The Qualifications for and Role of Agency Chief Financial Officers

T-AFMD-91-7: Published: Jun 7, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 7, 1991.

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GAO discussed the qualifications needed by individuals to fill federal agencies' chief financial officer (CFO) positions created by the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. GAO noted that: (1) the act created CFO positions in 23 major agencies and required that those employees report directly to agency heads and oversee all financial management activities relating to agency programs and operations; (2) CFO would ensure that financial management policies and internal controls were effective and that financial management systems produced information that was useful, reliable, and timely; (3) CFO would need a background in financial management and accounting and must have demonstrated capability as influential financial management leaders, successful catalysts for bringing about change, and accomplished managers at the top levels of an organization; and (4) CFO would have the authority to review all major legislative and other programmatic proposals, including major procurements, in order to provide advice to agency heads on federal cost and program benefit estimates.

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