The President & His Leadership Team The President's Management Agenda Tools for Success
  |   The Scorecard Grading implementation of the PMA.   |     |   The Five Initatives Updates on five aspects of the PMA.   |     |   Department Updates Departments report on the PMA.   |     |   How They Did It Stories about achieving breakthrough results in government.   |     |   Other Reforms Additional management improvements.   |     |   FAQ Frequently asked questions about the PMA.
The Five Initatives


Producing Better Financial Information
Let's face it. Getting financial statements completed by March 1st is no great achievement. And even though more and more agencies are getting clean opinions on their financial statements, Congress and the press still find ample evidence of financial mismanagement - abuse of government credit cards, financial systems projects late and over budget, and billions in erroneous payments. This is exactly what the President was talking about when he said, "Taxpayers work hard to earn the money they send the government. Government should work equally hard to ensure that the money is spent wisely."

Criteria For Success
The Administration assesses agencies against clear and specific criteria for successful financial performance that were developed in consultation with GAO, AGA, and AICPA. To get to green on the Executive Branch Management Scorecard, you must have:
  • Accurate and timely financial information;
  • Integrated financial and performance management systems that support day-to-day operations;
  • Financial systems that meet federal requirements; and
  • Clean and timely audit opinions with no material weaknesses.
These are tough criteria. They won't get any easier when we accelerate the due date for the FY 2004 financial statements to November 15th. We want to make sure you have the tools you need to achieve Improved Financial Performance. In addition to issuing streamlined financial management guidance this fall, my office is always available to consult on how to meet the criteria.

Where Can You Go For Help?
The Chief Financial Officers Council is configured to help you implement the President's Management Agenda. Here are the CFO Council subcommittees and who to contact to find out how other agencies are achieving the Standards for Success for this initiative.
  • Best Practices - Dov Zakheim (DoD) and Ed Kingman (Department of the Treasury)
  • Budget & Performance - Donna McLean (DOT)
  • Erroneous Payments - Mark Carney (Department of Education)
  • Financial Statement Acceleration - Don Hammond (Department of the Treasury)
  • Human Capital - Angela Antonelli (HUD)
  • Systems/E-Government - Don McCrory (NSF) or Ron Brooks (DoD)
In addition to OMB and the CFO Council, you can find rich resources in the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program, the Inspectors General, and the General Accounting Office.

Reducing The Billions In Erroneous Payments
The President is personally dedicated to reducing the billions in erroneous payments made by federal programs each year. In an August 2001 radio address, the President highlighted just one problem program, saying, "The General Accounting Office has, year after year, found that the federal student aid programs are run in ways that make them vulnerable to fraud and waste. And year after year, virtually nothing has been done to make sure that federal aid intended for needy students goes only to the needy."

IRS Matching
We've made some progress since last year. Working with the Department of the Treasury, Education drafted and submitted to Congress a legislative proposal that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow Education to match student applicant data with IRS data for the purpose of verifying applicant eligibility for student financial assistance. The proposed match, if enacted and fully implemented, would eliminate hundreds of millions in erroneous payments in student aid programs.

Food Stamps And Medicare Have Reduced Their Error Rates
Also, the Medicare program reported a reduction in its erroneous payment rate from 6.8 percent in 2000 to 6.3 percent in 2001. Likewise, the Food Stamp program reduced its national error rate from 8.9 percent in 2000 to 8.7 percent in 2001. Reducing these error rates prevented the waste of almost $1 billion. To improve its administration of the Food Stamp program, the Department of Agriculture will make states like California and Michigan, which have error rates of 17.4 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, pay cash sanctions when their error rates greatly exceed the national average.

Agencies Are Required To Submit Estimates Of Their Erroneous Payments
Most agencies have plans in place to meet the federal budget requirement to estimate the extent of erroneous payments and set targets for reducing them. We're requiring agencies to submit estimates of their erroneous payments again this year, and we want aggressive targets to reduce them, like HUD's goal to reduce erroneous rental subsidy payments by 50%.

Yours truly,

Mark W. Everson

The Five Initatives:
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