New GAO Report Shows Need to Improve Federal Financial Management

Agency Points to Fixes Contained in Enzi’s CFO Vision Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released a new report showing that while the federal government has made progress in federal financial management because of the Chief Financial Officers Act, serious challenges remain in achieving effective fiscal improvements across the government. GAO recommended several actions Congress could take to address these issues. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) sponsored S. 3287 - the CFO Vision Act to address these recommendations.

“When the CFO Act was signed into law nearly 30 years ago, it laid a new foundation for federal financial management,” said Chairman Enzi.  “Unfortunately, in many cases the government is unable to show the relationship between dollars spent and results achieved. These recommendations can help further improve government-wide financial management. Better financial management will lead to more efficiency, accountability, data, and ultimately better federal budgets.” 

Enzi’s legislation will help improve government-wide financial management and ensure taxpayer dollars are safeguarded. 

“The CFO Vision Act can help modernize our financial management structures and make it easier for federal agencies to make better informed policy decisions using enhanced performance data,” Chairman Enzi said.  “This can help the federal government carry out long-term initiatives in the most effective and efficient way possible and ensure taxpayer funds are being used responsibly.”

The bipartisan bill would:

  • Standardize CFO responsibilities across government by helping to enhance strategic decision-making, and correct inconsistencies; 
  • Provide deputy CFOs with sufficient authority to ensure continuity in agency financial management operations when CFO vacancies occur;
  • Revise government-wide and agency-level financial management planning requirements by requiring OMB to update the government’s financial plan every four years and provide annual status updates. Additionally, the bill would require the government-wide plan to include actions for improving financial management systems, strengthening the federal financial management workforce, and better linking performance and cost information for decision-making;
  • Develop a broader set of key selected financial management performance-based metrics by requiring OMB to develop a plan to determine the status and progress agencies are making towards achieving cost-effective and efficient government operations.  The bill would also require that information be included in the government-wide and agency-level financial management plans and status reports; and
  • Strengthen internal controls by requiring agency management to identify key financial management information needed for effective financial management and decision making. The bill would also require agencies to annually assess and report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting and other key financial management information.

Read more about GAO’s recommendations here.

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