The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) faces a significant backlog of audits despite an increase in staff since 2008. This raises questions about efficiency and effectiveness in audit operations.

The DCAA’s Efficiency Dilemma:

Despite adding 577 employees since 2008, the DCAA completed only a quarter of the audits conducted in that year. This raises concerns about the agency’s ability to manage its workload effectively.

Thoroughness vs. Efficiency:

The DCAA defends its approach by claiming to prioritize thoroughness in audit assignments. While aiming for greater scrutiny, this strategy may result in delays and inefficiencies in audit completion.

Concerns Over DCAA Audit Delays:

Former federal procurement official Richard Loeb warns that prolonged audit delays pose risks of financial losses for the government and taxpayers. Delays may hinder information tracking and accountability, increasing the likelihood of financial mismanagement.

Challenges in Audit Prioritization:

While the DCAA claims to prioritize older audits to meet the six-year limitation, concerns arise regarding the consideration of employee and management turnover. Prioritization strategies may not fully address the complexities of audit management.

Post-Award Audit Deficiencies:

A significant portion of audited funds, particularly $9.6 billion out of $12 billion, raises questions about post-award audit deficiencies. Limited focus on post-award audits may overlook potential risks and inefficiencies in contract management.

Addressing Post-Award Audit Gaps:

Critics highlight the need for increased emphasis on post-award audits to ensure accountability and mitigate financial risks effectively. Enhancing post-award audit procedures can strengthen oversight and safeguard taxpayer interests.


The DCAA’s audit backlog underscores the importance of balancing thoroughness with efficiency in audit operations. Addressing challenges in audit prioritization and post-award audit deficiencies is essential to enhance accountability and protect taxpayer funds.