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Friday, February 25, 2011

Government should adopt web-based financial reporting, industry tells House panel

The government should adopt web-based financial reporting and establish a central website for the public distribution of federal financial information, panelists urged a House panel Feb. 16.

"Financial reporting information needs to switch from a paper-based, static reporting model to more electronic, dynamic and readily available online availability," said Jonathan Breul, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government. Breul testified before the House oversight and Government Reform government organization, efficiency and financial management subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.).

Breul, along with panel member Mike Hettinger, an executive director at Grant Thornton, assisted with a December 2010 paper (.pdf) commissioned by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board on improving the relevancy of the annual consolidated financial report of the federal government. Among the 10 recommendations were calls for replacing paper-based reporting with electronic measures and establishing a public website.

Electronic reporting "is essential if we are to move in the direction of improving the availability and transparency of government information," Hettinger said.

-David Perera, FierceGovernmentIT.com

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