Letter from the Chief Financial Officer

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Agency Financial Report 2014, Letter from the Chief Financial Officer

I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year 2014 financial statements for the U.S. General Services Administration.

In FY 2014, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) established a new vision, which states “As the agency’s trusted strategic financial advisor, OCFO will lead GSA in savings, efficiency and risk management.“ Our new vision provides a roadmap for our goals and business objectives, and sets the stage for our direction over the next two years. This vision aligns with the Administrator’s strategic priorities aimed at driving efficiency, accountability, and cost-savings across our organization. In concert with this new vision the OCFO established goals in five measurable areas to monitor our success: savings, efficiency, service, risk, and organizational excellence. Significant accomplishments in FY 2014 toward this vision and these goals include:

GSA Chief Financial Officer Michael Casella
  • The retirement of $1.6 billion of debt carried by the Federal Buildings Fund for balances borrowed from the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Financing Bank, generating net savings for GSA of $297 million in interest payments that would have been due over the next 12 years.
  • The provision of regular, consistent budget execution reporting and reviews to reduce the risk of over- or under-execution.
  • Implementation of an asbestos liability estimating methodology that fully complies with new federal accounting requirements.
  • The further implementation of the Billing and Accounts Receivable (BAAR) modules for Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Business Lines. With this module, GSA Global Supply and AutoChoice paper bills are no longer mailed; instead, customers began accessing bills, statements and billing data electronically via GSA’s Vendor and Customer Self Service (VCSS) website.
  • Expansion of the “Freeze the Footprint” initiative to Regional Offices to reduce office space charges and maximize savings via shared work space and increased use of teleconferencing.
  • Implementation of PayPal as an additional payment option for GSA’s non-Federal customers, creating efficiencies and ease of payment for up to 8,500 GSA collections.
  • Implementation of 15 new or enhanced document management processes that converted over 150,000 pages of documents into electronic form.

In FY 2014, the OCFO made significant strides in streamlining and consolidating GSA’s financial operations. The OCFO developed a transformation plan, which included the following goals: enable fiscal controls, promote standardization, improve efficiency, improve effectiveness, promote a common purpose, and improve customer service. Through our transformation, we aim to become a model for the Federal Government in maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of financial and business processes, providing world-class financial services to our customers, identifying and mitigating financial risks driving agency-wide cost-savings, and fostering an OCFO culture of high-performance. In FY 2015, the OCFO will align activities within the OCFO to increase the efficiency of our financial operations and to build greater consistency in our practices, rooted with sound internal controls.

Based on an independent audit, GSA has received an unmodified “clean” audit opinion on its financial statements, representing the ninth consecutive clean opinion. It demonstrates our commitment to a stewardship of public resources as well as transparent and accountable management.

The independent auditors’ report includes a material weakness in internal controls over GSA’s financial reporting. The weakness is due to inadequacies and understatement of the estimates of costs to cleanup non-asbestos environmental contamination, and inadequate evidence for complete and accurate classification of capital and operating leases. The OCFO will continue in FY 2015 to take aggressive action to address all reporting issues and eliminate these weaknesses, as well as collaborate with GSA’s Service and Staff Offices to strengthen entity-level internal controls, prioritizing the highest risk processes, and recurring issues.

I would like to thank the financial management professionals throughout GSA for their hard work and dedication throughout this past year. In the coming year, OCFO will continue to seek ways to deliver more value to GSA’s customers and to improve the agency’s financial compliance, accountability, and transparency, thereby supporting GSA in its mission to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people.

Signature of Michael Casella, Chief Financial Officer of GSA

Michael Casella
Chief Financial Officer
November 12, 2014

Last Reviewed: 2019-02-26