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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Recent DHS Inspector General Management Reports

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General released the following Management Report:
OIG-09-50 - Information Technology Management Letter for the FY 2008 DHS Financial Statement Audit (Redacted)
(PDF, 140 pages - 4.16 MB)

Recent GAO Publications

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued the following publications:

Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability Office.
GAO-09-699T, May 21

Effect of Personnel Reform on the Federal Aviation Administration's Budget.
GAO-09-645R, May 14.

Designated Federal Entities: Survey of Governance Practices and the Inspector General Role.
GAO-09-270, April 20.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09270high.pdf

Foreign Assistance: Measures to Prevent Inadvertent Payments to Terrorists under Palestinian Aid Programs Have Been Strengthened, but Some Weaknesses Remain.
GAO-09-622, May 19
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09622high.pdf

DOD Business Systems Modernization: Recent Slowdown in Institutionalizing Key Management Controls Needs to Be Addressed.
GAO-09-586, May 18.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09586high.pdf

Financial Audit: Congressional Award Foundation's Fiscal Years 2008 and 2007 Financial Statements.
GAO-09-652, May 15.

Appropriations Decisions:

B-316860, National Transportation Safety Board--Application of Section
1072 of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (41 U.S.C. sect.
254c) to Real Property Leases, April 29, 2009

Statutory language authorizing the National Transportation Safety Board to "enter into such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, and other transactions as may be necessary" to carry out its functions and duties permits the agency to enter into leases of real property. The 1994 recodification of that provision omitting the word "leases" did not change the provision's meaning.

Under 41 U.S.C. sect. 254c, the phrase "acquisition of property" includes leases of real property. Accordingly, agencies with authority to lease real property may enter into contracts for up to 5 years for the lease of real property using fiscal year appropriations if the conditions of 41 U.S.C. sect. 254c are met.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recovery Act coordinator sees signs of progress

Three months after the most ambitious economic stimulus package in American history was signed into law, signs of progress are slowly beginning to emerge, according to G. Edward DeSeve, the government's lead implementation official for the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In his first extensive interview since returning to government in March to serve as the Obama administration's lead official on stimulus implementation, DeSeve told Government Executive Wednesday that the rate and efficiency of federal and state spending is exceeding expectations.

Thus far, federal agencies have obligated $110 billion in recovery funds -- more than a $1 billion a day -- and actually paid out $36 billion.

-Robert Brodsky, GovExec.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama Picks Top Treasury Finance Posts

The president will nominate Washington's deputy mayor to oversee Treasury's finances and a real estate investment professional as the department's treasurer.

President Obama has chosen Daniel Tangherlini, deputy mayor of Washington, D.C. and former CFO of the District's police department, to oversee the finances of the U.S. Treasury Department.

If approved by the Senate, Tangherlini will be in charge of the department's budget and oversee various programs within the agency, including human resources, IT management, financial management and accounting, human capital, and strategic planning.

Obama recently announced he plans to nominate Tangherlini as the Treasury's assistant secretary for management, CFO, and chief performance officer, and Rosa Gumataotao Rios, managing director of investments for real-estate investment firm MacFarlane Partners, as treasurer. Obama has been widely criticized for not quickly filling the vacancies in the Treasury department since he took office.


Sarah Johnson - CFO.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OMB tells states how to recoup costs of administering stimulus

The Office of Management and Budget on Monday outlined the process by which states can get reimbursed for managing federal Recovery Act grants, addressing concerns raised by some state officials in recent weeks.

OMB Circular A-87, "Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments," allows state grantees to recoup administrative expenses through the State-wide Cost Allocation Plan, the administration said in a memorandum. SWCAP requests for reimbursements are sent to the Health and Human Services Department annually for review and approval.

Unlike other grant recipients such as colleges or universities, which generally recover administrative costs up-front, states often are reimbursed for such expenses after the fact, Orszag said.

The memo explained that SWCAP costs can be submitted as either "centralized services," which refer to budgeted or estimated costs, or direct "billed services."

In both cases, the costs should not exceed 0.5 percent of the total Recovery Act funds received by the state, the guidance stated.

-Robert Brodsky, GovExec.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

GAO Issues First Bi-Monthly Review of Recovery Act

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its first in a series of bimonthly reviews on states' and localities' uses of Recovery Act funding. The report, Recovery Act: As Initial Implementation Unfolds in States and Localities, Continued Attention to Accountability Issues Is Essential, covers actions taken under the Act through April 20, 2009.

The report and other work related to the Recovery Act can be found on its new website called Following the Money: GAO's Oversight of the Recovery Act.

AGA's FMSB Comments on Recovery Act Guidance

AGA's Financial Management Standards Board (FMSB) has commented on guidance on the Recovery Act that appeared recently in the Federal Register. In the board's opinion, both the states and the federal agencies will be interested in these data elements and the reporting that follows. A serious concern for the states is who pays for the work required to modify reporting systems to comply. Read the entire letter.

