Thursday, May 31, 2007
Mark Reger - Chief Financial Officer
The numbers are eye-popping. Almost $750 billion in assets under management. $60 billion in retirement and life insurance benefits in FY 2006. And to top it off, the world's largest single employer health care program. But that's just a day at the office for OPM CFO Mark Reger. Reger says its never easy, but that a big part of OPM's success -- getting to Green on the PMA and a clean audit opinion with no material weakness for FY 2006 -- has been building in the right performance metrics and using internal controls that help everyone understand they have a stake as well as a valuable role in the process.
Improper Payments Information Act of 2002: Department of Defense Travel Expenditure Reporting.
GAO-07-767R, May 31
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Improper Payments: Responses to Posthearing Questions Related to Agencies' Progress in Addressing Improper Payment and Recovery Auditing Requirements.
GAO-07-834R, May 30
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to make up for what it says has been a decade of information technology neglect. In the next six months, FEMA will upgrade many of its back-office systems and submit a fiscal 2009 budget proposal loaded with requests for IT project money.
Tony Cira, FEMA’s chief information officer, said the agency needs to synchronize business functions agencywide and share information among its accounting, finance, procurement and human resources organizations.“The way we are set up now causes mistakes and costs to rise,” said Cira, who has been CIO since November 2006.
FEMA hired auditors to analyze 17 business functions, including procurement, human resources and financial management, and the results were worse than expected.
“We found out we had no business processes, no metrics and no accountability,” Johnson said. The auditors provided documentation that will help program managers and executives address the problems.
Cira said one of the first planned changes will be to move payroll processing to the Agriculture Department’s National Finance Center and various human resources functions to the Homeland Security Department’s MaxHR system.
By the end of the summer, FEMA will begin using the Customs and Border Protection agency’s financial management system, which runs SAP software. And by winter, FEMA will move to Prism, DHS’ standard contracting system.
-Jason Miller, FCW.com
Clay Johnson III, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Financial Management Subcommittee his office will propose a five-year pilot program that would give agencies incentives, more flexibility and additional tools to help them dispose of unneeded property.
Asked the extent of the challenge, Johnson told the panel his full report is due June 15 but gave the preliminary estimate of 21,000 excess properties. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Financial Management Subcommittee Chairman Thomas Carper, D-Del., said he is working up legislation on the matter but he wants to see action before five years are up. "I'd like to pick up the pace," he said.
Offering another measure of federal property management challenges, Mark Goldstein, director of Physical Infrastructure Issues for the Government Accountability Office, reported his staff found a backlog of $77 billion in maintenance in the entire federal government's inventory of 1.2 million properties.
A major barrier to disposing of a building or piece of land is the cost of arranging and going through with a sale. Sometimes holding onto the property and "going another year" deferring maintenance on a piece of property seems cheaper to a federal agency with annual budget concerns than selling it, Johnson said.
-Basil Talbott, GovExec.com
Friday, May 25, 2007
Internal Control: Improvements Needed in the Library of Congress' Capitol Preservation Fund-Related Internal Controls.
GAO-07-732R, May 25
Managerial Cost Accounting Practices at the Department of the Interior.
GAO-07-298R, May 24
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Every spring, usually by April, the Bush administration recalculates its IT budget after receiving missing data from agencies. The administration’s IT budget request for 2008 rose to $66.4 billion, up from the initial estimate of $65.5 billion in February.
In all, eight agencies saw their requests rise, 10 saw their requests fall and nine stayed the same under the reconfigured numbers.
...the Veterans Affairs Department, requested $47.9 million for its financial and logistics integrated technology enterprise program — more than $27 million more than in 2007.
-Jason Miller, FCW.com
The FY2008 Financial Systems IT Budget total for the Federal government comes just under $1.97 Billion.
Agencies hold on to the unused properties rather than selling or destroying them largely because of legislative and budgetary disincentives that need to be removed, said Clay Johnson, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, at a May 24 hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on federal financial management, government information and international security.
The large inventory of unneeded properties costs taxpayers millions of dollars every year in maintenance, security and utility expenses, said subcommittee chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., who plans to introduce legislation later this year to streamline the property disposal process and allow agencies to retain at least 20 percent of the profit from the sale of unused properties.
