Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Ernest Wilson
Q: Was there a large audit operation?
WILSON: There was a very large audit operation. But most of the U.S. positions were unfilled. They were recruiting staff. The chief's position was unfilled and there were five or six other audit positions that were vacant. There were two of us in Rio. We were supervised by the deputy controller until eventually we were fully staffed.
Q: What were some of the major projects that you audited that stand out in your mind?
WILSON: Actually, I didn't do a lot of field auditing. We had a large staff of Brazilian auditors.
Q: Employed by the mission?
WILSON: Yes. In the larger missions, the audits were generally performed by local auditors supervised by USDH. The USDH staff had not been recruited at that time. The local auditors had continued to complete audits. I ended up trying to get the reports that had been filed published, so I was mostly running a publication office rather than an audit office.
Q: Published and acted on?
WILSON: Published. Publication was the first step in getting action. Later on, when I left Brazil, we had gotten into the business of tracking the implementation of recommendations. We set up audit tracking systems.
Q: What were the main issues that you found in your audits there?
WILSON: The same issues on a larger scale that we had in Ethiopia: what had happened to the money, the accountability factor.
Q: That seems to be a chronic issue throughout all the programs you worked with.
Q: But what kind of actions were you proposing to get at these issues?