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News | July 11, 2022

History of the Defense Contract Audit Institute – Part 1

By DCAA Staff Writer

Editors Note: This is the first of three articles chronicling the history of the Defense Contract Audit Institute.

A hallmark of DCAA has always been our well-trained audit staff. The demands of federal contract auditing require auditing professionals with the competency required to grasp complex situations and make sound decisions. Our people are our most valuable resource and developing their skills through training and developmental opportunities is essential to our success and something we have been doing since the beginning of DCAA.

After DCAA was established in July 1965, the first formal training course was held in October 1965 in Washington, D.C. The importance of having a permanent training location soon became obvious, so Agency representatives reviewed lists of Defense facilities having suitable space for a centralized school. In April 1966, the DCAA Director selected the Defense Supply Depot in Memphis, Tennessee, as the site for the Defense Contract Audit Institute (DCAI).

The new Audit Institute opened in June 1966, the same month that DCAA completed its first centralized training school for newly hired auditors. The curriculum comprised technical orientation in contract audit with emphasis on duties and responsibilities of GS-5 and GS-7 auditor trainees. A 3-week Auditor Intern course and a 2-week Statistical Sampling course followed.

In 1974, the Agency started a program to develop mid-level managers - the Director’s Fellowship Program in Management. At a time when there was limited formal development programs in DOD for civilians, DCAA began this program to grow future leaders and members of the Senior Executive Service. This program allowed a set group of DCAA employees to work together toward pursuit of a graduate degree and increase their knowledge and skills in supervision, management and administration.

As the size of the Agency grew, so did training requirements. In 1983, DCAI moved onto the University of Memphis South Campus where it remained until September 2013.