-Tim Kauffman, FederalTimes.com
Federal Real Property: An Update on High-Risk Issues.
GAO-07-895T, May 24
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d07895thigh.pdf
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Steve Shedd - Chief Financial Officer
It may not be the most recognizable of all government agencies, but the Government Printing Office is a key player, providing printing services to all three branches of government. But unlike most agencies, the focus for the CFO isn't on spending efficiently. It's on the bottom line and making a profit. Shedd says the challenge for the GPO is to keep moving, from it's century old facilities built to accommodate old-fashioned printing machines, to a new building, ready to take on the digital future of government documents.
Monday, May 21, 2007
The program seeks to improve the presentation of financial and performance information and make it more meaningful and transparent to the public, flexible, yet comply with laws, OMB said in a memo posted May 18.
Agencies must notify OMB by May 25 if they are participating, including what alternative they are using, how they will organize their reporting and what improvements they expect.
OMB will analyze the results of the pilot to determine future guidance on financial and performance reporting.
-Mary Mosquera, FCW.com
Standard business processes provide common activity sequences, data elements and definitions for business processes used governmentwide. Standards let agencies better account for their funds and report financial transactions.
OMB, the Financial Systems Integration Office and the Chief Financial Officers Council’s FSIO Transformation Team developed the payment management standard. FSIO is accepting comments on the draft until June 18.
The payment management standard spans requisition, obligation, receiving, acceptance, invoice and payment for commercial contracts and small acquisitions disbursed by the Treasury Department.
-Mary Mosquera, FCW.com
Friday, May 18, 2007
Management Report: IRS's First-Year Implementation of the Requirements of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Revised Circular No. A-123.
GAO-07-692R, May 18
Lessons Learned and New Strategies (Continuing the Effort to Document, Test and Report)
Date: June 12, 2007 - New Date
Location: Ronald Reagan Building & Int'l Trade Center – Washington D.C.
Practical Training for Civilian & DoD Agencies. This One-day Workshop will provide hands-on, practical training presented in a focused, interactive classroom format.
Practical Information from Practitioners – Not Theory
Presentations by experts with extensive, practical experience in DoD and Civilian Agencies
Information which will help you in to plan for and implement an internal controls program at your Agency
Latest information on OMB A-123 – What it means and how to implement the Circular
Learn the why, what and how
Instructors: The Instructors are Partners and Senior Executives from the Grant Thornton LLP Global Public Sector who have unquestionable extensive experience in financial management and internal controls. Each executive is a recognized leader in the government financial community.
Dinner and awards ceremony in honor of eleven federal agencies that have been awarded the 2007 Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting.
The recipients include: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; the Housing and Urban Development Department; the Interior Department; the General Services Administration; the Government Accountability Office; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; the Patent and Trademark Office; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Small Business Administration; and the Social Security Administration.
[Note: There will be a media availability following the event.]
Participants: Clay Johnson III, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget; U.S. Comptroller General David Walker of the Government Accountability Office; Linda Combs, comptroller of the Office of Management and Budget; and Redmond Van Danker, executive director of the AGA
Location: National Press Club, 14th and F Sts., NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C.. 6 p.m. (May 23, 2007)
Contact: Jennifer Curtis, 703-562-0770, firstname.lastname@example.org; [http://www.agacgfm.org]
Federal Accounting Standards
Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FAR. Page 39318)
Meeting to discuss their conceptual framework, social insurance, application of the liability definition, the federal entity, natural resources, inter-entity costs, technical agenda, and any other topics as needed. May 23-24.
Location: Government Accountability Office, 441 G St., NW, room 7C13, Washington, D.C..
9 a.m. (May 23, 2007)
Contact: Wendy Comes, 202-512-7350
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Lee Lofthus - Assistant Attorney General for Administration and CFO
Investigators going after the bad guys have long been told to follow the money trail. Making sure those bad guys get locked up means money also has to be following to the good guys. Assistant Attorney General for Administration and CFO Lee Loftus says at the Justice Department that means juggling a whole range of responsibilities, from strategic planning to procurement, not to mention coordinating with partner agencies. Loftus says one way to make sure all priorities get the necessary funding has been to emphasis financial accountability. He also weighs in on the Integrated Wireless Network and pay-for-performance.
An Audio link can be found here.
