(1) Cognizant agency for audit responsibilities. A non-Federal entity expending more than $50 million a year in Federal awards must have a cognizant agency for audit. The designated cognizant agency for audit must be the Federal awarding agency that provides the predominant amount of funding directly (direct funding) (as listed on the Schedule of expenditures of Federal awards, see § 200.510(b)) to a non-Federal entity unless OMB designates a specific cognizant agency for audit. When the direct funding represents less than 25 percent of the total expenditures (as direct and subawards) by the non-Federal entity, then the Federal agency with the predominant amount of total funding is the designated cognizant agency for audit.
(2) To provide for continuity of cognizance, the determination of the predominant amount of direct funding must be based upon direct Federal awards expended in the non-Federal entity's fiscal years ending in 2019, and every fifth year thereafter.
(3) Notwithstanding the manner in which audit cognizance is determined, a Federal awarding agency with cognizance for an auditee may reassign cognizance to another Federal awarding agency that provides substantial funding and agrees to be the cognizant agency for audit. Within 30 calendar days after any reassignment, both the old and the new cognizant agency for audit must provide notice of the change to the FAC, the auditee, and, if known, the auditor. The cognizant agency for audit must:
(i) Provide technical audit advice and liaison assistance to auditees and auditors.
(ii) Obtain or conduct quality control reviews on selected audits made by non-Federal auditors, and provide the results to other interested organizations. Cooperate and provide support to the Federal agency designated by OMB to lead a governmentwide project to determine the quality of single audits by providing a reliable estimate of the extent that single audits conform to applicable requirements, standards, and procedures; and to make recommendations to address noted audit quality issues, including recommendations for any changes to applicable requirements, standards and procedures indicated by the results of the project. The governmentwide project can rely on the current and on-going quality control review work performed by the agencies, State auditors, and professional audit associations. This governmentwide audit quality project must be performed once every 6 years (or at such other interval as determined by OMB), and the results must be public.
(iii) Promptly inform other affected Federal agencies and appropriate Federal law enforcement officials of any direct reporting by the auditee or its auditor required by GAGAS or statutes and regulations.
(iv) Advise the community of independent auditors of any noteworthy or important factual trends related to the quality of audits stemming from quality control reviews. Significant problems or quality issues consistently identified through quality control reviews of audit reports must be referred to appropriate state licensing agencies and professional bodies.
(v) Advise the auditor, Federal awarding agencies, and, where appropriate, the auditee of any deficiencies found in the audits when the deficiencies require corrective action by the auditor. When advised of deficiencies, the auditee must work with the auditor to take corrective action. If corrective action is not taken, the cognizant agency for audit must notify the auditor, the auditee, and applicable Federal awarding agencies and pass-through entities of the facts and make recommendations for follow-up action. Major inadequacies or repetitive substandard performance by auditors must be referred to appropriate state licensing agencies and professional bodies for disciplinary action.
(vi) Coordinate, to the extent practical, audits or reviews made by or for Federal agencies that are in addition to the audits made pursuant to this part, so that the additional audits or reviews build upon rather than duplicate audits performed in accordance with this part.
(vii) Coordinate a management decision for cross-cutting audit findings (see in § 200.1 of this part) that affect the Federal programs of more than one agency when requested by any Federal awarding agency whose awards are included in the audit finding of the auditee.
(viii) Coordinate the audit work and reporting responsibilities among auditors to achieve the most cost-effective audit.
(ix) Provide advice to auditees as to how to handle changes in fiscal years.
(b) Oversight agency for audit responsibilities. An auditee who does not have a designated cognizant agency for audit will be under the general oversight of the Federal agency determined in accordance with § 200.1 oversight agency for audit. A Federal agency with oversight for an auditee may reassign oversight to another Federal agency that agrees to be the oversight agency for audit. Within 30 calendar days after any reassignment, both the old and the new oversight agency for audit must provide notice of the change to the FAC, the auditee, and, if known, the auditor. The oversight agency for audit:
(1) Must provide technical advice to auditees and auditors as requested.
(2) May assume all or some of the responsibilities normally performed by a cognizant agency for audit.
(c) Federal awarding agency responsibilities. The Federal awarding agency must perform the following for the Federal awards it makes (See also the requirements of § 200.211):
(1) Ensure that audits are completed and reports are received in a timely manner and in accordance with the requirements of this part.
(2) Provide technical advice and counsel to auditees and auditors as requested.
(3) Follow-up on audit findings to ensure that the recipient takes appropriate and timely corrective action. As part of audit follow-up, the Federal awarding agency must:
(i) Issue a management decision as prescribed in § 200.521;
(ii) Monitor the recipient taking appropriate and timely corrective action;
(iii) Use cooperative audit resolution mechanisms (see the definition of cooperative audit resolution in § 200.1 of this part) to improve Federal program outcomes through better audit resolution, follow-up, and corrective action; and
(iv) Develop a baseline, metrics, and targets to track, over time, the effectiveness of the Federal agency's process to follow-up on audit findings and on the effectiveness of Single Audits in improving non-Federal entity accountability and their use by Federal awarding agencies in making award decisions.
(4) Provide OMB annual updates to the compliance supplement and work with OMB to ensure that the compliance supplement focuses the auditor to test the compliance requirements most likely to cause improper payments, fraud, waste, abuse or generate audit finding for which the Federal awarding agency will take sanctions.
(5) Provide OMB with the name of a single audit accountable official from among the senior policy officials of the Federal awarding agency who must be:
(i) Responsible for ensuring that the agency fulfills all the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section and effectively uses the single audit process to reduce improper payments and improve Federal program outcomes.
(ii) Held accountable to improve the effectiveness of the single audit process based upon metrics as described in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section.
(iii) Responsible for designating the Federal agency's key management single audit liaison.
(6) Provide OMB with the name of a key management single audit liaison who must:
(i) Serve as the Federal awarding agency's management point of contact for the single audit process both within and outside the Federal Government.
(ii) Promote interagency coordination, consistency, and sharing in areas such as coordinating audit follow-up; identifying higher-risk non-Federal entities; providing input on single audit and follow-up policy; enhancing the utility of the FAC; and studying ways to use single audit results to improve Federal award accountability and best practices.
(iii) Oversee training for the Federal awarding agency's program management personnel related to the single audit process.
(iv) Promote the Federal awarding agency's use of cooperative audit resolution mechanisms.
(v) Coordinate the Federal awarding agency's activities to ensure appropriate and timely follow-up and corrective action on audit findings.
(vi) Organize the Federal cognizant agency for audit's follow-up on cross-cutting audit findings that affect the Federal programs of more than one Federal awarding agency.
(vii) Ensure the Federal awarding agency provides annual updates of the compliance supplement to OMB.
(viii) Support the Federal awarding agency's single audit accountable official's mission.