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Friday, January 30, 2009

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following report:

Troubled Asset Relief Program: Status of Efforts to Address Transparency and Accountability Issues.
GAO-09-296, January 30.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-296
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09296high.pdf

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following reports, testimony:

U.S. Postal Service: Deteriorating Postal Finances Require Aggressive Actions to Reduce Costs.
GAO-09-332T, January 28
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-332T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09332thigh.pdf

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Council for Excellence in Government Updates

The mission of the Council has remained constant throughout our 25 years of service and has made great strides in helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government. Its goal is to be a comprehensive resource for the transition leaders and the new appointees in the next administration:

The Council recently launched its new website.

The Council has taken our “Prune Book” online for the first time. Prunes Online is a web-based resource providing the Prune job profiles for top appointed management posts, such as the FEMA Director, IRS Commissioner, and Social Security Commissioner. The comprehensive transition website offers a variety of resources for transition leaders, prospective nominees, the White House and Senate as well as the media and public, including:
  • A Survivors Guide for Presidential Nominees. Updated daily with current information and tips to navigate the appointments process.
  • Online communities of interest to share insights and information about how to succeed, best practices and lessons learned.

The Council is also taking its Communities of Practice to the next level. Through strategic events and the new transition website, these Communities of Practice offer a variety of resources including best practices and links for current and acting CIOs, CFOs, CAOs, and other CXO-level individuals.

Council for Excellence in Government CFO Jobs Resource

CEG has a great article on the competency and qualification requirements, duties and responsibilities of Federal CFOs on its new website. The article includes background information including applicable statutes and laws, along with, CFO online resource links.

Monday, January 26, 2009

DHS e-Gov Report

The Department of Homeland Security Office of the CIO E-Government Act Report for 2008 has been released.

E-Government Act Report 2008. (PDF, 20 pages - 556 KB)

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following correspondence:

Update of State and Local Government Fiscal Pressures.
GAO-09-320R, January 26
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-320R

Friday, January 23, 2009

Today's GAO Publications

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following reports:

VA Health Care: Long-Term Care Strategic Planning and Budgeting Need Improvement.
GAO-09-145, January 23.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-145
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09145high.pdf

Federal User Fees: Additional Analyses and Timely Reviews Could Improve Immigration and Naturalization User Fee Design and USCIS Operations.
GAO-09-180, January 23.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-180
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09180high.pdf

Immigration Application Fees: Costing Methodology Improvements Would Provide More Reliable Basis for Setting Fees.
GAO-09-70, January 23.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-70
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d0970high.pdf

C-Change

Now that President Obama is in office, many are wondering what is going to change for those C-Level positions in the federal government. One of those jobs is that of the Chief Financial Officer. Samuel Mok is the National President of the Association of Government Accountants. He's was also a CFO at the Department of Labor and the Treasury Department. He's with us now to talk about whether the role of the CFO should change.

Listen Here

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today's GAO Publications

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following report and testimony:

High-Risk Series: An Update.
GAO-09-271, January 22
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-271
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09271high.pdf

Real Property: Infrastructure Investment Presents Opportunities to Address Long-standing Real Property Backlogs and Reduce Energy Consumption.
GAO-09-324T, January 22 http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-324T

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

OMB would toughen how agencies measure program value

Agencies can expect changes in how they evaluate the effectiveness of their major programs and recommendations in the fiscal 2010 budget proposal to eliminate some programs, said Peter Orszag, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Among the changes that he outlined for senators at a hearing considering his nomination, Orszag said he would seek tighter integration of government performance and budgeting. During the transition, Obama said his team already had begun to go through agency programs to identify programs that are ineffective or duplicative.

Agencies use the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) to evaluate the management and performance of individual programs, but it has not been very effective, said Orszag, former director of the Congressional Budget Office.

PART was developed without consultation by Congress and the agencies, and Orszag said he plans to revamp it with their involvement. An effective measurement process must also involve transparency and civic engagement, he said.

