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What We Do

We provide independent and objective assessments of NSF’s programs, operations, and financial performance to help NSF improve its business policies and practices to better support its mission. We also audit grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements funded by NSF. Our audits are conducted according to the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, also known as the Yellow Book.

We issue reports that explain why we conducted the review, what we found that should be improved, and specific recommendations for corrective action. We monitor these recommendations until they are fully implemented.

Audit Execution

Our auditors and program analysts conduct performance audits of NSF programs and operations. The audits cover all facets of NSF's management, including internal business functions and execution of grant activities. We also conduct audits of recipients of NSF awards and contracts. 

Contract Grants

Our auditors and program analysts also monitor audits conducted by independent public accounting firms of recipients of NSF awards, grants, and contracts, such as colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations. These typically are incurred cost audits — in which auditors determine whether costs claimed by awardees are allowable, reasonable, and properly allocated. These audits may also include reviews of a specific issue, such as an awardee's accounting system or indirect cost allocation methodologies. We issue the final reports to the auditees and NSF with recommendations for the specific institutions. 

Financial & IT Audits

Our IT auditors, auditors, and program analysts conduct the required audits of NSF's annual financial statements, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA), the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), and the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA). We also audit NSF's internal IT operations.

Compliance Analytics

Our data analysts use advanced analytic techniques to assist in audit planning and testing; conduct data analyses; and design annual risk assessments of NSF programs, operations, and awardees.

Audit Services

We track and follow up with all audit recommendations; issue audit policy and audit plans; and distribute all audit reports and work products. We also act as the coordination point for Office of Audit peer reviews.


We conduct outreach to the research community about preventing fraud and administering federal funds.