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U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen federal financial management by updating the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990. The CFO Act created a new foundation for federal financial management and established a fiscal management reporting and leadership structure.

“While financial reporting at the agency-level has improved, the federal government is still unable to get a clean opinion on its financial statements. Oftentimes, the federal government cannot show the relationship between dollars spent and results achieved,” said Enzi. “This legislation will lead to better financial and performance data and increase accountability in government programs and operations. This will help improve government-wide financial management and ensure taxpayer dollars are safeguarded.”

The legislation, S. 3287, is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mark Warner, D-Va., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., David Perdue, R-Ga., and James Lankford, R-Okla.

The bill would:

  • Standardize CFO responsibilities across government and enhance strategic decision-making;
  • Provide deputy CFOs with appropriate authority to ensure continuity in agency financial management operations when CFO vacancies occur;
  • Revise and update government-wide and agency-level financial management planning requirements to make sure they are reasonable and allow Congress to track agencies’ adherence to cost and date targets. Additionally, the bill would require the government-wide plan to include actions for improving financial management systems, strengthening the federal financial management workforce, and better linking performance and cost information to budget decision-making;
  • Require the development of financial management performance-based metrics to determine the status and progress agencies are making towards achieving cost-effective and efficient government operations.  The bill would also require this information to be included in the government-wide and agency-level financial management plans and status reports; and
  • Strengthen internal controls by requiring agency management to identify key financial management information needed for effective financial management and decision making, and to annually assess and report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting and other key financial management information.