MAIL BAG: DO CHECK YOUR IN BOX
Loyal reader B. Sanders of Vermont writes, “I’ve been out of my office a lot lately and haven’t really checked my in box. My assistant tells me there’s a letter from the IG’s office. Can’t I just ignore it till my primary responsibilities are taken care of?” This issue is more common than you’d expect, B. More than one contractor has been surprised when an auditor showed up at their door seemingly unannounced. The auditor had, of course, sent a letter several months prior. Ignoring an audit letter won’t make it go away. No matter how busy you and your team are, some things do have to be done immediately. A letter from the IG’s office, for example, should be opened the day its’ received. It will tell you whether you’re being audited, the type of audit to be conducted, a proposed date for the audit to start, and a list of records desired by the auditor. All of this requires coordinated action on the part of your company. You also want to check the envelope and the letterhead carefully. If it reads “Investigator” and is signed by a “Special Agent”, it’s not an audit letter. It is, however, a reason to call counsel immediately. Sometimes you do have to pay attention to the mail.