Orszag said as OMB director, he would seek to further integrate crosscutting issues into the government’s performance management process. The most significant challenges that the country faces require coordination of multiple agencies and programs, and OMB can play an important role in examining program areas that address common goals. OMB and agencies need to rely on a more risk-based approach in which to improve programs that are of the greatest importance, interest or need, Orszag said.

-Mary Mosquera, FCW.com

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Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following testimony:

Financial Regulation: A Framework for Crafting and Assessing Proposals to Modernize the Outdated U.S. Financial Regulatory System.
GAO-09-314T, January 21
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-314T

CGFM CPE Requirements Updated

December 2008 - the CGFM Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Requirements have been updated. While there have not been any major changes to the CPE policies, a number of provisions were clarified, modified or updated. Here is the summary of main updates (with references to the specific sections of the CPE Requirements document):
  • Section 2-clarified the applicability of CPE requirements to all active CGFMs and the fact that there is no minimum number of hours required each year.
  • Section 3-updated the section on retired status to reflect the recent changes to the retired status definition.
  • Section 4-clarified circumstances warranting an exception.
  • Sections 7 and 12-addressed the topic of taxation.
  • Section 9-added clarification on criteria used to determine if programs qualify for CPE hours.
  • Section 10-provided additional guidance on internal training programs; added additional examples of applicable activities such as web-based programs and audio conferences.
  • Section 11-included specific questions to ask when making the determination of applicability of the hours.
  • Section 12-updated the examples of topics and subjects list.
  • Section 13-clarified applicability of basic or elementary courses and repeated courses or presentations.
  • Section 14-explained the calculation of partial hours and updated the calculation of hours for self-study programs.
  • Section 15-specified how CPE hours are awarded for course development.
  • Section 16-updated the acceptable CPE documentation guidelines.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

FASAB Seeks Input on Exposure Drafts

The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) is seeking input on several exposure drafts:

Estimating the Historical Cost of General Property, Plant, and Equipment--Amending Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 6 and 23.
Comments are due Jan. 30, 2009.

The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for Federal Entities, Including the Application of Standards Issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Comments are due Feb. 2, 2009.

Social Insurance Accounting, Revised.
Comments are due by Feb. 9, 2009.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inspector general blasts D.C.’s internal controls on money

The D.C. government must tighten its internal controls on vendor payments, tax refunds and payroll in the face of “significant fiscal challenges that we believe will continue into the foreseeable future,” the D.C. inspector general recently warned.

The IG’s office issued a report earlier this month that advised D.C. leaders of many weaknesses in the District’s payment processes that were uncovered in recent audits. Those failures include insufficient management oversight, ineffective supervision, lack of policies and procedures, poor file maintenance, disregard for regulations and unfamiliarity with standards of conduct.

Many of the internal control weaknesses emerged from reviews of the Office of Tax and Revenue, home to the costliest scam in D.C. government history. Harriette Walters, a midlevel OTR employee, stole nearly $50 million over 20 years by manipulating the property tax refund process, revealing the absence of any anti-fraud program within the office.

Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi, under whose watch the money was stolen, has said repeatedly that his office is re-evaluating and strengthening anti-fraud programs and installing numerous controls on the tax refund process.

The problems go well beyond the tax office, the IG reported.

- Michael Neibauer, DC Examiner.com

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

CFO Council Publications Available

The Chief Financial Officer's Councils posted several new publications to its website in January, including:

OMB Circular No. A-123, Appendix B, Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs - 1/15/2009

Circular A-127 - 1/9/2009

Circular A-127, Implementation Guidance for the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act - 1/9/2009

Improving the Accuracy and Integrity of Federal Payments - 1/8/2009

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following report:

Citizens' Report: Fiscal Year 2008 Summary of GAO's Performance and Financial Results.
GAO-09-2SP, January 15.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-2SP

Deloitte Sues To Block IBM's $193 Million HUD Contract

Tech and business services contractor Deloitte Consulting has filed a lawsuit against the United States in an effort to block the government's award of a lucrative IT contract to rival IBM (NYSE: IBM).