When he took command of GAO in 1998, the investigative arm of Congress was in a sling, hampered by budget cuts of 40 percent. Since then, however, Walker has expanded GAO’s reach well beyond its historical mandate to ferret out waste, fraud and abuse. Today, the agency routinely examines broad structural issues and the implications of government decisions — and indecision — for future generations.
As an agent of change, Walker has ruffled a few feathers.
Walker tells it like it is, his friends said, because he is a former Marine with a strong moral compass, a patriot, a dedicated public servant and a student of U.S. history. In 2004, several years into his tenure, Walker succeeded in changing the name of the agency from the General Accounting Office to the Government Accountability Office. The change is subtle, but it says much about the man and the direction he is taking the agency, his admirers said.
Walker said he’s not done yet. His intention is to use the remaining six-plus years of his time in office to pursue far-reaching reforms of a type may be his most ambitious yet.
In remaking GAO, Walker has striven to create a model of reform he hopes other federal agencies will replicate. An organization that had been divided into more than 30 discrete silos has been reorganized into 13 issue teams flexible enough to work on projects that cut across multiple disciplines. In many ways, the new GAO looks more like a private-sector consulting firm than an old-line government agency.
“We are a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States Congress,” said Sallyanne Harper, GAO’s chief financial officer and chief administrative officer. “We’ve gone from being a stovepiped, hierarchical, process-oriented, insular organization to being a much flatter, exterior-focused, partnerial, matrix organization.”
In his free time, Walker barnstorms the country like a latter-day Paul Revere, sounding the alarm of pending financial crisis. The government’s spending is accelerating at a clip that will outpace the growth of revenue, he tells audiences. The country is going broke, he said, and as baby boomers retire and health care costs escalate, the national debt will reach epic proportions. The economy cannot expand fast enough to keep up, which leaves spending cuts or tax increases — or both — as the only answers. While the country avoids taking action, he said, the options are dwindling.
-John Pulley, GovernmentLeader.com
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Department of Veterans Affairs' Lack of Timely and Accurate Information on Unexpended Balances Limits Effective Management and Congressional Oversight.
GAO-07-410R, May 16.
One report (GAO-07-538), published Friday, stated that the Defense Department has established the management structures needed to effectively control its business system investments. But officials have yet to fully develop related policies and procedures, the report said.
The second report (GAO-07-733), released Monday, praised Defense for taking steps to comply with fiscal 2005 National Defense Authorization Act provisions. But officials left investments in some Defense agencies out of a plan outlining milestones for the business program, among other deficiencies, the report stated.
The business systems in question help to manage about $1.4 trillion in assets, a $581 billion annual budget and 2.9 million personnel. GAO designated the modernization as a high-risk area in 1995. From 2001 to 2005, the department failed to follow a 2001 recommendation that it adopt a corporate approach to investment decisions. Since then, the Pentagon has made progress, according to GAO.
-David Pulliam, GovExec.com
For decades, IGs have helped reduce waste, ferret out fraud, uncover mismanagement, and save money. But in an administration that gives oversight low priority, Fine and other aggressive IGs have played an especially significant role -- and have garnered attention for it.
One of the key benefits is saving the government money, which was a large part of the rationale behind the 1978 legislation. Under the law, the president appoints and the Senate confirms 29 inspectors general who report to both their agency heads and to Congress. Agency heads appoint the other 33 IGs, who usually report either to them or to agency boards. In 2006, Congress appropriated $1.9 billion for all federal IG operations, up from $1.5 billion in 2002, according to the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
According to the council, the IG recommendations in 2006 for management improvements throughout the federal bureaucracy could save the government as much as $9.9 billion. The council also calculated that the government saved an additional $6.8 billion by bringing civil and criminal cases, as well as through voluntary repayments in administrative cases.
-Peter Stone, GovExec.com
Monday, May 14, 2007
1. DOD Business Systems Modernization: Progress Continues to Be Made in Establishing Corporate Management Controls, but Further Steps Are Needed.
GAO-07-733, May 14.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d07733high.pdf
2. Business Systems Modernization: DOD Needs to Fully Define Policies and Procedures for Institutionally Managing Investments.
GAO-07-538, May 11.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d07538high.pdf
1. Management Report: Improvements Needed in IRS's Internal Controls.
GAO-07-689R, May 11.
