Accountability and Transparency
Fiscal Responsibility is Chief Concern at VSCPA Town Hall Meeting
Experts from around Virginia recently met with 80 local professionals to discuss the importance of fiscal responsibility in the coming year. Opening speeches were followed by an open forum to discuss a CPA’s role in navigating the economic recovery.
Revenue Shortfalls Continue to Impact Local Governments Budgets, Decrease Expected in Intergovernmental Funding
CB&H’s Inaugural Government Benchmarking Study highlights concerns with budget shortfalls and intergovernmental dependency Depressed economic conditions and rising federal deficits continue to have a profound impact on local governmental entities, according to a new survey of government financial and operational leaders throughout the Southeast. Yet despite revenue shortfalls, 59% of respondents state that the position of their board/commission on property tax is to maintain the current tax rate and reduce the cost of services. Only 3% plan to raise taxes in order to balance the budget. The study, sponsored by Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P. (CB&H) , identifies a number of significant trends on a wide range of timely. Read More.
Commentary from CB&H’s Ed Mazur on the AmericaSpeaks National Town Meeting
On Saturday, June 26th, CB&H’s Ed Mazur served as the on-site Issues Expert for the Richmond portion of a National Town Meeting on Federal Budget and economy, organized by AmericaSpeaks. Ed’s observations, reflections and commentary on the event are now through the Association of Government Accountants’ (AGA) newsletter, AGA Today. Click here to read the full article. AmericaSpeaks: Our Budget, Our Economy was a national discussion to find common ground on tough choices about our federal budget. 3,500 Americans from across the country came together to weigh-in on strategies to ensure a sustainable fiscal future and a strong economic recovery. The Richmond portion of the National Town Meeting took place at the Virginia State. Read More.
GAO Report: ARRA Investment Will Change Shape as Recovery Continues
The Government Accountability Organization (GAO) released its latest in the series transparency reviews for State and Local administration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). So far, 41 percent, or $114.8 billion, of funds have been paid out by the federal government. Investment so far has fallen largely to Health and Education initiatives. GAO expects the remaining 60 percent of funding to show greater increases in transportation, community development, energy and environment initiatives. Health Care As of the late-may report, the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) has paid out $12.7 billion, 92 percent of allocated funds in the first half of 2010. Funding continues to go toward plugging. Read More.
Davis-Bacon Delaying Some Recovery Act Programs
Last month, the Government Accountability Organization ( GAO ) released its analysis of the Davis-Bacon Act’s impact on Recovery Act implementation . Passed in 1931, Davis-Bacon requires federal contractors be paid a wage consummate with the prevailing local average. GAO found that, while most programs were unaffected, several are stalled due to wage rate analysis and payroll reporting requirements.
GAO FY09 Audit Results: Attention Needed in Several Areas — Reporting, Deficit, Healthcare, Financial Systems
The Government Accountability Office ( GAO ) recently issued the results of its annual audit of the 2009 Consolidated Financial Statement (CFS) . Since CFS audits began in 1997, the chief problem identified has been material weakness in internal control over financial reporting. As a result, a significant portion of the government’s assets, liabilities and costs therefore remain unmeasured to their full extent. For the third straight year, GAO issued an unqualified decision on the Statement of Social Insurance. This, combined with inadequate interagency budget reporting; inadequate CFS preparation processes; and serious financial management issues within one of the largest reporting bodies, the Department of Defense; created significant impediments. Read More.