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Memorandum on the 30th Anniversary of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program

March 23, 1979

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: 30th Anniversary of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program

Thirty years ago the Executive and Legislative Branches saw the need for a closer working relationship to improve financial management in Government. The advances that have been made since the establishment of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program and the passage of the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act reflect the efforts of many dedicated individuals. The 30th anniversary of the Joint Program is a timely reminder that significant accomplishments are possible through cooperative efforts without creating new and bigger bureaucracies.

One of my goals as President is to have an efficient and effective Government responsive to the needs of the American people. With the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act, Federal managers now have new incentives to eliminate waste and inefficiency, to develop innovative solutions to complex problems, and to build a new foundation for more effective Government. I am confident that Federal managers will respond to this challenge with efforts that will have a lasting impact on the public service.

We need to re-establish public confidence in Government, and we are making progress. We are placing Inspectors General in each Cabinet-level Department to detect and eliminate fraud and abuses. They have broad powers and a substantial degree of independence. The significant features of this program must be extended throughout the Federal Government. The Office of Management and Budget will make sure that the auditing and investigative functions are meshed in a smooth and effective way.

In November 1977, we started a comprehensive review of cash management policies, practices, and organizations throughout the Executive Branch. The Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Treasury have been working with Federal agencies to accelerate Federal collections, to time disbursements properly and to develop incentives to make Federal employees better cash managers. I am pleased that the review has identified $400 million in interest cost savings during its first year alone.

A Government-wide effort led by the Office of Management and Budget and the General Accounting Office has now resulted in a breakthrough in auditing Federally assisted programs—a single guide to replace the almost one hundred guides now in use. We need to bring the same kind of simplicity to other Government programs without sacrificing effectiveness.

The spirit of cooperation exemplified by these efforts is an essential ingredient in establishing a new foundation for responsible and responsive Government. JFMIP has pioneered the cooperative approach and produced major improvements in Federal financial management during the past 30 years.

Every anniversary is a time to look back and a time to look ahead. This anniversary reminds us not only of progress made, but also that improved financial management must be a continuous effort, and one that involves every agency of government. I look to the future with great confidence as we put in place many new innovative techniques to make better use of our resources—everything from our cash to our human resources. The objectives of the Joint Program are clearly compatible with and reinforce those of my Administration to attain greater efficiency and effectiveness in Government operations. Therefore, I urge all of you to renew your commitment to the Joint Program and to better financial management in Government.


Jimmy Carter, Memorandum on the 30th Anniversary of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249260

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