Progress in Improving Program and Budget Information for Congressional Use

Gao ID: OACG-84-2 November 8, 1983

GAO presented its annual report on the progress and results of its continuing program to: (1) develop standard terms and classifications for Federal fiscal, budgetary, and program-related information; (2) identify congressional needs for such information; and (3) monitor recurring reporting requirements of Congress and recommend changes.

Over the past year, GAO has noted a number of positive actions which should contribute to improving program and budget information for congressional use. These include: (1) a GAO cooperative effort with the Department of Defense to improve its planning, programing, and budgeting system; (2) the elimination of unnecessary reporting requirements; (3) increased congressional interest in improving the budget process as evidenced by several hearings; and (4) actions to improve congressional access to information noted by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury in their annual report. However, GAO believes that significant opportunities for improvement remain. One area of particular significance is the improvement of Federal financial management processes. GAO believes that a comprehensive Government-wide approach is needed to meet the long-term goals of modernizing and integrating the fiscal, budgetary, and program information systems and services of the Federal Government. Creating an overall conceptual model of a better integrated financial management system would allow GAO to put the many individual reform efforts into better perspective and to deal with their interrelationships. In the next year, GAO plans to work with Congress and the executive branch to seek agreement on a conceptual framework for Federal financial management that can guide the reform and system modernization work. GAO will continue to work with Congress and OMB to bring about the implementation of GAO recommendations for improvements.

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