- U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (1)
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (1)
- U.S. Department of the Interior (7)
- U.S. Department of Labor (7)
- U.S. General Services Administration (3)
- U.S. Government Accountability Office (6)
- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (6)
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (5)
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (1)
- U.S. Small Business Administration (1)
- U.S. Social Security Administration (9)
*The number in parenthesis after each agency indicates the number of years, including this year, that the agency has received the award.
Friday, May 11, 2007
HUD’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer played a key leadership and support role in this transformation, which Comptroller General David Walker, head of GAO, called a historic achievement. So, how did we step out of our “back office” accounting services role to play a strategic role in changing the face of the department? There were six keys to our success:
1. Know the business of your agency and its major program goals, risks and known weaknesses in the program control and delivery structure.
2. Actively serve as the liaison between your business and administrative components and their inspector general and GAO auditors.
3. Take a leadership role in addressing cross-agency issues or issues in areas that lack capacity.
4. Work with all affected stakeholders to assess the root causes of major problems, and to coordinate the development of comprehensive corrective action plans to address those causes.
5. Focus on opportunities for increased use of automation to achieve efficiencies and improve service.
6. Meet and report on the status of corrective action plans continuously, and elevate problems and delays for resolution before they jeopardize goals.
Following these general principles has enabled the HUD CFO and its major program clients to eliminate seven material weakness issues and two high-risk program designations since 2001. As a result, HUD has: improved the delivery of $27 billion in annual rental assistance to provide 4.8 million households with decent, affordable housing; and reduced the risks of the Federal Housing Administration’s $400 billion Single Family Housing Mortgage Insurance Program portfolio to enable that institution to continue as a viable source for enabling low-income families to achieve the American dream of homeownership. These program improvements took a total HUD team effort, and the CFO is proud to have contributed.
-James Martin, Published in FederalTimes.com
James Martin is deputy chief financial officer at the Housing and Urban Development Department. He is the 2007 recipient of the Donald L. Scantlebury Memorial Award for distinguished leadership in financial management improvements in the public sector.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Mok, who has been Labor’s finance head for more than five years, said in a letter to the CFO Council it was time to do something different. His last day is May 15, he said.
The Senate confirmed Mok in January 2002, and he became the department’s longest-serving CFO. In his position, Mok led Labor’s move to green on the financial performance portion of the President’s Management Agenda.
He also worked closely with Labor’s chief information officer, Patrick Pizzella, to upgrade the Financial Management Line of Business initiative the department’s financial management system.
Mok also led the charge to reduce Labor’s improper payments by $259 million by the end of fiscal 2007, and implement the E-Travel system under the e-government initiative. By implementing E-Travel, Labor cut the cost of processing travel vouchers from $62.59 to $24.75.
-Jason Miller, FCW.com
FYI - Mok is the incoming National President-elect of the Association of Government Accountants.
The FCC plans to acquire all services and software through a single acquisition process that will result in the award of one contract. The FCC plans to acquire the required software and services from an OMB designated federal government shared service provider (SSP) or by placing an order with a commercial vendor. All software and services will be obtained though a single public-private competition that will result in the selection of one SSP or one prime commercial vendor. Selection of the service provider will be con-ducted in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) memorandum, Competition Framework for Financial Management Lines of Business Migrations, dated May 22, 2006, the Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) FMLoB Migration Planning Guidance [Version 1], dated September 13, 2006, and applicable provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
Additional documentation can be found here.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Homeland Security: DHS Enterprise Architecture Continues to Evolve but Improvements Needed.
GAO-07-564, May 9. http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-564
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d07564high.pdf
General Services Administration Could Better Manage Unexpended Construction Balances and Make Its Budget More Transparent.
GAO-07-409R, May 9.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Only eight programs run by federal agencies have been reporting their risk of improper payments in the three years since the Bush administration began collecting that information. Thirteen other major agency programs that the Office of Management and Budget determined are most at risk of issuing incorrect payments have not been reporting, but that is about to change, OMB officials said.
The Health and Human Services Department’s Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program will begin reporting in fiscal 2008. The Agriculture Department’s National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund’s Schools and Libraries program also will participate, beginning in fiscal 2008.
