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2012 Financial Report of the United States Government

Management's Discussion & Analysis


The fiscal year (FY) 2012 Financial Report of the United States Government (Report) provides the President, Congress, and the American people with a comprehensive view of the Federal Government’s finances, i.e., its financial position and condition, its revenues and costs, assets and liabilities, and other obligations and commitments.  The Report also discusses important financial issues and significant conditions that may affect future operations, including the need to achieve fiscal sustainability over the medium and long term.

Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 331(e)(1), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) must submit the Report, which is subject to audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), to the President and Congress no later than six months after the September 30 fiscal year end.  To encourage timely and relevant reporting, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) accelerated both individual agency and government-wide reporting deadlines.

The Report is prepared from the audited financial statements of specifically designated Federal agencies, including the Cabinet departments and many smaller, independent agencies (see organizational chart on the next page).  As it has for the past fifteen years, GAO issued a “disclaimer” of opinion on the accrual-based, consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2012 and 2011.  GAO also issued disclaimers of opinion on the 2012, 2011, and 2010 Statements of Social Insurance (SOSI), following unqualified opinions on the 2008 and 2009 SOSI, and a disclaimer of opinion on the 2012 and 2011 Statement of Changes in Social Insurance Amounts (SCSIA).  A disclaimer of opinion indicates that sufficient information was not available for the auditors to determine whether the reported financial statements were fairly presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  In FY 2012, 311 of the 35 most significant agencies earned unqualified opinions on their financial statement audits.2

The FY 2012 Financial Report consists of:

In addition, the Government has produced a Citizen’s Guide to provide the American taxpayer with a quick reference to the key issues in the Report and an overview of the Government's financial position and condition.

Mission & Organization

The Government’s fundamental mission is derived from the Constitution: “…to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”  The Congress authorizes and agencies implement programs as missions and initiatives evolve over time in pursuit of key public services and objectives, such as providing for national defense, promoting affordable health care, fostering income security, boosting agricultural productivity, providing veteran benefits and services, facilitating commerce, supporting housing and the transportation systems, protecting the environment, contributing to the security of energy resources, and helping States provide education.

Exhibit 1 provides an overview of how the U.S. Government is organized.

Exhibit 1 - Overview of how the United States Government is organized

Significant Reporting Entities

Other Significant Reporting Entities


1 The 31 agencies include the Department of Health and Human Services, which received a disclaimer of opinion on its 2012, 2011, and 2010 SOSI and on its 2012 and 2011 SCSIA.(Back to Content)

2 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (FCSIC) are among the 35 significant entities.  However, because these entities operate on a calendar year basis (December 31 year-end), their 2012 audits are not yet complete.  Statistic reflects 2011 audit results for these organizations.(Back to Content)

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