The lawsuit, filed in December in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, aims to overturn the Department of Housing and Urban Development's award of a 10-year, $193 million contract to Big Blue. Under the contract, IBM has been tasked with modernizing HUD's computerized financial systems.

Deloitte, however, calls HUD's decision in December to tap IBM for the work a "stunning outcome" and says it wasn't fairly treated in the bidding process, which began in 2006.

"Deloitte alleges that HUD violated law and regulation by failing to follow the stated evaluation criteria, and also by engaging Deloitte in nonmeaningful and misleading discussions," Deloitte says in a highly redacted court filing. Most of the other filings related to the case are under seal.

Deloitte is seeking an injunction that would halt work on the contract until the dispute is settled.

According to Deloitte's filing, the contract is to support HUD's Integrated Financial Management Improvements Project, under which the agency is looking to transform "core financial management processes and systems to improve financial accounting support for the Department and improve financial information accuracy and availability to HUD decision makers."

-Paul McDougal, InformationWeek.com

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Orszag Promises More Oversight and Transparency

Peter R. Orszag, the nominee to head up the Office of Management and Budget faced a second day of Senate hearings before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

While Orszag's testimony on Tuesday focused primarily on budgetary concerns, today the conversation turned to government performance, retaining and recruiting Federal workers and procurement issues.

"If I am confirmed, I would seek an OMB Version 2.0, where those two arms of the agency are better integrated and you see a more unified whole between performance and budgeting," Orszag said in his opening remarks.

While he seemed focused on managerial issues, Orszag also faced several questions from senators about the budgetary aspects of his expected job, especially regarding the management and oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and President-elect Barack Obama's proposed economic stimulus plan.

"We are thinking of special oversight and auditing processes for this," Orzsag said of oversight of the stimulus package. "We plan to create a Web site that will contain information about the contracts and include PDFs or contracts themselves and also financial information about the contracts."

Among other things, Orszag said he also favored a special oversight board composed of inspectors general and the new chief performance officer that would conduct regular meetings about problems identified by people tracking aspects of the economic recovery plan on the new Web site.

-Ed O'Keefe, WashingtonPost.com

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2008 Performance and Accountability Reports

Performance and Accountability Reports

1. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
http://www.usda.gov/ocfo/usdarpt/usdarpt.htm
2. Department of Commerce (DOC)
http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/FY08PAR.htm
3. Department of Defense (DOD)
http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/par/fy2007.html
4. Department of Education (ED)
http://www.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/2008report/index.html
5. Department of Energy (DOE)
http://www.cfo.doe.gov/cf1-2/
6. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
http://www.hhs.gov/of/reports/account/index.html
7. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/budget/editorial_0430.shtm
8. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
http://www.hud.gov/offices/cfo/reports/2008par.cfm
9. Department of Justice (DOJ)
http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/annualreports/pr2008/TableofContents.htm
10. Department of Labor (DOL)
http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/reports/annual2008/main.htm
11. Department of State (DOS)
http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/perfrpt/
12. Department of the Interior (DOI)
http://www.doi.gov/pfm/par/par2008/index.html
13. Department of the Treasury (Treas)
http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/management/dcfo/accountability-reports/
14. Department of Transportation (DOT)
http://www.dot.gov/par/2008/index.htm
15. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
http://www.va.gov/budget/report/2008/index.htm
16. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
http://www.epa.gov/cfo/par/2008par/index.htm
17. General Services Administration (GSA)
http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?contentType=GSA_BASIC&contentId=23339
18. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
http://www.nasa.gov/about/budget/index.html
19. National Science Foundation (NSF)
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2007/nsf0701/pdf/02.pdf
20. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1542/v14/
21. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
http://www.opm.gov/gpra/opmgpra/
22. Small Business Administration (SBA)
http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/budgetsplans/index.html
23. Social Security Administration (SSA)
http://www.ssa.gov/finance/
24. United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
http://www.usaid.gov/policy/afr07/usaidfy07afr_lowres_011008.pdf

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following testimony:

Financial Regulation: A Framework for Crafting and Assessing Proposals to Modernize the Outdated U.S. Financial Regulatory System, by Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general, before the Congressional Oversight Panel.
GAO-09-310T, January 14.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-310T

Monday, January 12, 2009

CPO pick signals emphasis on accountability

President-elect Barack Obama’s creation of a chief performance officer probably in the White House means he’s serious about pushing agencies to perform better, be accountable and transparent, and deliver significant results, say experts in federal management.

