payments,” and the full internal audit report, “Opportunities Exist to Increase the Impact of State Agency Internal Audit Functions,” on the Secretary of State website.