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The Future of Federal Financial Management

Supporting the President's Management Agenda: Treasury's Vision for Federal Financial Management

On the heels of OMB's recent publication of the President's Management Agenda (PMA), Treasury unveiled its vision on the future of federal financial management. In harmony, both publications share four common approaches for modernizing the federal government - A customer-centric perspective; The power of data; Shared solutions; and Elimination of low-value work. Aimed at improving agencies' abilities to deliver on their missions, both the PMA and FM Vision initiatives focus on providing the American people excellent service and effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars:

A customer-centric perspective

The PMA recognizes that trust in the federal government is often shaped by a citizen's experience when interacting with a federal agency. Treasury's plan starts from the citizen's perspective: the citizen expects that their financial interactions with the government will be modern, seamless and secure. For the citizen paying fees or receiving benefits, Treasury envisions an all-electronic environment that offers the same range of modern payment options available from commercial firms. For businesses that supply goods and services to the government, Treasury plans for an on-line portal to support submission of invoices and tracking of payments.

The power of data

The PMA acknowledges that data is a strategic asset with the power to transform government operations. Data also plays a central role in Treasury's plan. Because citizens rely on government information, Treasury outlines a long-term path to improve the accuracy and accessibility of federal financial data. As a first step, Treasury will enable a federal financial statement with a clean audit opinion. This will require a solution to the decades-old problem of inaccurate buy-sell transactions between agencies. The second step is to improve the accuracy of federal payments. Treasury will establish "best practices" to assist agencies in applying advanced data analytics to target improper payments.

Treasury's white paper on the future of federal financial management applies the purpose and principles of the President's Management Agenda to the government's fiscal operations.

Shared solutions

"Shift time, effort, and funding currently spent on administrative services to core missions" is a theme that runs throughout the PMA. A key strategy for improving administrative efficiency is to consolidate redundant operations so that they can be performed with economies-of-scale. Treasury's plan builds on its decades of experience in standardizing, consolidating and automating the government's most common financial processes. From disbursing to collections to general accounting, Treasury currently provides central services to agencies so they can focus on their missions. Treasury's vision extends this approach to accounts receivable processing and all aspects of financial management for those agencies that are unable to perform these operations at-scale.

Elimination of low-value work

The PMA recognizes that agencies spend countless hours of effort to comply with outdated, redundant, and unnecessary requirements. Today, agencies prepare expensive financial statements that are seldom read. Treasury will work with oversight agencies to replace these individual statements with a single government-wide statement that will be more informative to the citizen. Using information from its central accounting systems, this approach leverages data that the agencies currently report to Treasury. To ensure controls and accuracy, Treasury proposes risk-based audits that will focus scrutiny and oversight on those accounting areas that need the most attention.

Treasury's vision for future of federal financial management translates the goals of the PMA into tangible actions. Fiscal Service is perfectly poised to support Treasury and agencies as they make the federal government more efficient, accountable and citizen-focused. And, like the President's agenda, its ultimate purpose is to restore trust in the operations of government.

Last modified 05/08/18