His choice of Nancy Killefer to be the first person to hold the position only amplifies that commitment.

Obama also indicated that program performance would be linked with budget reform as he warned of the possibility of trillion-dollar deficits for years to come.

Killefer, a senior director at McKinsey and Co., will help scour the federal budget line by line, “eliminating what we don’t need or what doesn’t work, and improving the things that do,” Obama said in announcing his choice.

He also intends to nominate her as the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director for management.

Killefer’s track record spans government and the private sector. She served in three high-level positions — assistant secretary for management, chief financial officer and chief operating officer — in the Clinton administration’s Treasury Department.

She also led technology modernization efforts at the Internal Revenue Service and prepared Treasury’s computer systems for the Year 2000.

The CPO would lead a team to set ambitious performance targets and hold managers accountable for progress. However, Obama has not yet spelled out all the details of the position.

There will be some challenges in implementing Obama’s plans, Forman said.

The White House usually deals with agency leadership, but program managers are more directly involved in the performance and budget of individual programs, he said.

If Obama succeeds in making Killefer both CPO and OMB’s deputy director for management, she will have legal authority to tighten the link between program performance improvement and the budget, he said.

Bob Behn, a lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, said agencies must also attack performance gaps at lower levels of management. Agencies need to invest more in middle managers through training and mentoring because they must motivate their line staff to accomplish the strategies to improve performance.

-Mary Mosquera, FCW.com
READ MORE...

Today's GAO Publications

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following reports and correspondence:

Inspectors General: Actions Needed to Improve Audit Coverage of NASA.
GAO-09-88, December 18.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-88
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d0988high.pdf

Defense Logistics: Lack of Key Information May Impede DOD's Ability to Improve Supply Chain Management.
GAO-09-150, January 12.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-150
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09150high.pdf

Friday, January 09, 2009

DHS Releases TASC Solicitation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), Resource Management Transformation Office (RMTO) has a requirement for a proven, integrated financial, asset and acquisition management system solution with the accompanying program management, change management and integration services to implement and sustain the proposed solution. This Request for Proposals is seeking a business partner to provide (1) an enterprise solution that integrates end-to-end business processes in support of financial, acquisition and asset management; and (2) integration services and program management support.

The Department will conduct this enterprise-wide acquisition as a full and open competition in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 15. As a result of this competition, DHS intends to award a single indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity (IDIQ) performance-based contract for a five (5) year base period and five (5) one-year options.

The acquisition will be conducted using an advisory multi-step evaluation process. Phase I will be to identify viable Offerors to compete for the award of the full TASC requirements. The viable Offerors will submit a Phase II proposal and provide a demonstration of their proposed solution.


DHS TASC Solitation on FBO.gov

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following report:

Defense Business Transformation: Status of Department of Defense Efforts to Develop a Management Approach to Guide Business Transformation.
GAO-09-272R, January 9.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-272R

Thursday, January 08, 2009

OMB OFFM Releases Latest Financial Management Reports and Guidance

The OMB Office of Federal Financial Management released the following reports:

Improving the Accuracy and Integrity of Federal Payments, 2008 Final Report
(January 8, 2009) (39 pages, 247 kb)
Improper payments occur when Federal funds go to the wrong recipient, the recipient receives the incorrect amount of funds, documentation is not available to support a payment, or the recipient uses the funds in an improper manner. Since the enactment of the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA) of 2002 (Pub.L. No. 107-300) and the Recovery Auditing Act (Section 831 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 (Pub.L. No. 107-107)), the Federal government has achieved measurable results in eliminating improper payments. This report describes the progress agencies reported during fiscal year (FY) 2008. Focus is placed where efforts stand with respect to identifying high-risk programs, developing statistically valid improper payment estimates, and eliminating improper payments. The report concludes with a discussion of the outlook for improper payments beyond FY 2008.

