CFO Vision Act passes Senate: Warner bill updates financial oversight
You can’t run government entirely like it’s a business. Business looks at things that don’t make money and stops doing those things; government can’t.
But there are things government can and should do more like a business. For example: long-range planning, audited financial statements.
Those are among the key provisions in the CFO Vision Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation from Virginia Democrat Mark Warner and Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi.
The Senate voted this week to pass the bill, which updates the CFO Act of 1990
“It’s been 30 years since the Chief Financial Officers (Act was signed into law, equipping our federal agencies with critical financial management tools. However, since its enactment three decades ago, there has been a growing need to modernize these processes to meet the challenges of today and improve government-wide financial management,” Warner said.
“I’m pleased the Senate passed our bipartisan CFO Vision Act to help federal agencies improve their financial management, and ultimately boost performance through more informed strategic policy decision making. Most importantly, it will help renew Americans’ trust that their government is making smart, informed decisions about how we use taxpayer dollars.”
The bill would:
- Standardize CFO responsibilities across government by helping to enhance strategic decision-making, and correct inconsistencies.
- Provide deputy CFOs with sufficient authority to ensure continuity in agency financial management operations when CFO vacancies occur.
- Revise government-wide and agency-level financial management planning requirements by requiring the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to update the government’s financial plan every four years and provide annual status updates. 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 for decision-making.
- Develop a broader set of key selected financial management performance-based metrics by requiring OMB to develop a plan to determine the status and progress agencies are making towards achieving cost-effective and efficient government operations. The bill would also require that information be included in the government-wide and agency-level financial management plans and status reports.
- Strengthen internal controls by requiring agency management to identify key financial management information needed for effective financial management and decision making. The bill would also require agencies to annually assess and report on the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting and other key financial management information.
Story by Chris Graham