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FCW : September 30, 2013
FEDERAL LIST Trending is the pay raise federal employees can expect on Jan. 1 1 percent The Defense Department s nancial management problems have been well-documented over the years, with numerous watchdog reports provid- ing an ongoing saga of the Pentagon s struggles to achieve audit-readiness and implement a solid business enter- prise architecture. The latest report comes from the Government Accountability Of ce and addresses DOD s ineffective risk manage- ment planning, a de cien- cy GAO said could sabotage the department s ability to have audit-ready nancial statements by 2014, as required in the scal 2012 defense authorization bill. The Pentagon s finan- cial management programs have been on GAO s high-risk list --- deemed susceptible to waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement --- since 1995. "DOD remains the only major fed- eral agency that has been unable to receive an audit opinion of any kind on its departmentwide financial statements," GAO auditors wrote in the latest report. "Given the size and complexity of DOD s worldwide opera- tions --- involving a requested budget of approximately $614 billion for scal year 2013 --- accurate, complete, and timely nancial management informa- tion and effective accountability are critical." The report acknowledges that Penta- gon leaders have taken some actions to manage department-level risks, primar- ily through its Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness plan. But GAO noted problems with FIAR and said its risk management efforts were not carried out "in accordance with widely recognized guiding prin- ciples for effective risk management," which include fully assessing and plan- ning for risks that could make goals unachievable. According to GAO, in July 2012, DOD leaders identified six risks to FIAR s implementation: lack of full commitment, insufficient account- ability, poorly defined scope and requirements, unquali ed personnel, insufficient funding, and weaknesses in information system control. GAO said DOD s list of risks is not comprehensive, and there is no evidence of efforts to identify further risks. "For example, based on prior audits, GAO identi ed other audit-readiness risks that DOD did not identify, such as the reliance on service pro- viders for much of the components nancial data and the need for better departmentwide document retention policies," the report states. "Similarly, DOD s actions to manage its identi ed risks were not in accordance with the guiding principles. GAO found little evidence that DOD analyzed risks it identi ed to assess their magnitude or that DOD developed adequate plans for mitigating the risks." DOD Comptroller Robert Hale, in a written response included in the GAO report, said the Pentagon does not have a risk management policy speci cally for FIAR. But he disputed ndings that point to inadequate risk management. "All common risk management activities are occurring, including iden- ti cation, evaluation, remediation and monitoring of enterprisewide risk for the FIAR initiatives," Hale wrote, add- ing that risk management efforts have been embedded in FIAR s processes and activities. --- Amber Corrin More bad news for DOD's audit-readiness 8 September 30, 2013 FCW.COM Robert Hale DEFENSE.GOV Top 10 stories on FCW.com 1. Amazon and CIA ink cloud deal Interest in the $600 million contract extended far beyond the federal IT community. 2. What's the trouble at VA? FCW's May report found a serious disconnect between IT leaders and rank-and- le employees. 3. Obama wins. Now what? There was a lot of curiosity last November about what "four more years" would mean for agency IT. 4. What the heck is Hadoop? This explainer has drawn steady traf c since its publication in March. 5. Obama extends federal pay freeze until April 2013 Nobody likes frozen salaries, but in late 2012, plenty of people wanted to read about them. 6. IC wrestles with Web 2.0 tools for information sharing This 2009 article got a second life thanks to all the recent news about National Security Agency activities. 7. DOD furlough delay prompts anger Reader comments sparked a discus- sion of their own in May. 8. Richard Spires resigns FCW's coverage captured atten- tion all spring; this capstone in May clocked the most page views. 9. DOD delays furloughs as CR nears passage That note above about pay freezes? It also applied to furloughs in March. 10. CIA contract protested This update in late May showed continued reader interest in the Amazon/IBM battle. (September 2012 -- August 2013)
September 15, 2013
October 30, 2013