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Practice Guide to Auditing Efficiency

Information Technology (IT) Systems

Table 1(e) - Knowledge of Business questions for an audit of efficiency focused on a regulatory inspection and enforcement function

Note: Additions to the questions and related risks from the Practice Guide are shown in italics.

Potential Risks to Efficiency

Knowedge of Business Questions

  • Systems and processes do not make effective use of information technology.
  • What IT systems are in place that have as their objective the enhancement of efficiency?
  • Has the organization explored and assessed opportunities to use IT technologies (such as automation, online services, electronic documentation systems, and paperless environment) to improve the efficiency of its activities and services? Have such systems been implemented?
  • Are IT systems shared with other inspection and enforcement functions in government to reduce costs?
  • How is information on the results of inspections collected and stored? (Consider manual and automated processes.) Is information technology used to its full potential? Can information on particular cases be retrieved quickly?
  • Do inspectors have the tools to enable them to complete and document inspections efficiently? For example, do they use automated checklists, templates, and automated report generators to increase efficiency and eliminate duplication?

Source: Many of these questions have been adapted from Northern Ireland Audit Office’s Improving Public Sector Efficiency: Good Practice Checklist for Public Bodies (2010), as well as from recent audits of efficiency.