Empirical Performance Blog
Our blog offers the latest trends and best practices in financial management & accounting, risk mitigation, automation, data management, and finance & analytics technologies, as well as federal government news and updates in Federal financial management and compliance.
While the government spends nearly $100 billion annually on IT systems, strategic spending is difficult. Public funds are often tied to purposes, making it harder to invest in IT and then directly allocate the spending, savings, and benefit of the investment to the mission, especially long-term benefits (A Roadmap for IT Modernization in Government, IBM Center for The Business of Government, Dr. Gregory Dawson, 2018).
The agency Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can help Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and program leaders obtain funding for their IT modernization and data transformation projects, but every CFO needs to understand the potential Return On Investment (ROI) and risks.
Traditionally, Federal agency CFO’s prepared budgets that demonstrate what each dollar will be used for (programs, staffing, technology, etc.). This does not ensure that the dollars appropriated will produce program or mission goals. Performance-based budgeting is critical for agencies to comply with regulations, ensure the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and drive mission success. In theory, it makes sense. However, CFOs and their team struggle with performance-based budgeting due to many challenges.
Given the proliferation of important transformational initiatives in the federal sector, as well as the continued challenges associated with uncertain budgetary resources, increasing workloads with less staff, and a rapidly changing operating environment, it is vital for agencies to employ savvy financial management approaches to ensure program performance is optimized and aligned with mission goals. Yet, many agencies continue to struggle with managing complex, large, and important programs.