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Sunday, November 15, 2015

FY2015 US Federal Financial Statement Audit Due Monday

The audited financial statements of the 24 CFO Act agencies and participating federal organizations & commissions are due to be published on Monday November 16, 2015.

The following urls provide starting points to locate the publications.

http://www.performance.gov/
http://www.gao.gov/key_issues/federal_financial_accountability/issue_summary
http://www.treasury.gov/about/budget-performance/annual-performance-plan/Pages/default.aspx
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

HUD MARKS A MAJOR SHARED SERVICES MILESTONE WITH FINANCIAL SERVICES MIGRATION

Department’s New Core Project is on a path to become first cabinet-level agency to fully migrate financial systems
WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 21, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, October 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces another major milestone in transitioning HUD’s financial management and procurement operations to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Administrative Resource Center (ARC).  This milestone marks the shift of financial and procurement management functions from HUD to ARC. Although significant work remains, HUD is the first cabinet-level agency to move core financial systems to a Federal Shared Service Provider.In 2010, HUD reviewed its aging financial systems, and decided to transition from costly legacy systems that did not provide the necessary scale and breadth required to meet today’s financial management needs. 

This collaborative relationship between HUD and Treasury is the result of the Federal IT Shared Services Strategy. In May 2012, the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) announced the strategy to agencies for identifying and operating shared services for commodity, support, and mission IT functions. That strategy recommended a phased approach for implementing shared services, (e.g., “crawl-walk-run”) beginning with intra-agency commodity IT, to allow agencies to gain proficiency, then evolving to support and mission IT areas.

The transformative project has made significant progress to date. In October 2014, HUD began its phased implementation, migrating travel functions, and in February 2015, its time and attendance functions. Together with the most recent payment processing milestones, HUD’s New Core project continues to enhance financial transparency and analytical capabilities, increase regulatory compliance, and improve efficiency through the transition of HUD’s core financials and key administrative systems and services. 


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About HUD:

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.govand http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv. 

About Treasury’s Administrative Resource Center (ARC):  

ARC helps customers, like HUD, focus on their mission by delivering responsive, customer-focused, cost-effective administrative support to  other federal agencies. The reimbursable administrative services that ARC provides include financial management, human resources, procurement, travel and relocation, and information technology services.  For more information please visit: our website at https://fiscal.treas.gov. 

Jereon Brown 202-708-0685 
http://www.hud.gov/news/index.cfm

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Agencies Looking for Internal Data Turn to USASpending.gov

It’s surprising how many agencies now use USASpending.gov to “access their own data,” said David Lebryk, the fiscal assistant Treasury secretary who on Monday delivered an upbeat assessment of governmentwide progress in implementing the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

“We’re off to a great start on tough challenges, but outsiders don’t really appreciate how complex government is,” he said at a breakfast sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Government Analytics program and REI Systems.

“We’re not a small business,” Lebryk said, referring to the federal government. “We’re the biggest entity in the world. And at a time of budget constraints, there is more scrutiny of spending, of which the DATA Act is a part.”

Lebryk and Comptroller David Mader are leading the team charged with implementing the DATA Act, which is designed to standardize spending information in machine-readable formats to make it accessible to the public. “With no new funding,” Lebryk said, “we’ve tried to think it through creatively, to use technology as our friend. We’re not doing massive system changes, and it’s important that the data be owned by the agencies.”

This spring’s upgrade of USASpending.gov—to which some transparency advocates objected—was done with an eye on three types of users, Lebryk said: casual users in the general public; those who want analytic tools to drill deeply; and those who simply want the data and don’t care about the tools. The recent upgrade was intended to enhance the second group, he said. “We were trying for improvements in usability, but not trying to improve the quality of the data,” which is where the DATA Act will come in, he said.

One of Lebryk’s teammates at the Office of Management and Budget gave additional details on progress at the June 10 Data Act Summit sponsored by the Data Transparency Coalition.

Karen Lee, branch chief at OMB’s Office of Federal Financial Management, said the DATA Act already is, “changing the way government does its work, changing the way it interacts with non-federal partners” as it becomes institutionalized. She described pilot programs to reduce the burden of agency reporting. “There’s no one regulation or policy that is a magic bullet, as there are many sources for the burden,” Lee said. But the multi-agency implementation team is seeking to curb multiple requirements for supplying the same information, she said.
-Charles S. Clark, GovExec.com
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why agencies break the law on improper payments

Despite an attempted crackdown by the Obama administration, agencies are increasingly likely to make payment mistakes. The error rate rose from 3.53 percent in fiscal 2013 to 4.02 percent in fiscal 2014. In other words, the government misspent about $10 billion more last year than the year earlier.

That we knew, thanks to a Government Accountability Office report issued a few months back. But recent inspector general reports round out the picture by showing where agencies go wrong.

Of the 24 CFO Act agencies — those required to have audited financial statements —about half failed to comply with the law on improper payments, according to a preliminary analysis of the IG reports by the accounting firm Grant Thornton. The low scorers include the agencies that misspent the most money: the departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, Agriculture and the Social Security Administration.

The overall picture seems, at first glance, worse than in past years, when inspectors general evaluated agencies on a multilevel scale that ranged from "compliant" to "noncompliant." While agencies have made strides in some of their programs, complying with the improper payments law is now pass-fail, thanks to guidance the White House issued in October.

"They're trying to say, ‘No more wiggle room. You're either compliant or not compliant,'" said Grant Thornton Principal Robert Shea.

-Emily Kopp, FederalNewsRadio.com
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