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Auditing the Relevance and Reliability of Performance Information and the Quality of Performance Reports

Contact us to schedule this course for your organization, association, or chapter.

This is a two-day course.
CPEs: 16 to 18 hours, depending on format
Field of Study: Auditing (Governmental)

Learning Objectives

  • Audit performance measures for relevance and performance data for reliability
  • Assess the quality and effectiveness of performance reports using authoritative criteria
  • Define objectives, scope, and methodology for audits of the relevance and reliability of performance information
  • Develop an audit program to assess the relevance and reliability of performance measures and data
  • Assist your organization in implementing effective performance measurement controls

Course Description

Government performance management and accountability depends on relevant performance measures, reliable data, and high-quality, effective performance reporting. Auditors can help agencies improve all these essential characteristics of performance measurement and reporting. Then public officials can then feel confident that they are using the right performance measures to make decisions and their decisions will be based on reliable data. And citizens can have confidence in public performance reports, which they will find more useful. The session will begin with a brief overview of roles government auditors can play in helping their organizations improve performance management and reporting. The session will then focus on assessing the relevance and reliability of performance information and the quality and usefulness of performance reporting.

Participants will learn to apply three key types of criteria:

  • Criteria for assessing the relevance of performance measures
  • Criteria for assessing the reliability of performance meausres and data
  • Criteria for assessing the quality and effectiveness of performance reports

Participants will also learn how to clearly define audit objectives, scope and methods for carrying out audits of relevance and reliability of performance information. Methods for assessing performance measure relevance and a step-by-step approach to testing data reliability will be presented along with case examples for conducting these tests drawn from best practices of governments. Finally, attendees will participate in numerous exercises including an exercise for developing an audit plan for assessing the reliability of government performance measures and data.

Instructor Biographies

Stuart S. Grifel, CIA, CGAP, CFE, CIGA, is Managing Partner, Intellect Government Systems, LLC. Mr. Grifel was a Performance Audit Supervisor for Broward County, Florida, and an Audit Supervisor and Corporate Internal Auditor for the City of Austin, Texas, where one of his key responsibilities was certifying the reliability of Austin departments’ performance measures.  Mr. Grifel has over 25 years’ experience in government performance measurement, operations review, performance auditing, and productivity improvement. In 2009, he received the Harry Hatry Distinguished Performance Measurement Practice Award, for lifetime achievement, from the American Society for Public Administration. Mr. Grifel has assisted many jurisdictions in performance measurement and improvement while at KPMG Peat Marwick, the National Center for Public Productivity at Rutgers University, the Innovations Group, the City of Tampa, Florida, and Polk County, Florida.  Mr. Grifel has also trained numerous public managers in performance measurement and productivity improvement.  Mr. Grifel co-authored the book Auditor Roles in Government Performance Measurement: A Guide to Exemplary Practices at the Local, State, and Provincial Levels (The Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, 2004).  Mr. Grifel has served as President and Governor for the IIA Austin Chapter, and is currently a Governor of the Palm Beach County Florida Chapter.  Mr. Grifel has an MBA from Suffolk University in Boston, and an MPA from Baruch College, City University of New York. [TO TOP]

Paul D. Epstein, Principal, Epstein & Fass Associates, has over 25 years’ experience in performance measurement and improvement and citizen engagement in the U.S. and abroad, including strategy management using balanced scorecards. He has created audit competency models and has trained auditors and managers in performance measurement, performance budgeting, performance management systems, and related practices.  He has helped local, state, and federal governments and non-profits in the U.S. and abroad, and assisted the United Nations.  He received the 2003 Harry Hatry Distinguished Performance Measurement Practice Award for lifetime achievement.  He chaired a professional committee that was cited in Congress’s report on the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act.  On the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) performance measurement research team, he co-authored many GASB reports, including a “special report” on performance reporting criteria and a research report on citizens’ perspectives on performance reporting.   He is author or co-author of the books Using Performance Measurement in Local Government (1984, 1988), Results That Matter (Jossey-Bass, 2006), and Auditor Roles in Government Performance Measurement (The IIA Research Foundation, 2004), and articles titled “Evolving Roles for Auditors in Government Performance Measurement” in Local Government Auditing Quarterly (2000) and The Journal of Public Financial Management (2002).  Mr. Epstein has an engineering degree from MIT, and has taught graduate courses at NYU, the University of Hartford, and Baruch College. [TO TOP]