You might be surprised to learn that your position is relatively new. CFOs have existed only since passage of the 1990 Chief Financial Officers Act, which established the positions of CFO (a political appointee) and deputy CFO (a career civil servant) in the 24 largest federal agencies. The law also required agencies to upgrade their financial management systems and, for the first time, have their financial statements independently audited. Some audits are performed by the Government Accountability Office, but most are performed by an accounting firm designated by the agency’s inspector general, with a few performed by the inspector general him or herself.
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