Some senators and advocacy groups from both sides of the aisle think government should have tougher financial management controls. If the reforms are approved, will be first update since 1990.
Major provisions of the proposal include measures for:
- Standardizing Chief Financial Officers (CFO) responsibilities across the entire executive branch.
- Providing deputy CFOs new authority to ensure continuity in agency financial management operations in the event of CFO vacancies.
- Revising and updating government-wide and agency-level financial management planning requirements to strengthen the links between spending decisions and performance data.
- Requiring development of financial management performance measuring metrics to gauge progress toward improving government efficiency.
- Strengthening internal controls to require agency managers to identify key financial management information and annually assess progress.
The proposal follows enactment by the 115th Congress of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 that required federal agencies to begin making maximum use of the extensive data they collect annually on the operations of their programs. The hope is that federal officials will rely upon such data to ensure continuation of successful programs and elimination of those that fail.
Congressional staff veterans offered cautiously optimistic assessments of prospects for the financial management reforms.
R Street Institute Vice President Kevin Kosar told The Epoch Times “proposals to improve the government’s data and technology quality are not easily polarized … It also is the case that government systems often are glaringly in need of upgrading, and folks within the government are desperate for someone to help them improve things.” Kosar worked for a decade at the Congressional Research Service (CRS).