AGA Audio Conference The CFO Act_ Leveraging Lessons Learned

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					       AGA Audio Conference
The CFO Act: Leveraging Lessons
      Learned to Improve
 Federal Financial Management
                            August 3, 2011

        James Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Labor
Daniel I. Werfel, JD, MBA, Controller, Office of Management and Budget
Elliot Lewis, Assistant Inspector General for Audit, Department of Labor

              David Zavada, Partner, Kearney & Company

      Background on the CFO Act
• Landmark legislation
   – Called for major Federal financial management reforms
      • Federal governance structure
      • Complete, reliable, timely, and consistent financial information
      • Improved systems of accounting, financial management, and internal
   – Resulted in partnership between the Congress, OMB, and
     accountability community
   – Signed into law on November 15, 1990
• Catalyst for other management reform legislation geared
  to improve government accountability

         Why We Did the Review
• Section 3(e) of the Improper Payments Elimination
  and Recovery Act of 2010
   – Joint CFO Council-CIGIE examination of CFO Act of 1990 to
       • Lessons learned, or successes, implementing the CFO
       • Reforms or improvements to the Federal financial
         management framework
   – Consult with experts and stakeholders in government
     accounting and financial management

              Discussion Questions
               Financial Reporting
• What do you think the general feeling is in regard to the
  benefits and challenges in the area of financial reporting and
  audited financial statements?
   – What were the biggest successes?
   – Where have we fallen short?
   – What were the overall lessons learned?

• More financial information than ever is being reported - -
  everything from transactional data required by
  FFATA/Recovery Act, to special Congressional
  requests/reports, to audited financial statements. What was
  the feeling about the usefulness, quality and overall
  cost/benefit of this collective information.

              Discussion Questions
               Financial Reporting
• Given the range of information being reported, is there a
  better way to meet the needs of the users of federal financial
  information/reports? Is there a clear understanding of who
  the users are (internal/external) and their needs?

• Where there any reporting gaps raised? For example, in the
  areas of program cost or performance information?

• Prior to the CFO Act GAO developed accounting standards - -
  what were the feelings about the process of adopting
  “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” to improve
  transparency and accountability in financial reporting?

             Discussion Questions
              Financial Reporting
• Were there observations about more innovative ways to
  communicate financial information and to demonstrated
  accountability? Any thoughts about how to maintain integrity
  and consistency in fast-moving and fluid environment (e.g.,
  communicating via social media)?

           Discussion Questions
         Audits and Internal Control
• Any observations about how the A-123 internal control
  assessment and audit process could better address the
  integrity of information being reported?

• There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the
  coordination of audit/oversight efforts to zero in on the areas
  where risk/benefit exists - - was this an area that came up
  during your discussions?

• Was there a feeling that the financial audits were hitting the
  mark in terms of focusing in on the right processes and
  internal controls? Are there areas discussed that need a
  closer look?
           Discussion Questions
         Audits and Internal Control
• Federal agencies are large and complex entities, is this the
  right level for audited financial reporting - - are there reasons
  to go lower, higher or different frequency?

              Discussion Questions
                  Other Areas
• We are in a very tight budget environment - - how do we
  leverage the foundational benefits of the CFO Act to develop
  more useful and reliable information to support both budget
  and program management decisions?

• Do you see the role of the CFO changing in this environment?
  (i.e. responsibilities, focus, etc)

• Where do we go from here?


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