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Friday, June 26, 2009

US Treasury names new head of financial management

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday it has appointed David Lebryk as commissioner of the Financial Management Service, a Treasury division responsible for government-wide accounting, revenue collection, tax refunds and benefits payments.

Lebryk, a veteran Treasury official who has served in a number of capacities, had been acting FMS commissioner since April 2009, when commissioner Judy Tillman retired. He had been deputy FMS commissioner since January 2008 and prior to that served five years as deputy director of the U.S. Mint.

In the past year, FMS has issued about one billion federal payments to more than 100 million people and collected nearly $3.2 trillion in federal revenues, the Treasury said.

Lebryk will oversee a daily cash flow of more than $67 billion and government-wide programs related to credit and cash management.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Guidance for Recovery Act Recipient Reporting Released

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released much-anticipated reporting guidance yesterday for an estimated 90,000 recipients of funds distributed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).

On June 22, 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published Implementing Guidance for the Reports on Use of Funds Pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("Recovery Act"). This guidance implements the reporting requirements included in Section 1512 of the Recovery Act for recipients of grants, loans, and other forms of assistance. The reports required by Section 1512 will be submitted by recipients beginning in October 2009 and will answer important questions, such as:
  • Who is receiving Recovery Act dollars and in what amounts?
  • What projects or activities are being funded with Recovery Act dollars?
  • What is the completion status of such projects or activities and what impact have they had on job creation and retention?
Based on input received from the public on previous implementing guidance issued by OMB, the reporting framework in the attached guidance has been updated and enhanced to capture additional spending data from prime recipients and sub-recipients of Federal financial assistance Recovery Act awards. Further, OMB has worked with the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to deploy a nationwide data collection system at the website http://www.recovery.gov/?q=node/579#TB_inline?height=240&width=400&inlineId=tb_external that will reduce information reporting burden on recipients by simplifying reporting instructions and providing a user-friendly mechanism for submitting required data.

Additional Information can be found at: http://www.recovery.gov/ and http://www.agacgfm.org/intergovernmental/recovery.aspx

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recent GAO Publications

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

"Key Challenges Facing Government Managers," by Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general, before the Interagency Resources Management Conference, in Cambridge, Maryland.
GAO-09-609CG, April 21, 2009

"The Recovery Act and TARP: GAO's Oversight Role," by Gene L. Dodaro, acting comptroller general, before the National State Auditors Association annual conference, in Savannah, Georgia.
GAO-09-846CG, June 17, 2009

Military Pay: The Defense Finance and Accounting Service--Indianapolis Could Improve Control Activities over Its Processing of Active Duty Army Military Personnel Federal Payroll Taxes.
GAO-09-557R, June 18.

Troubled Asset Relief Program: June 2009 Status of Efforts to Address Transparency and Accountability Issues.
GAO-09-658, June 17.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09658high.pdf

Troubled Asset Relief Program: Capital Purchase Program Transactions for October 28, 2008, through May 29, 2009, and Information on Financial Agency Agreements, Contracts, Blanket Purchase Agreements, and Interagency Agreements Awarded as of June 1, 2009 (an e-supplement to GAO-09-658).
GAO-09-707SP, June 17

American Battle Monuments Commission: Management Action Needed to Improve Internal Control Procedures.
GAO-09-714R, June 17.

CBP Could Improve Its Estimation of Funding Needed for New Border Patrol Agents.
GAO-09-542R, June 15.

Public Housing: HUD's Oversight of Housing Agencies Should Focus More on Inappropriate Use of Program Funds.
GAO-09-33, June 11.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d0933high.pdf

Army Working Capital Fund: Actions Needed to Improve Budgeting for Carryover at Army Ordnance Activities.
GAO-09-415, June 10.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09415high.pdf

VA Real Property: VA Emphasizes Enhanced-Use Leases to Manage Its Real Property Portfolio, by David Wise, director, physical infrastructure issues, before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
GAO-09-776T, June 10.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09776thigh.pdf

Appropriations Decisions:

B-317139, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network--Obligations under a
Cost-Reimbursement, Nonseverable Services Contract, June 1, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tracking jobs created under Recovery Act could be tricky

How many workers does it take to steady a floundering economy? If those workers are getting paid through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Obama administration is betting about 6.8 million. That's the administration's estimate for the number of jobs created or saved over the next four years as a result of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan signed into law in February.

But documenting that number may require some fancy accounting. Ed DeSeve, special adviser to the president and the Office of Management and Budget for implementing the Recovery Act, said on Thursday that it will be up to fund recipients to estimate the number of jobs created or saved.

"We believe [the number of] direct jobs created should be defined by the recipients themselves," said DeSeve, speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Association of Government Accountants in Washington. He noted that not all states define full-time jobs the same way, making it difficult to impose a universal methodology for counting jobs.

In addition, recipients of stimulus funds, which include state and local governments as well as contractors, may choose to rely on subrecipients or subcontractors to provide such data, DeSeve said. "We're doing our best to not require recipients to be in the verification business," he said, adding, "There is no incentive for fraud here."

-Katherine McIntire Peters, GovExec.com

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Recent DHS Inspector General Reports

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

Addendum to the FY 2009 Annual Performance Plan
(PDF, 40 pages - 618 KB)

OIG-09-63 - Information Technology Management Letter for the FY 2008 Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Financial Statement Audit (Redacted)
PDF, 39 pages - 1.06 MB) NEW 5/22/2009

OIG-09-62 - Information Technology Management Letter for the FY 2008 Transportation Security Administration Financial Statement Audit (Redacted)
(PDF, 38 pages - 585 KB) NEW 5/22/2009

Recent GAO Publications

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

Internal Revenue Service: Review of the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request.
GAO-09-754, June 3
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09754high.pdf

Indian Health Service: Millions of Dollars in Property and Equipment Continue to Be Lost or Stolen.
GAO-09-450, June 2.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09450high.pdf

Information Technology: FDA Needs to Establish Key Plans and Processes for Guiding Systems Modernization Efforts.
GAO-09-523, June 2.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09523high.pdf

Financial Audit: Senate Restaurants Revolving Fund for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2007.
GAO-09-409, May 29.

Financial Audit: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Funds' 2008 and 2007 Financial Statements.
GAO-09-535, May 28
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d09535high.pdf

Financial Management: DOD Needs to Clarify Its General Gift Fund Policies to Provide for Effective Oversight.
GAO-09-486R, May 27.

Appropriations Decisions:

B-317891, Natural Resources Conservation Service--Use of
Appropriated Funds for Contest Entry Fees, May 26, 2009

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) may use
appropriated funds to reimburse an employee for fees paid by the
employee to enter agency-produced public outreach products in a
marketing and communications awards contest if NRCS makes an
administrative determination that participation in the contest
benefits its mission and any award would be to NRCS.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

DHS' IG reports millions recovered from fraud

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general has recovered $228 million in fines, restitutions, cost savings and other payments from investigations conducted from March 2003 through September 2008, according to a special report the IG released today.

The IG’s office received 59,829 complaints of alleged waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds at DHS during that time, and the majority came through a hotline number, the report states.

In that time, the complaints resulted in 2,014 arrests and 1,458 convictions. In 2008, the IG investigated about 11,000 complaints and recovered $52 million, the report states. The largest volume of complaints — 15,774 — was logged in 2005. That year also experienced the largest amount of money recovered in a single year — $96 million.

-Alice Lipowicz, FCW.com