Benefit System Requirements:
Checklist for Reviewing Systems under the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (Supersedes GAO-02-762G)
GAO-04-22G, Oct 1, 2003
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This publication supersedes GAO-02-762G Benefit System Requirements: Checklist for Reviewing Systems under the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act, September 2002. The Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (FFMIA) requires, among other things, that agencies implement and maintain financial management systems that substantially comply with federal financial management system requirements. These requirements are detailed in the Federal Financial Management System Requirements series issued by the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) and in the guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB): Circular A-127, Financial Management Systems, and the January 4, 2001, Revised Implementation Guidance for the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA) of 1996. JFMIP intends for the requirements to promote understanding of key financial management systems concepts and requirements, to provide a framework for establishing integrated financial management systems to support program and financial managers, and to describe specific requirements of financial management systems. We are issuing this checklist, which reflects JFMIP's Benefit System (JFMIP-SR-01-01, September 2001), to assist (1) agencies in implementing and monitoring their benefit systems and (2) managers and auditors in reviewing their benefit systems to determine if they substantially comply with FFMIA. Among the types of benefit programs covered by these systems would be those for retirement, disability, death, survivor, and others not related to health care. There is no requirement that this checklist be used in assessing benefit systems. Rather, it is provided as a tool for use by experienced staff and is one in a series of documents we have issued to assist agencies in improving or maintaining effective operations. This checklist, the JFMIP source document, and the two previously mentioned OMB documents should be used concurrently. Those using this tool must apply experienced judgment in its interpretation and application. They must consider the impact of the completed checklist on an entire benefit system and whether the system, as a whole, substantially complies with requirements.