Khalid Hamidi is the chief of DLA Energy Auditability & Sustainment Office and is the Process Health Lead and direct liaison between DLA Energy and the Ernst & Young auditors.
Describe your position and responsibilities:
As the chief of the DLA Energy Auditability & Sustainment Office under the Strategic Policy and Programs Directorate, I am the Process Health Lead and direct liaison between DLA Energy and the Ernst & Young Auditors. My team consists of 13 logistics auditability analysts, one team lead and two personnel dedicated to records management.
How often does your team meet with the EY auditors?
There are regular recurring meetings along with fulfillment of walkthroughs which result in meeting with EY approximately two to four days a week. However, depending on the stage of the audit, we can spend almost every day with the auditors for two to three months at a time. The internal control testing phase is normally two months of site visits ranging between February and April, and the fiscal year-end inventory assessment is roughly two and a half months between July and September.
What is your experience in conducting audits?
I graduated from the University of Maryland with an accounting degree and served as a supervisory auditor with the Defense Contract Audit Agency for six and a half years before coming to DLA in 2016. I have been a part of this EY DLA Financial Statements audit since we began our efforts in October 2016.
How do you help DLA with the audit?
I address DLA Energy requests submitted through the DLA Audit Response Team ‘Provided by Client’ forum; facilitate internal control testing; support the fiscal year-end inventory assessment at selected Defense Fuel Support Points; serve as a lead representative for addressing and helping remediate DLA Energy observations and notice of findings identified by EY; and support a Statement of Assurance by selecting/testing internal controls to validate a strong Energy Risk Management Program.
The agency’s goal to obtaining an unmodified opinion is to have a strong internal control program, which includes all DLA Energy personnel providing evidential matter to support transactions and compliance with policy. In addition, we need to establish and prioritize goals in remediating deficiencies, gaps and material weaknesses. It seems like a sprint, but it is more of a marathon. We have encouraged DLA to bucketize priorities, beginning with the remediation of material weaknesses.
What do you think are DLA Energy’s strengths/weaknesses in the audit process?
DLA Energy’s biggest strength is the passionate, driven staff working to accommodate the audit. I would say the biggest weakness is a culture where internal controls are not tested on a recurring basis.
What advice do you have for the DLA workforce regarding audits and the EY auditors?
My advice is to know your business processes and your role within processes. Make sure that it aligns with current, documented policies and regulations. If you have standard operating procedures, use them. If you don’t, get one in the works. Be patient with the EY auditors. It will require years of repeating these processes to the auditors.
Finally, EY is not going away anytime soon. Therefore, if we want to speed up the process to reach a clean opinion, be a champion within the DLA Enterprise Risk Management Program.
Anything else you would like to add?
This is an audit of DLA, not a specific business unit or region. If EY disclaims, that position applies to all DLA.