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Office of the Internal Auditor Howard University
Risk Management Identification of High-Risk Program and Mission Areas
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Function, Project, Program, Organization, Activity:

Risk Management: Identification of High-Risk Program and Mission Areas

Reason(s) Why Audit Is Needed:

The Office of the Internal Auditor will attempt to provide a new service to the executives of the University and the Board of Trustees. This new service, which will be refined as it is implemented, is an attempt to identify the "high-risk" programs and mission areas within the different divisions of the University and the Hospital. The final selections will be made in consultation with the Board of Trustees and the Office of the President and coordinated with the Provost and Senior Vice Presidents.

The Office of the Internal Auditor has attempted in the past to direct its audits to University and Hospital functions that were highly susceptible to fraud, abuse, and mismanagement and/or areas where we believe the University and Hospital could save funds or decrease expenditures. We believe we have been successful in doing this and the results of our works have increased management attention on clarifying vague polices, updating old policies and procedures, and retraining University staff on new or, in some cases, old, but forgotten or misunderstood management policies and procedures. Where policies and procedures did not exist, management has developed and implemented them.

Audit Objectives:

The objective of this effort is to identify, for continuous audit monitoring and reporting, University functions, programs, and activities that are considered "high risk", in accordance with an adaptation of the criteria used by the federal government's General Accounting Office (GAO).

To determine whether an individual performance and accountability challenge merits a high-risk designation, we will first determine whether it involves: 1) a program or mission area that is significant to the University or Hospital (for example, individual goals of the Strategic Framework for Action II or special areas of interests of the Board of Trustees) or 2) a management function that is key to the University's performance and/or accountability (for example, the admission's office responsibility to timely process student applications or the student financial services' responsibility to periodically provide information to the federal government). Our effort will develop qualitative and quantitative factors to use when making judgments on University performance and accountability challenges, i.e., University and Hospital goals and objectives.

Priority: High


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