A few days ago, the IRS disclosed that some rogue employees in Ohio had been "targeting" conservative groups. Since then, there have been more disclosures and a full-blown scandal is brewing. There have also been numerous accounts by individuals and groups suspecting they have also been targeted for one reason or another. Obviously, this story is not going away soon.
This got us discussing among ourselves whether contract auditors or administrators (e.g. DCAA, DCMA, GAO, DoD-IG, etc.) have ever been part of a orchestrated effort to target particular contractors or segments of the contractor community.
Happily, not one person in our Consulting Group had ever been a part of such an endeavor. Moreover, we have never heard of it happening nor could we imagine that it could even occur. DCAA auditors, first and foremost, are independent. Independence is required by GAGAS (Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards) and any impediments to independence will disqualify an auditor on any given audit. Secondly, auditors are driven by risk, not by politics. Auditors spend their time in areas that seem to be of highest risk to taxpayers - getting the most bang for the buck, so to speak.
When we were auditors, contractors sometimes asked us why we were picking on them. We weren't. We just had some audits to perform and after taking them through our risk assessments, they understood our purposes better. We were never there for nefarious reasons. There may be cases where auditors stayed a little longer and dug a little deeper than was justified by the risk assessment because he/she was ticked off at someone or something. Sometimes its difficult to suppress the human element when two sides collide. These situations however are "one-off" cases, not something orchestrated by management.
Our advice to contractors undergoing any audit is to ensure that the audit scope and the risk assessments are fully understood before the audit begins. We've given this advice several times in this blog. If the auditor seems to go astray, ask him/her what they are doing. It you don't get a satisfactory answer, talk to their supervisor or manager.