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In the past 15 years, a number of laws, accounting standards, system requirements, and related guidance have emphasized the need for cost information in the federal government, establishing requirements and accounting standards for managerial cost accounting (MCA) information. Among them was the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (FFMIA), which required Chief Financial Officers Act agencies' systems to comply substantially with federal financial management systems requirements and federal accounting standards, including managerial cost accounting standards. In light of these requirements, the Chairman asked GAO to determine how federal agencies generate MCA information and how government managers use that information to support their decision making and provide accountability. GAO briefed subcommittee staff on its work at the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Veterans Affairs (VA) on July 15 and issued a report on its findings that included recommendations on September 2, 2005 (GAO-05-1013R).

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