OMB controller to retire

Editor's note: This story was updated at 2:30 p.m. July 12, 2007. Please go to Corrections & Clarifications to see what has changed.

Linda Combs, controller at the Office of Management and Budget and head of its Office of Federal Financial Management, has resigned effective Aug. 10. She plans to retire and return to North Carolina. She has sought to make agencies more accountable and improve their financial management since taking the position in May 2005.

Danny Werfel, OMB’s deputy controller, will be acting controller, an OMB spokeswoman said.

“I congratulate her for her leadership, under which agencies have set and met ambitious goals,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management.

Under Combs’ guidance, agencies reduced their improper payments by $8 billion, increased the number of clean audits and shortened the reporting time from five months to 45 days to produce their annual financial statements. OMB also produced the first governmentwide inventory of real property, he said.

Agencies also must follow guidance to certify that they have put in place internal controls for financial reporting under OMB’s Circular A-123, which is similar to the requirement in the private sector mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley law.

Combs is half of one of the federal government’s power couples. Her husband is Dave Combs, who recently resigned as the Agriculture Department's chief information officer.

Linda Combs’ experience in government spans three presidential administrations. She previously was chief financial offer at the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. She also had various oversight and executive-level management positions at the departments of Education, Veterans Affairs and Treasury during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

Combs received her Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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