Financial accountability

The House Government Reform Committee recently approved a bill giving Congress the authority to demand financial accountability at the Homeland Security Department.

The main purpose of the Department of Homeland Security Financial Accountability Act (H.R. 4259) is to apply provisions of 1990's Chief Financial Officers Act to DHS, which has been excluded. For example, the bill would require Senate confirmation for the department's chief financial officer. President Bush appointed Andrew Maner, to serve in that position.

The bill would also require an audit of the internal accounting controls at DHS, which Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said would help "uncover inherent weaknesses and address problems" before business practices become ingrained.

"This bill codifies a structure for sound financial management that is mandatory, not optional, for future administrations," Platts said.

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