OMB officials said the eight programs that have been reporting have reduced their improper payments at the same time those programs have grown.
When OMB released the President’s Management Agenda score cards last week, only four of 15 department and agencies — the Housing and Urban Development and Labor departments, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation — received green scores for eliminating improper payments. However, OMB gave only two red scores for improper payments — to HHS and the Treasury Department.
The improper payments rate was 2.9 percent in 2006, down from 3.2 percent in 2005 and 3.9 percent the previous year. The overall amount of improper payments declined from $42.9 billion in 2004 to $35.9 billion last year.
-Mary Mosquera, FCW.com
It's been five and a half years since Mr. Mok took the helm as the department's Chief Financial Officer, and now he says it is time to move on. Looking back, he says it has become clear that getting to green on the President's Management Agenda cannot be the end. It must remain only the means to the end. Mok says there is a danger that too many hard-working feds are getting caught up in meeting requirements and losing track of the big picture. He also says CFOs shouldn't limit their scope when it comes to looking for best practices, that there may be some good ideas overseas. And finally, Mok wonders if the need for so many CxOs is taking a toll on agencies and if the solution may actually be another CxO.
This program aired Thursday May 10,2007 at 10:30 AM on FederalNewsRadio.com
An audio link is provided here.
Click Here to Listen with Windows Media Player
Friday, May 04, 2007
In a new document, the department said it will hire more staff, adopt common processes and operating standards, clarify roles and responsibilities of financial staffs, and direct the Coast Guard to use a better financial management system that is now in use by the Transportation Security Administration.
The department ranks as one of the worst-managed agencies in the federal government in terms of its accounting and financial practices. It has been repeatedly criticized for being unable to pass audits and properly track and manage funds, property, equipment and accounting.
The plan prepared in March by the office of chief financial officer David Norquist, called “The Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting Playbook,’’ identifies nine problems at Homeland Security and lays out corrective actions for each. The report does not estimate how much the solutions will cost. As part of its plan, the department will develop draft financial statements for the third and fourth quarters of this fiscal year as a “dry test run” of its standardized financial reporting process. The test runs are intended to help Homeland Security adopt internal controls for the year-end financial reporting process, which will begin in September.
The report says the Coast Guard’s financial reporting system is severely flawed and its processes for recording accounting estimates and drafting financial statements are labor intensive and complex. It calls for the Coast Guard to start using TSA’s system.
Homeland Security is still considering whether to combine some of its eight core financial systems or use systems from other agencies, a department spokesman said.
The department had previously tried to consolidate its financial management systems under a project called eMerge2. That effort failed in 2005 after costing $18 million. Norquist halted efforts to combine systems so the Homeland Security could study whether the benefits were worthwhile.
-Stephen Losey, FederalTimes.com
The Housing and Urban Development Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and Office of Personnel Management all moved up from yellow, for mixed results, to green on the latest traffic-light-style report card released earlier this week.
With the latest change, 12 agencies have the top rating in financial management, while the other 14 graded -- including the behemoth Defense Department -- are stuck at red for poor performance.
To earn a yellow rating, agencies must meet standards that include obtaining a clean audit of their financial statement and not having any recurring material weaknesses, or significant problems with the accounting process. For many agencies, getting to the first clean audit is a huge hurdle. To move from yellow to green, agencies must show that they are using their newly available financial data to make informed management decisions.
Office of Management and Budget Controller Linda Combs said HUD, USAID and OPM had all met that standard.
-Jenny Mandel, GovExec.com
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
The quarterly traffic-light style reports track 26 agencies’ progress on the five main management initiatives — financial performance, electronic government, competitive sourcing, human capital, and budget and performance integration — that make up the president’s management agenda. OMB officials issue the scores after visiting agencies and reviewing documentation from them. Green shows success. Yellow means mixed performance. Red shows serious flaws.
To get green on financial performance, agencies must comply with requirements such as receiving a clean audit opinion and show that they are expanding use of financial data to manage programs.
The Office of Personnel Management, the Agency for International Development and the Housing and Urban Development Department improved their financial scores to green in the quarter ending March 31. That raised the number of agencies with the top financial score to 12.
OMB Controller Linda Combs said the gains reflect governmentwide progress on financial management. “It’s a great success,” Combs said.
