OMB updates financial, performance reporting

OMB Circular A-136: Financial Reporting Requirements-Revised

The Office of Management and Budget clarified for agencies aspects of financial and performance reporting to make their information more comprehensive and transparent. OMB also provided guidance for next year’s Performance and Accounting Reports (PARs), which agencies must submit by Nov. 15.

The revisions were made in cooperation with the Chief Financial Officers Council and take effect in September at the end of the 2007 fiscal year, OMB Director Rob Portman said.

The OMB document updates requirements and spells out changes in how agencies should prepare their financial statements to improve their fiscal accountability.

Agencies prepare PARs under prescribed formats and instructions to provide a summary view of their financial performance for Congress, agency managers and the public. In the latest document, OMB detailed guidelines for a pilot test it announced in May in which agencies could choose an alternative format to make the information clearer and more meaningful.

Agencies participating in the test will post financial reports on their Web sites by Nov. 15 and provide hard copies to OMB. They will also produce an Annual Performance Report and a Highlights document, which will contain performance and financial information in a brief, easy-to-use format.

“However, all agencies, including those that are not participating in the pilot, are strongly encouraged to prepare a Highlights” document, Portman said in the update.

In addition to agency reports, OMB also provided key dates for submitting data to support the Treasury Department in producing the 2007 governmentwide financial report, which is due to be released Dec. 15.

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