Education: We'll fix our finances

Facing congressional scrutiny of its financial management troubles for the first time under President Bush's watch, the Education Department reported July 24 that a new accounting system it is installing will help it earn a clean financial audit opinion.

"Our auditors identified many weaknesses in the current accounting system, and these weaknesses are being addressed in the implementation of a completely new accounting system that will produce fully integrated financial management information," said William Hansen, deputy secretary of Education, testifying before a House subcommittee.

The new system, using Oracle Corp. software, should reduce manual accounting practices and be ready for full use next year, Hansen said.

Education Inspector General Lorraine Lewis praised the work of Education's Management Improvement Team, but said that its initial report issued earlier this month shows that "significant challenges" remain.

Major internal control weaknesses revolve around Education's financial management and other information technology systems, she said.

Hansen said that in the past 90 days, the department deployed a new intrusion-detection system, arranged disaster-recovery facilities for its financial management system and its network, updated security policies and developed a security training program for IT staff members and managers.

Linda Calbom, director of financial management and assurance for the General Accounting Office, said problems with edit checks in the department's Grant Administration and Payment System have resulted in ineligible students receiving money.

Featured

  • Elections
    voting security

    'Unprecedented' challenges to safe, secure 2020 vote

    Our election infrastructure is bending under the stress of multiple crises. Administrators say they are doing all they can to ensure it doesn't break.

  • FCW Perspectives
    zero trust network

    Can government get to zero trust?

    Today's hybrid infrastructures and highly mobile workforces need the protection zero trust security can provide. Too bad there are obstacles at almost every turn.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.