AID recently began using a new accounting system that allows managers to monitor financial data of programs on a daily basis, Combs said. The agency has also increased managers’ accountability for meeting budget goals on projects.
OPM improved its score by introducing a plan to improve its cost accounting, while HUD has upgraded its ability to track the benefit of its spending on public housing, Combs said.
“They really have demonstrated that they have this financial data that caused their program managers to make good decisions,” she said.
-Daniel Friedman, FederalTimes.com
Cognos and Grant Thornton LLP Team to Deliver New Budgeting Performance Solution for U.S. Federal Civilian Agencies
WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN; TSX: CSN), the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, and Grant Thornton LLP, U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, today announced the launch of a new joint solution designed to help U.S. Federal Civilian agencies optimize their budget development, planning and performance processes.
The new Federal Budget Planning and Performance framework offers federal agencies a scalable e-budgeting capability that promotes improved budgeting efficiencies and greater accountability. Budgets are developed using standard structures, guidance and processes, simplifying consolidation and facilitating multi-stakeholder input and analysis. By delivering a transparent, integrated top-down/bottom-up budgeting process across the agency, managers are able to better understand how their programs’ resources support bureau and agency goals. All budget data is also centrally maintained, ensuring managers are tapping into the same information in order to drive accurate, consistent program budget decision-making.
Combining Cognos performance management software with Grant Thornton LLP’s domain expertise and best practices approach, the framework offers a complete spectrum of functionality that enables federal agencies to maintain flexible budget management and control, including:
- The ability to update multiple budget versions and scenarios ‘on-the-fly’ to reflect program changes
- The flexibility to address changes in budget guidance from year to year
- Integrated budget document production capabilities, allowing the agency to easily generate Congressional budget books and OMB exhibits
- An automated workflow, allowing managers to track the latest status of their budget submission
- Enhanced audit trails, to drive strong accountability throughout the process
Four agencies lost ground in e-government on the latest score card, with one -- the Smithsonian Institution -- moving down two notches from a green light for "success" to a red, which translates to "unsatisfactory."
The grades, released Tuesday, cover the five major categories of the President's Management Agenda and several specialized initiatives such as property management. They reflect agencies' status as of March 31, the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2007.
The other three agencies that did worse in e-government for the second quarter were the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Small Business Administration. All three received red lights.
Two agencies -- the Health and Human Services and Homeland Security departments -- moved up in e-government from red to yellow, indicating "mixed results," making it the most volatile of the five main categories graded. Grades in the e-gov category have fluctuated for more than a year.
In a statement on the score card results, OMB attributed the e-government downgrades to problems with agencies' use of "enterprise architecture" blueprints to boost efficiency and move to the next generation of the Internet, called Internet Protocol Version 6. Agencies that came up short in this area have plans to improve their performance this quarter, according to OMB.
The administration's statement emphasized that overall, grades have improved substantially. "Federal agencies have significantly greater ability to be effective today than they did in 2001, when they began working on the PMA," said Clay Johnson, deputy director for management at OMB.
Three agencies -- the Housing and Urban Development Department, Office of Personnel Management, and U.S. Agency for International Development -- moved up a rung to green lights in financial management. And two -- the Environmental Protection Agency and Veterans Affairs Department -- improved to green and yellow respectively, in integrating information on program performance with budget decisions.
- Amelia Gruber, GovExec.com
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
One of the keys has been convincing agencies to work as one government enterprise, said Tim Young, OMB’s associate administrator for e-government and information technology.
The Human Resources and Financial Management LOBs are the furthest along in meeting OMB’s goal of fee for service.
Danny Werfel, OMB’s deputy comptroller, said the financial initiative will release a request for proposals in June to certify commercial shared-service providers. Other officials said the HR LOB will precede the financial RFP with its own this month.
Werfel also said the Financial Management LOB would release its next set of accounting standards for payables for public comment this month. The accounts receivable and billing would come after that, Werfel said.
The Financial Management LOB office wants to test the common governmentwide accounting code with a handful of agencies, he added.
“We want a proof of concept,” Werfel said. “We want agencies to put together an implementation schedule and it will be helpful for them to see what challenges they may face in a pilot.”
GSA received more than 600 comments and will release the final document in the fall, he added.
-Jason Miller, FCW.com