What Are Accountability Reports?

The Government Management Reform Act of 1994 provided the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with the authority (following Congressional consultation) to streamline and consolidate financial management reporting. As a result, the Chief Financial Officers Council made recommendations on how to provide more useful information to decision makers by linking together several management statutes, and is working with OMB to oversee implementation of these recommendations.

Under this approach, FY 1995 Accountability Reports were prepared by six volunteer agencies -- the General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Social Security Administration, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Veterans Affairs -- after consultation with the Congress and approval by OMB. These Accountability Reports were issued by each agency head and integrated the following information: the Federal Managers, Financial Integrity Act report; the Chief Financial Officers Act Annual Report (including audited financial statements); management's Report on Final Action as required by the Inspector General Act; Civil Monetary Penalty and Prompt Payment Act reports; and available information on agency performance compared with its stated goals and objectives, in preparation for implementation of GPRA.

The CFO Council's evaluation of the FY 1995 Accountability Reports concludes that the first set of pilot Accountability Reports successfully presented the results of agency program and financial operations in a streamlined format. These promising results provided the basis for expanding the pilot project in FY 1996 to include two additional agencies -- the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Interior.

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