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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Traditional Government Financial Reporting Leaves Taxpayers Dissatisfied and Distrustful

WASHINGTON, Feb 20, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The federal government is failing to meet the financial reporting needs of taxpayers, falling short of expectations and creating a problem with trust, according to survey findings released today by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).

The survey, Public Attitudes to Government Accountability and Transparency 2008, measured attitudes and opinions towards government financial management and accountability to taxpayers. The survey established an expectations gap between what taxpayers expect and what they get, finding that the public at large overwhelmingly believes that government has the obligation to report and explain how it generates and spends its money, but that that it is failing to meet expectations in any area included in the survey.

The survey further found that taxpayers consider governments at the federal, state and local levels to be significantly under-delivering in terms of practicing open, honest spending. Across all levels of government those surveyed held "being open and honest in spending practices" vitally important, but felt that government performance was poor in this area. Those surveyed also considered government performance to be poor in terms of being "responsible to the public for its spending." This is compounded by perceived poor performance in providing understandable and timely financial management information.

The Survey Report, including a full methodology and associated commentary, is available at www.agacgfm.org/harrispoll2008.aspx .

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