Defense Contract Audit Agency: Who is Patrick Fitzgerald?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In the wake of April Stephenson’s removal in late October 2009 as head of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), U.S. Army Auditor General Patrick J. Fitzgerald was chosen by President Barack Obama to take over the embattled agency. DCAA independently investigates Department of Defense contracts to determine the fairness, accuracy and completeness of financial records and reports, as well as the effectiveness of any transactions the department has made. In other words, DCAA reviews business deals to make sure everything is aboveboard and acceptably efficient. Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire career in the Army’s auditing wing, will be expected to clean up DCAA’s reputation following numerous controversies that included auditors whitewashing their investigations to appease military contractors.

Fitzgerald went to college at the University of Baltimore, where he received his Bachelor of Science in business administration and accounting (Summa Cum Laude) in 1980.
That same year he accepted a position as an auditor in the East Central Region for the U.S. Army Audit Agency (USAAA). Six years later he was promoted to supervisor in the Special Programs Division at USAAA Headquarters. In 1989, he was promoted again, to audit manager, and in 1990, he was made chief of the Strategic Planning Branch.
Fitzgerald was moved to USAAA’s Southeastern Region in 1991, serving as audit manager. In 1995, he was made field office manager of the Hanover Field Office, and a year later, program director in charge of audits involving the Army Corps of Engineers and information technology within USAAA.
He was elevated to Deputy Auditor General for Forces and Financial Management in 1998, overseeing all auditing matters pertaining to the Army’s major functional areas of forces and manpower management; financial operations; information technology; Corps of Engineers and civil works; and the USAAA’s Pacific Region.
In 2001, Fitzgerald became Deputy Auditor General of Policy and Operations Management, and three years later he was promoted to Principal Deputy Auditor General for all of USAAA. His responsibilities included developing and overseeing strategic audit plans, and he collaborated with other auditing operations handled by the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office on issues concerning USAAA’s audit plans, projects, and results.
Fitzgerald took over as the Auditor General of the U.S. Army on March 20, 2006. His promotion did not stop him from continuing his education, and in 2007, he received his master’s in policy and management from Georgetown University.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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