EPA seeks Director of the Financial Policy & Planning Staff (FPPS)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for cleanliness of the nation's air, water, and land. In more than 37 years since EPA has existed, it has established a strong record of environmental progress. Additionally, in Fiscal Year 2008, for the ninth consecutive year, EPA earned an unqualified, or clean, opinion on its audited financial statements.

The EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) is seeking a qualified individual to join its professional staff as Director of the Financial Policy & Planning Staff (FPPS) within its Office of Financial Management (OFM). The position is a GS-501-15 (salary range $120,830 - $153,200). To apply for the position, visit http://www.usajobs.gov. The announcement numbers are RTP-MP-2009-0242 (Merit Promotion)and RTP-DE-2009-0117 (Delegated Examining Unit).

The OFM provides policy,training, reports, and oversight essential for financial operations of EPA.

The FPPS responsibilities include, but are not limited to, issuing financial policies, managing the Agency FMFIA and A-123 activities, and coordinating responses to financial audits.

The incumbent directs the formulation and issuance of policies, procedures, and accounting structures governing the fiscal aspects of Agency Activities. He or she also serves as the principal advisor to the OFM Director and other Agency Officials on interpretation of fiscal policies, and represents OFM on various Internal EPA and Inter-governmental committees and task forces.

Skill requirements include, but are not limited to, the ability to lead, manage, and coach; ability to develop Agency policy and procedures; knowledge of federal government legislation, regulations, and directives; skill in collaborative problem solving; and skill as a representative on internal and/or inter-governmental committees.

Detailed instructions on applying for the position are included in the vacancy announcement. Please follow the instructions carefully to ensure your application receives our full consideration. For questions about this job or the application process, please contact Angela Downs at 800-433-9633, fax 919-541-2186, Email: downs.angela@epa.gov

Friday, May 08, 2009

Recent GAO Publications

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released the following publications:

Statutory Authorities to Prohibit Inspector General Activities.
GAO-09-660R, May 8.http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-09-660R

Financial Management Systems: OMB's Financial Management Line of Business Initiative Continues but Future Success Remains Uncertain.
GAO-09-328, May 7.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09328high.pdf

Financial Management: Achieving Financial Statement Auditability in the Department of Defense.
GAO-09-373, May 6.

Recovery Act: GAO's Efforts to Work with the Accountability Community to Help Ensure Effective and Efficient Oversight, by Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general, before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science and Technology.
GAO-09-672T, May 5.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09672thigh.pdf

Appropriations Decisions:

B-317413, National Science Foundation--Potential Antideficiency Act
Violation by the National Science Board Office, April 24, 2009

The National Science Board Office's (NSBO) fiscal year 2006
appropriation is not available to fund cost overruns incurred
during performance of a contract that was settled by a modification
to the contract in fiscal year 2007. This settlement represents a
new obligation properly chargeable to fiscal year 2007. NSBO can
correct this improper recording through an account adjustment by
deobligating the amounts that were improperly charged to fiscal
year 2006 appropriations and charging these amounts to the fiscal
year 2007 appropriation. If after NSBO adjusts its accounts it has
insufficient funds in its fiscal year 2007 appropriation, it should
report an Antideficiency Act violation in accordance with 31 U.S.C.
sect. 1351.

Federal Rulemaking: Improvements Needed to Monitoring and Evaluation of Rules Development as Well as to the Transparency of OMB Regulatory Reviews.
GAO-09-205, April 20.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09205high.pdf

Recent DHS Inspector General Reports

Recent Inspector General Reports for U.S. Department of Homeland Security, include:

OIG-09-58 - National Flood Insurance Program Management Letter for DHS' FY 2008 Financial Statement Audit (PDF, 20 pages - 1.54 MB)

OIG-09-59 - Information Technology Management Letter for the FY 2008 Customs and Border Protection Financial Statement Audit (Redacted)
(PDF, 81 pages - 1.27 MB)

OIG-09-61 - Independent Auditors' Report on FLETC FY 2008 Consolidated Financial Statement (PDF, 18 pages -542 KB)

OIG-09-60 - DHS' Progress in Disaster Recovery Planning for Information Systems
(PDF, 28 pages - 1,022 KB)

OIG-09-54 - Management Letter for the Audit of the Transportation Security Administration's Consolidated Balance Sheet as of September 30, 2008
(PDF, 17 pages - 1.06 MB) New 05/01/2009

OIG-09-48 - Information Technology Management Letter for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Component of the FY 2008 DHS Financial Statement Audit (Redacted)
(PDF, 43 pages - 1.46 MB) New 04/27/2009

OIG-09-47 - Information Technology Management Letter for the United States Coast Guard Component of the FY 2008 DHS Financial Statement Audit (Redacted)
(PDF, 43 pages - 965 KB) New 04/27/2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009