Receives AOPTA Award for Six-Month Period - Ended December 31, 2007
Scott Strong, Deputy Auditor General, is pleased to announce that the preliminary review of the Bridges Integrated Automated Eligibility Determination System (Bridges), Department of Human Services (DHS), and Department of Information Technology (DIT) is the winner of the Audit Operations Project Team Award (AOPTA) for the six-month period ended December 31, 2007. The audit team included Shelly Fanson, supervisor; team members Bob Kern and Ryan Riley; Steve Baker, Audit Division Administrator; and Melissa Schuiling, Audit Manager. This project received two nominations.
The AOPTA was established in 1992 and is awarded every six months to recognize exceptional efforts of project teams in the Bureau of Audit Operations.
The review of Bridges was conducted because of concerns over the development of Bridges. The review generated questions from Senator Hardiman as to the status of the Bridges project. The review was challenging because the system was still under development. The review included project oversight and management practices; project goals and objectives; design, testing, and implementation plans; and consultant and vendor contracts.
The audit team demonstrated excellence in many aspects including coordinating with four departments, contacting and obtaining information from other states, quickly adapting to changes in audit scope, and completing audit fieldwork timely. Despite the challenges, the audit team always maintained a positive and willing attitude.
The review identified 22 findings. Because Bridges was still in the development phase with a pilot of the system to occur within four months and because of the large amount of money still to be spent on Bridges, it was imperative that the issues be brought to the departments’ and the Legislature’s attention quickly. Therefore, rather than issue a standard audit report, the findings were reported in an expedited letter. The audit team worked collectively to develop the 15-page letter and observations. In response to the review, DHS and DIT hired and appointed two new staff to manage the project.
The significance of the audit report’s conclusions and findings was exemplified by the high level of legislative interest, including multiple meetings between the audit team and Senator Hardiman and multiple, ongoing Senate hearings.
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