B-128889, OCT. 12, 1956

B-128889: Oct 12, 1956

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EXPRESSED HIS CONCERN THAT THERE WAS AN ABSENCE OF AN ADEQUATE PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPING FINANCIAL REPORTS FOR APPROPRIATIONS AND A GENERAL LACK OF INTEGRATION OF EXISTING REPORTS. THE REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO THE SECTION 1311 REPORTS WERE DEVELOPED ONLY AFTER FULL AND COMPLETE COORDINATION WITH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH COMPLETE COORDINATION WAS SIGNIFICANT IN THE LIGHT OF THE EXPRESSED ANNOYANCE OF THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE OVER THE DISPARITIES. 1956) WAS DELAYED IN OUR ENDEAVOR TO CONSTRUCTIVELY RESOLVE THE DIVERGENT VIEWS OF INTERESTED AGENCIES IN THE REGULATION. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS BEEN AND IS COLLABORATING WITH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. THIS IS DONE ON A JOINT AND COOPERATIVE BASIS UNDER THE JOINT ACCOUNTING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.

B-128889, OCT. 12, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET:

IN HIS LETTER DATED AUGUST 2, 1956, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER) STATED THERE HAS BEEN INADEQUATE COORDINATION OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS BETWEEN THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. EXPRESSED HIS CONCERN THAT THERE WAS AN ABSENCE OF AN ADEQUATE PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPING FINANCIAL REPORTS FOR APPROPRIATIONS AND A GENERAL LACK OF INTEGRATION OF EXISTING REPORTS. THE LETTER AT ONE POINT MAKES REFERENCE TO THE REPORTS SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 1311 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955.

THE REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO THE SECTION 1311 REPORTS WERE DEVELOPED ONLY AFTER FULL AND COMPLETE COORDINATION WITH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND THE EXECUTIVE AGENCIES. THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH COMPLETE COORDINATION WAS SIGNIFICANT IN THE LIGHT OF THE EXPRESSED ANNOYANCE OF THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE OVER THE DISPARITIES, INCONSISTENCIES, AND APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS BETWEEN THE VARIOUS REPORTS REQUIRED BY THE TREASURY, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND FINANCIAL REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. IN FACT, THE RELEASE OF THE MOST RECENT INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SECTION 1311 REPORTS (GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 127, DATED JUNE 28, 1956) WAS DELAYED IN OUR ENDEAVOR TO CONSTRUCTIVELY RESOLVE THE DIVERGENT VIEWS OF INTERESTED AGENCIES IN THE REGULATION, PARTICULARLY THE VIEWS OF THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER).

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS BEEN AND IS COLLABORATING WITH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND THE EXECUTIVE AGENCIES AS REQUIRED BY THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES ACT OF 1950. THIS IS DONE ON A JOINT AND COOPERATIVE BASIS UNDER THE JOINT ACCOUNTING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM. ONE OF THE JOINT PROJECTS UNDER THIS PROGRAM IS A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF THE REPORTS WHICH THE EXECUTIVE AGENCIES ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT TO THE CENTRAL AGENCIES. THE SCOPE OF THIS STUDY INCLUDES FINANCIAL REPORTS FOR APPROPRIATIONS, MENTIONED IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER OF AUGUST 2, AS WELL AS OTHER TYPES OF FINANCIAL REPORTS. THE COOPERATIVE PARTICIPATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND OTHER EXECUTIVE AGENCIES WILL BE REQUIRED AND SOLICITED SO THAT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS DEVELOPED UNDER THIS PROJECT WILL BE, TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF AN INTEGRATED FINANCIAL REPORTING SYSTEM.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE AND WELL INTEGRATED FINANCIAL REPORTING SYSTEM IN GOVERNMENT WILL DEPEND, TO A GREAT EXTENT, ON THE ABILITY OF THE AGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE AND APPROPRIATE FINANCIAL FACTS ON A CONSISTENT AND ACCURATE BASIS FROM INTEGRATED SYSTEMS OF PROGRAMMING, BUDGETING, AND ACCOUNTING. THE STAFF OF MY OFFICE ASSIGNED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS AVAILABLE, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT APPROPRIATE, TO ASSIST THE DEPARTMENT IN DEVELOPING ANY NECESSARY IMPROVEMENTS REQUIRED.