New Federal Agencies Alliance Holds First Meeting

New Federal Agencies Alliance Holds First Meeting

2-minute read
Federal Agency Audit Program Alliance

The NASA Safety Center’s (NSC) Audits and Assessments Office (AAO) hosted the first Federal Agencies Alliance for Institutional Safety and Quality Assurance Audits meeting July 15-16 in Washington, D.C.

The alliance was initiated by NASA’s Mi-Mi Lau, director of AAO. It provides a forum for audit program leaders from various federal agencies to share lessons learned and best practices.

“The purpose of the alliance is to share lessons learned to see if we can continue to learn from other government agencies, and to hear best practices,” said Lau. “It helps us all measure where we are as far as audits.”

As way of introduction, each leader provided an overview of his or her audit program.

“You want to continue to learn and see if you can become more efficient and effective in the operations of the audit activities,” explained Lau.

To facilitate detailed discussion, participants divided into three breakout groups: institutional safety and safety management, quality assurance, and supplier quality. Speakers provided insight into

  • NASA Institutional, Facility and Operational Safety Audits; Quality Assurance Audits, Assessments and Reviews; Requirements, Evaluations and Documentation Assessment and Analysis; Goddard Space Flight Center Supply Chain Assessments; and Joint Audit Planning Committee
  • Department of Energy safety audits and quality audits
  • Naval Sea Systems Command safety audits, SUBSAFE audits and supplier quality audits
  • Federal Aviation Administration ISO 9001 audits
  • Missile Defense Agency supplier quality audits

The small group setting enabled meaningful discussion between the speakers and attendees. Based on the feedback, all of the leaders walked away with information to improve their audit programs including the identification of Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements that promote joint audit programs, how audit programs deliver reports in a timely manner, management approaches for the review and approval of corrective actions, and metrics to track the effectiveness of audits.

Several leaders also shared how they incorporate risk analysis into their audit results. AAO was asked to demonstrate its audit tool — Surveys, Audits, Assessments and Reviews Information System — in more detail for the other agencies. The demonstration is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2014 at NASA Headquarters for all interested parties.

“By the end of the meeting, attendees were very satisfied and all stated that they plan to attend future meetings,” said Lau.