Internal Audit Findings Summary Rewrite by an Auditee

S

stogsdill1

Hello all! I need a sanity check!

We have a new QE in the department who was an auditee of our corrective action procedure recently. When the audit summary was circulated to her for he signature, as an auditee, she scheduled a meeting to discuss her revisions to the audit summary.

I told her that I thought it was inappropriate for her or anyone outside of the audit team to revise or rewrite the audit summary.

She informed me that a formal rewrite is always issued for internal audits.

Has anyone ever heard of this? In my 15 years in quality, I have never seen a rewrite.

Thanks for your time!!
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
Re: Internal audit findings rewrite??

It doesn't sound like she's unilaterally trying to change anything; you say she called a meeting. I don't know what difference it makes who actually writes the final report so long as the report is accurate. Why would you circulate the report for signatures (and presumably approval) if no one is supposed to question the report?
 

insect warfare

QA=Question Authority
Trusted Information Resource
Hello all! I need a sanity check!

We have a new QE in the department who was an auditee of our corrective action procedure recently. When the audit summary was circulated to her for he signature, as an auditee, she scheduled a meeting to discuss her revisions to the audit summary.

I told her that I thought it was inappropriate for her or anyone outside of the audit team to revise or rewrite the audit summary.

She informed me that a formal rewrite is always issued for internal audits.

Has anyone ever heard of this? In my 15 years in quality, I have never seen a rewrite.

Thanks for your time!!

I would check your internal audit procedure to see what the requirements for reporting audit results state, and ensure that this person understands what they are, and follows them. It is fairly common for a preliminary audit report to have some minor corrections made before the final report is distributed, for accuracy reasons and for effective facilitation of corrective actions (this is often done by the auditor with inputs from the auditee). Nevertheless, your internal audit procedures are required to have responsibilities defined and documented for establishing records and reporting results (per 8.2.2). This includes who is responsible for signing audit reports, and under what conditions.

Brian :rolleyes:
 

John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
Hello all! I need a sanity check!

We have a new QE in the department who was an auditee of our corrective action procedure recently. When the audit summary was circulated to her for he signature, as an auditee, she scheduled a meeting to discuss her revisions to the audit summary.

I told her that I thought it was inappropriate for her or anyone outside of the audit team to revise or rewrite the audit summary.

She informed me that a formal rewrite is always issued for internal audits.

Has anyone ever heard of this? In my 15 years in quality, I have never seen a rewrite.

Thanks for your time!!

stogsdill,

Strictly speaking the auditee is a member of the audit team.

As auditors we rely on auditees to provide access to evidence and to explain aspects of the management system and its processes.

Whether your auditee has corrected the facts of the audit report or improved its prose, you did not say.

But it seems to me that she has done the auditor and the audit programme a favor by correcting or improving the report.

Auditors are not prideful. They seek and report the facts and their conclusions in full agreement, to the extent possible, with the auditee.

My advice is to thank her for her commitment to the audit programme and to consider any needed training for the auditor.

John
 
R

Reg Morrison

I believe that the adequacy of the internal audit summary review by an auditee depends pretty much on the goal of such review.

Obviously, the audit findings (positive and negative) should reflect the facts and be supported by evidence. Similar to a situation when a certified organization might question an external audit NC, it could happen that an internal auditee could question the adequacy of an NC issued during an internal audit.

In my experience, some of the delinquent corrective action requests, triggered by internal audits, are never responded to, for lack of "acceptance" and buy-in that the problem is real. Actually, one of the aspects that most internal audit procedures fail to cover is the process of escalating an objected NC. What happens if the internal auditor and the auditee don't agree with the existence of a nonconformity? Who can the auditee appeal it to? Who can the issue be escalated for a fair evaluation and decision?

Very few companies that I am aware of have a prescribed internal audit appeal process and, in my experience, it would be beneficial for that to exist. Simply because, many times, internal auditors write things up simply because they don't like something and end up with NC's that are opinion-based, rather than fact based.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
I'm willing to lay aside my normal high level of cynicism until AFTER I compare her "editing" with the original. If an old crab like me can do that, then there probably should be similar forbearance on the part of internal auditors and the management.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
I also want to know what she has to say. :agree1:

It is easy to assume the worst, but it's possible she wants to leverage the audit process to get some needed attention or resources for the process. :cfingers: I would go to the meeting, and wear my poker face. Be ready for a crucial confrontation, but keep an open mind and be ready to build an internal customer relationship with this person.
:2cents:
 

AndyN

Moved On
I too want to know the content of the edits.

Btw - John: how can an audit be unbiased if, as you say, the auditee is "part of the team"? That's just bizarre!;)
 

John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
I too want to know the content of the edits.

Btw - John: how can an audit be unbiased if, as you say, the auditee is "part of the team"? That's just bizarre!;)

Andy,

Let me put it another way. Auditing is a process with objectives. One of those objectives is for the report to be correct, complete and clear. And the auditee is a member of the process team working to fulfill those process objectives.

...provided the auditee does not stop the auditor from being independent, objective and impartial.

The auditor still has the right not to accept the changes to the report if it has become incorrect, incomplete or unclear. And the auditor is obliged to record the fact that the report changes were agreed in a post-audit meeting with the auditee.

...and the auditor is expected to be willing to learn from situations in striving for better audit results.

John
 
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TWA - not the airline

Trusted Information Resource
My experience (as an auditee only...) is that this practice is very uncommon but actually would add a lot of value to the process. There are always a lot of communication issues during an audit and not all are resolved during the close-out meeting (if there is one, which is often not the case when the internal audit just focused on one special process). I've been confronted with audit reports that were erronous due to neglected note taking because of too tight schedules, incorrect regarding the cited requirements etc. This then had to be resolved before taking action on the findings and shed no good light on the internal audit process itself...
 
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