What are audits of consumer services?
___An audit is an independent, formal inspection of the procedures, practices, policies, and/or programs of a service, in order to show that that the service is what it is meant to be, and that it adheres to accepted legal, ethical, and professional standards.
___You acknowledge two types of consumer services:
- Publicly-funded services offered to a target population - often disadvantaged - to improve its physical, economic, psychological, or social well-being.
- Publicly-regulated services offered to the general public.
Why conduct audits of consumer services?
___To determine whether needed services are actually being provided
___To use as ammunition for an advocacy campaign to acquire needed services
___To determine whether services that are being funded are actually being provided as they were intended to be
___To protect the interests of those for whom the services are intended
___To protect the economic and social interests of the public, who are paying for the services or their regulation
___To improve the chances of the successful resolution of community issues
___To foster social change
Who should conduct audits of consumer services?
___Do you have the expertise to conduct the audit?
___Do you have the resources to conduct the audit?
___Are you the most appropriate party to conduct the audit? (Is it someone else's job?)
___Can you gain the cooperation of the organization to be audited?
___Would an audit by you be as credible as one conducted by someone better known?
If you don't conduct the audit, you might choose:
___A government oversight agency or regulator
___A professional oversight body
___A watchdog organization
___Academics and other researchers and experts in the field
___Eminent individuals or commissions they serve on
___An audit team from one or more peer organizations
When should you conduct audits of consumer services?
___When you're advocating for the need for a particular service
___When there's a question about the availability of services
___When there's a question about equity in the delivery of services
___When funding is at stake
___When there's a broad-ranging community development or other, similar effort
How do you organize and conduct audits of consumer services?
___You gather evidence of the need for the audit
___You identify an appropriate auditor
___You gather support for the audit
To conduct an audit of consumer services:
___You budget adequate resources for the audit
___You negotiate beforehand with the organization to be audited
___You decide what information you need
___You gather data
___You analyze the data
___You prepare an audit report, including a plan for correcting whatever problems you found
___You work with the audited organization to put remedies into practice
___You decide what to do with the audit results
___You create a plan for maintaining the audit process