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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's GAO Publication

Improper Payments: Remaining Challenges and Strategies for Governmentwide Reduction Efforts by Beryl H. Davis, director, financial management and assurance, before the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, House Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
GAO-12-573T, March 28.


http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-573T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589682.pdf

Streamline the federal government

So much has changed over the past 30 years. The Cold War has given way to a globalized, interdependent world. Landlines turned into smartphones. The Internet is no longer a research tool for a few. In response, companies have re-engineered themselves for this new digital information era, and governors have redesigned and modernized their states’ governments. 

While change surrounds us, however, the federal government has stayed stuck in the past...

It is in the national interest to approve the president’s consolidation authority, so that we can bring Washington into the 21st century by making it tech savvy and agile, a true partner for U.S. companies, small and large, that will be the source of jobs for years to come.

We have a chance to rethink, reform and remake government in ways that will save taxpayers’ money and help us better meet the challenges of our time. In the weeks ahead, we hope that both parties in Congress can come together to seize this chance.

By JEFF ZIENTS and JOHN ENGLER, Politico.com
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Army's payroll problems threaten auditability goals, GAO says

The Government Accountability Office will release a report this morning detailing problems with the Army's payroll system — challenges that threaten the Defense Department's ability to be audit-ready.


GAO found the Army could not identify a "complete population of Army payroll accounts" for fiscal 2010, said Asif Khan, director of financial management and assurance at GAO, in his written testimony,

It took the Army three months to provide a list of servicemembers who receive active-duty Army military pay, Khan said.

DoD also could not locate supporting documentation for some of its pay accounts, according to the GAO testimony.

Active Army military payroll was $46.1 billion for fiscal 2010 and therefore "significant to DoD's audit readiness goals," Khan said.

Congress has told the Pentagon it must reach full auditability of its consolidated financial statements by the end of 2017. Last fall, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the department to have its budgetary resources, one part of the overall audit, ready by 2014.

-Jolie Lee, FederalNewsRadio.com
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

GAO: OMB Review of Financial Systems Projects

The following report was released by GAO.

Financial Management Systems:
Status of OMB's Review of Financial System Projects.
GAO-12-184R, February 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-184R

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

OMB's pause of financial systems had little effect on cost, schedule

The Office of Management and Budget's decision to pause major agency financial management projects in 2010 didn't affect most of the programs' cost or timeline.


The Government Accountability Office reviewed the implementation of OMB's July 2010 memo and found 13 projects estimated no change in their long term costs, and 16 said their schedule remained the same.

The audit agency also said OMB approved 17 projects, partially approved six, shut down one and still is reviewing seven others. Of those approved or partially approved, OMB said 20 were considered low or moderate risk projects.

GAO found five agencies said the cost of their projects increased and four said their programs decreased because of OMB's reviews. Seven agencies were unsure of the effect of the pause.


Additionally, six agencies said the pause increased the time it would take to complete implementing the new system, while three said it decreased their time and four were unsure.

Auditors also reported another agency said OMB postponed its modernization efforts for three of its components, and this action increased the cost of achieving unified modernization across the agency and requires additional investments to maintain existing legacy systems for a longer period of time.


GAO also said OMB needs to finalize the revision of A-127. The White House issued a draft revision to agencies in October 2010, but as of October 2011, it did not say when the updated circular would be completed.


- Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com
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Monday, March 05, 2012

FEMA first DHS component to undergo post-TASC financial modernization

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be the first Homeland Security Department component to undertake a less-ambitious financial system modernization effort following the collapse of a departmentwide effort known as Transformation and Systems Consolidation.

DHS canceled TASC in May 2011 after the Government Accountability Office ruled that DHS improperly gave CACI of Arlington, Va. a $450 million contract to implement the enterprise resource planning system. Cancellation of TASC marked the second time that a DHS attempt at an enterprisewide ERP for financial management purposes has failed; a previous effort, called eMerge2, ended in 2006.

DHS plans for FEMA to migrate its financial systems to a federal shared service provider at the start of fiscal 2015, according to GAO testimony (.pdf) presented March 1 before the House Homeland Security subcommittee on oversight, investigations and management.

-David Perera, FierceHomelandSecurity.com

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Friday, March 02, 2012

GAO: Fiscal Year 2011 U.S. Government Financial Statements

The Federal Government Faces Continuing Financial Management and Long-Term Fiscal Challenges, by Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro, before the House Committee on Oversight And Government Reform: Government Organization, Efficiency And Financial Management Subcommittee.
GAO-12-444T, March 1.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-444T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589003.pdf


READ MORE and Download the Report Here...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

OMB: Reform of Federal Policies Relating to Grants and Cooperative Agreements; cost principles and administrative requirements (including Single Audit Act)

Consistent with the Administration’s commitment to increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Federal programs, the reform effort seeks to strengthen the oversight of Federal grant dollars by aligning existing administrative requirements to better address ongoing and emerging risks to program outcomes and integrity. The reform effort further seeks to increase efficiency and effectiveness of grant programs by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative requirements. Through close and sustained collaboration with Federal and non-Federal partners, OMB has developed a series of reform ideas that would standardize information collections across agencies, adopt a risk-based model for Single Audits, and provide new administrative approaches for determining and monitoring the allocation of Federal funds.

This advance notice outlines the reform ideas for which OMB seeks public comment. These comments will assist OMB in its development in the coming months of a further Federal Register notice, to be published for comment later this year, which would propose specific revisions to existing requirements. These reform ideas relate to, and could result in proposed revisions to the following governmentwide issuances: OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which have been placed in 2 C.F.R. Parts 220, 225, 215, and 230); Circulars A-89, A-102, and A-133; the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up; and the Cost Principles for Hospitals at 45 C.F.R. Part 74, Appendix E.
 
Download the Advanced Notice of Proposed Guidance Here

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