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Pundits may question whether Congress should have approved $804 billion in stimulus money via the Recovery Act of 2009. But many in government have come to realize that the independent agency charged with overseeing how that money was spent -- the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board -- has a lot to teach financial managers about ensuring transparency and rooting out waste in government spending.
Tags: Recovery Act , RAT Board , Earl Devaney , Kathleen Tighe , Danny Werfel , Michael Wood , transparency , technology , financial accountability , financial management , Rise of the Money People , Michael OConnell , oversight
President Thomas Jefferson spoke of the impenetrable financial fog the federal government found itself under in 1802. Unfortunately, some things never change. Former Labor Department CFO Sam Mok says there are three steps the new director of the Office of Management and Budget should take to begin making a difference in this arena. Mok's column is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Rise of the Money People.
Nearly 23 years after the seminal CFO Act became law, agencies have met its spirit and intent, experts say. CFOs today quickly are becoming more than just number crunchers. They are now masters of data analytics aimed at improving agencies' missions.
The Office of Management and Budget has directed agencies to take full advantage of the funding flexibilities they have under law as they implement across-the-board sequestration cuts, that went into effect March 1. In an April 4 memo, OMB Controller Danny Werfel also directed agency and department leaders to be mindful of certain types of performance awards and to work with agency inspectors general before making cuts to IG offices.
Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel said the new process is centered around three concepts: the why, the what and the results. The White House also is consolidating 30 reporting requirements into three that will help agencies determine answers to the three questions. OMB also updated the goals under the data center consolidation initiative.
The Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to stop building costly, agency-specific systems when they modernize their financial management systems. Instead, going forward, agencies must use a federal shared-services provider when updating their accounting systems, according to a new memo from OMB Controller Danny Werfel.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters this week President Barack Obama has asked Acting OMB Director Jeff Zients to stay on until his successor is named. But for about the last six months, Zients was not the acting OMB director because his initial interim role quietly expired last year.