Department of Homeland Security Deputy Chief Financial Officer Peggy Sherry said that in order for the department to receive an opinion on its consolidated balance sheet for FY2011, specific improvements and corrections must be made to the Coast Guard’s budget.
Speaking on Friday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency on Financial Management, Sherry added to get the Coast Guard approved, DHS was adding assertions for Fund Balance with Treasury, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable, as well as evaluating all Information Technology findings to be able to receive an opinion.
“Even though the U.S. Coast Guard has shown major improvements over the past few years, they are still unable to fully remediate their financial management issues because of deficiencies with their current financial system,” Sherry said.
She continued that DHS currently does not have a consolidated financial management system and most legacy systems do not comply with Federal Finanicial Management System Requirements.
As the department looks to obtaining a financial system, DHS is collaborating with its Component CFOs to determine what steps can be taken now to prepare for migration to a new system and improve the fidelity of the current system in the near term.
Sherry said her office just published the Department’s 5th Annual Internal Controls Playbook which builds upon previous successes, defines current internal control initiatives, and establishes Mission Action Plans, milestones, and focus areas for the Department’s most significant internal control challenges.
She stated that her goals for this fiscal year and for all DHS components are:
- Provide timely, accurate, useful and actionable financial information to decision makers and stakeholders;
- Provide assurance that internal controls are effective;
- Provide efficient financial management services and operations;
- Develop program plans and budgets that are well-justified and balanced to support DHS priorities;
- Strengthen DHS financial management systems;
- Recruit, develop and retain a talented workforce to achieve the CFO mission; and
- Strengthen financial assistance accountability.