Senate Approves Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Federal Financial Management
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate this week approved Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Senator Mark Warner’s (D-VA) legislation, the CFO Vision Act of 2020, S. 3287, to strengthen federal financial management. The bipartisan bill would update the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990. That law established a financial management leadership structure, provided for long-range planning, and required audited financial statements.
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI), as well as Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), David Perdue (R-GA), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Mike Braun (R-IN) also cosponsored the CFO Vision Act. The Data Coalition, Citizens Against Government Waste, the Project on Government Oversight, National Taxpayers Union, Truth in Accounting, R Street Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Americans for Prosperity, Government Accountability Project and Grant Thornton, among others, have endorsed the legislation.
“This important legislation, which modernizes federal financial management, will help ensure the federal government’s financial information is complete, reliable, timely and consistent,” said Chairman Enzi. “Most importantly, the bill will allow Congress to make informed decisions about the financing, management, and evaluation of federal agencies and programs to see what is working and what is not. This will ultimately lead to better budgeting now and in the future. The goal is to ensure hardworking Americans that lawmakers are making critical and informed decisions about the best use of taxpayer funds. I hope the House will quickly take up and pass this legislation, which represents good-government policy to update our existing fiscal controls.”
“It’s been 30 years since the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act was signed into law, equipping our federal agencies with critical financial management tools. However, since its enactment three decades ago, there has been a growing need to modernize these processes to meet the challenges of today and improve government-wide financial management,” said Sen. Warner. “I’m pleased the Senate passed our bipartisan CFO Vision Act to help federal agencies improve their financial management, and ultimately boost performance through more informed strategic policy decision making. Most importantly, it will help renew Americans’ trust that their government is making smart, informed decisions about how we use taxpayer dollars.”
The 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 the White House Office of Management and Budget (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 controls over financial reporting and other key financial management information.
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