(Recasts with IG confirming audit)
WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general plans to audit the Federal Aviation Administration's certification of the Boeing 737 MAX after two fatal crashes involving the jet since October, an official with the office said Tuesday.
The inspector general's office is currently developing the scope and objectives of the review and is expected to formally announce and begin audit work as soon as possible, the official said.
Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked the department's inspector general in a memorandum to conduct an audit to "assist the FAA in ensuring that its safety procedures are implemented effectively."
The FAA declined to comment and Boeing did not immediately comment on Tuesday. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)