The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported the bipartisan CFO Vision Act of 2020 (S. 3287) favorably to the Senate floor last Wednesday, July 22. Now the bill awaits a vote by the entire body.
This bill would standardize and clarify the roles of agency Chief Financial Officers (CFO) across the government, which were first created by the 1990 CFO Act. It also would require CFOs to coordinate with other senior personnel such as the Chief Data Officer, Chief Evaluation Officer, and Chief Information Officer. It would also require agencies to submit performance-based financial management metrics to the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress.
This is a significant step forward in improving the government’s financial management. Open and transparent data about how agencies allocate resources is a foundational part of accountable government. Congress has taken meaningful steps forward in modernizing the way spending information is collected, reported, and published. Legislation like the DATA Act and GREAT Act aims to strengthen federal agencies’ oversight and management of spending data. The CFO Vision Act furthers these goals by modernizing and clarifying the responsibilities of the CFO and thereby delivering accountability to the public. This effort is an important step forward in using data to improve the government’s financial performance and accountability. The need for these improvements has never been more clear, as CFOs will have an important role in the oversight and implementation of COVID-relief spending.
The Data Coalition is pleased to see this bill attract strong bipartisan support from both chambers of Congress. We urge Congress to continue to work to improve financial data and government accountability.