2009 Federal Financial Management Report
(January 7, 2009) (46 pages, 1.7 mb)
The Office of Federal Financial Management within the Office of Management and Budget developed the “Framework for Improving Financial Performance” to provide direction and clarity on the executive branch’s financial management improvement goals. As required in the Chief Financial Officers Act (31 U.S.C. 3512), the 2009 Federal Financial Management Report serves as the annual, financial management 5-year plan and status report for the executive branch of the Federal government. This report underscores the activities that lead to improved Federal financial management, and it highlights the most recent fiscal year's financial reporting results.

FY 2009 User Guide to Financial Reporting in the MAX Federal Community (December 2008)

DHS 2008 PAR Released

DHS Fiscal Year 2008 Releases

Budget, Performance, and Financial Snapshot for Fiscal Year 2008 (PDF, 2 pages, 234 KB)

Citizens Report for Fiscal Year 2008 (PDF, 30 pages - 4.9 MB) offers a high-level summary of performance results and financial information. The report presents the Department's performance relative to our mission and stewardship of resources entrusted to us. It also provides readers with a sense of the Department's priorities, and our strengths and challenges in implementing programs that enhance the safety of our nation.

Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2008 (PDF, 326 pages – 31.8 MB) is also available by section:

Table of Contents, Message from the Secretary, Management's Discussion and Analysis (PDF, 35 pages – 7.0 MB)

Financial Information (PDF, 163 pages – 22.8 MB) includes the Message from the Chief Financial Officer, the Independent Auditor’s Report, Financial Statements, Notes and Supplementary Information

Other Accompanying Information (PDF, 128 pages – 3.7 MB), includes Improper Payments Information, Major Management Challenges and Management Response, along with the Appendix list of Acronyms

OMB Releases PMA Scorecard for 2009 Q1

The Executive Branch Management Scorecard tracks how well the departments and major agencies are executing the five government-wide management initiatives.

The repository of scorecards is found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/results/agenda/scorecard.html

Today's GAO Publication

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the following report:

Financial Regulation: A Framework for Crafting and Assessing Proposals to Modernize the Outdated U.S. Financial Regulatory System.
GAO-09-216, January 8.
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-216
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09216high.pdf

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Obama pledges to take on entitlement spending

WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that reforming massive government entitlement programs _ such as Social Security and Medicare _ would be "a central part" of his effort to control federal spending.

Obama made the pledge but provided few details as he named Nancy Killefer as his administration's chief performance officer, creating a new White House position aimed at eliminating government waste and improving efficiency.

Noting that the Congressional Budget Office had just estimated he would inherit a $1.2 trillion federal deficit for fiscal 2009, Obama promised to cut unnecessary spending.

READ MORE...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Obama to include accountability in economic plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to bar lawmakers' pet projects from his massive economic stimulus plan and to bring unprecedented accountability to federal spending.

Even as he promised to fight waste and to make tough budgetary decisions, however, Obama warned that the nation could face trillion-dollar deficits for years go come. Eight years ago the federal budget ran a surplus, and the deficit on Sept. 30 was about $455 billion.

Two weeks before taking office, Obama said Americans will accept his proposed stimulus plan — expected to cost about $775 billion — only if they believe the money is being used wisely to boost the troubled economy and to make smart long-term investments in public projects.

He told reporters at his transition office that his package will set a "new higher standard of accountability, transparency and oversight. We are going to ban all earmarks, the process by which individual members insert projects without review."

Details of the plan, which has yet to be drafted as a bill, will be available online, Obama said, "so the American people will know where their precious tax dollars are going and whether we are hitting our marks." He promised to make difficult choices and to "eliminate outmoded programs and make the ones we do need work better." He did not specify which programs might be trimmed or eliminated.

Obama said he will create an "economic recovery oversight board" and bring "a long overdue sense of responsibility and accountability to Washington."

READ MORE...

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