Accuracy, Cost, and Users of the Consolidated Federal Funds Report

AFMD-85-1: Published: Oct 1, 1984. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 1984.

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In accordance with the Consolidated Federal Funds Report Act, GAO examined the accuracy of the data in the Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR), its cost, and its potential users.

CFFR for fiscal year (FY) 1983 provided statistical data on the geographic distribution of federal funds to states, counties, and cities in a two-volume document and a computer tape. The estimated cost for 1983 CFFR was about $476,000. CFFR reflected approximately 85 percent of the domestic budget, with the major exclusion being net interest on the federal debt. GAO found that the visibility of funds reported in CFFR declined progressively at each lower geographic level, with data at the subcounty level being so limited that their usefulness was questionable. The decline in data availability was due to the fact that the data sources on which CFFR was based generally did not track dollars to the location of all the actual recipients. In addition, inherent difficulties existed in converting the various geographic coding schemes used by the data sources to the coding scheme used by the Census Bureau. A broad spectrum of user groups expressed a need for CFFR data. Some users were particularly concerned about the lack of data available on pass-through funds below the state level. Many user groups expect CFFR to meet some of their needs, but they will probably use it along with other sources. However, user knowledge is limited.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OMB incorporated some pass-through fund data in the FY 1985 report and is exploring ways to provide additional data in future reports. This is an ongoing effort on the part of OMB and the Bureau of the Census. GAO believes that OMB has been fully responsive to this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should continue efforts to explore the feasibility of various alternatives to increase the visibility of pass-through funds data at the county level and include these data in future reports, if such alternatives are cost-effective.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OMB is currently working with users and should continue this type of coordination to determine ways to improve the report. This is an ongoing effort on the part of OMB and the Bureau of Census. GAO believes that OMB has been fully responsive to this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Director, OMB, should continue to work with user groups to identify their data needs and to obtain their input on desired improvements.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Information on organizations through which the computer tape and software can be accessed was published in the 1985 CFFR.

    Recommendation: The Director, OMB, should maintain, and publish in future CFFR volumes, information on organizations through which users can access the computer tape and obtain software.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

 

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