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Fiscal Year 2008 U.S. Government Financial Statements: Federal Government Faces New and Continuing Financial Management and Fiscal Challenges: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, Committee on Overs

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GAO annually audits the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS). The Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial and performance information to make sound decisions and conduct effective oversight of federal government programs and policies. Except for the 2008 and 2007 Statements of Social Insurance, GAO has been unable to GAO annually audits the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS). The Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial and performance information to make sound decisions and conduct effective oversight of federal government programs and policies. Except for the 2008 and 2007 Statements of Social Insurance, GAO has been unable to provide assurance on the reliability of the CFS due primarily to inadequate systems and lack of sufficient, reliable evidence to support certain material information in the CFS. Unless these weaknesses are adequately addressed, they will, among other things, (1) hamper the federal government's ability to reliably report a significant portion of its assets, liabilities, costs, and other related information; and (2) affect the federal government's ability to reliably measure the full cost as well as the financial and nonfinancial performance of certain programs and activities. This testimony presents the results of GAO's audit of the CFS for fiscal year 2008 and discusses federal financial management challenges and the long-term fiscal outlook.


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GAO annually audits the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS). The Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial and performance information to make sound decisions and conduct effective oversight of federal government programs and policies. Except for the 2008 and 2007 Statements of Social Insurance, GAO has been unable to GAO annually audits the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS). The Congress and the President need reliable, useful, and timely financial and performance information to make sound decisions and conduct effective oversight of federal government programs and policies. Except for the 2008 and 2007 Statements of Social Insurance, GAO has been unable to provide assurance on the reliability of the CFS due primarily to inadequate systems and lack of sufficient, reliable evidence to support certain material information in the CFS. Unless these weaknesses are adequately addressed, they will, among other things, (1) hamper the federal government's ability to reliably report a significant portion of its assets, liabilities, costs, and other related information; and (2) affect the federal government's ability to reliably measure the full cost as well as the financial and nonfinancial performance of certain programs and activities. This testimony presents the results of GAO's audit of the CFS for fiscal year 2008 and discusses federal financial management challenges and the long-term fiscal outlook.

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