Chairman Enzi: Better Financial Management Will Lead to Better Budgets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) said it was important to learn what the federal government is doing well in terms of federal financial management, and what opportunities exist for further improvements during a hearing today focused on the federal government’s efforts to meet the requirements of the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990. 

“When the CFO Act was signed into law nearly 30 years ago, it laid a new foundation for federal financial management,” said Chairman Enzi.  “It established a financial management leadership structure, provided for long-range planning, required audited financial statements, and strengthened accountability reporting, among other reforms.”

Enzi noted that federal agencies have CFOs in place to provide leadership and accountability over financial operations and most receive clean audit opinions on their annual financial statements.  But while agency-level financial reporting has improved, the federal government cannot produce auditable government-wide financial statements. Enzi pointed out that a financial management plan is essential to developing a comprehensive approach with milestones and estimated implementation costs, because without it, oversight efforts may not be strategic or effective.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified significant challenges that should be addressed to further improve federal financial management in the future, including actions that could increase transparency and the accountability of government programs and operations and lead to more available and reliable financial and performance data. The suggested actions target persistent challenges in areas including government-wide planning and strategy, data and performance measurement, and internal controls.

“Financial management system limitations remain a persistent barrier to financial and program management,” said Chairman Enzi.  “In many cases, the government is unable to show the relationship between dollars spent and results achieved. This is why it is important to further improve government-wide financial management. Better financial management will lead to more efficiency, accountability, data, and ultimately better federal budgets.”

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