Fiscal Service Tests Improving Federal Financial Management Using Artificial Intelligence
November 16, 2020
Washington, D.C. - The Bureau of the Fiscal Service continues in its role as a leader in incorporating artificial intelligence capabilities to improve federal agency operations. Effective use of artificial intelligence will allow federal agencies to provide more efficient, timely, and effective service to their customers.
As part of this effort, Fiscal Service has launched a study to assess whether artificial intelligence capabilities like machine learning and natural language processing can be used to create Treasury warrants. Treasury issues warrants to agencies based on the amount of funds appropriated by Congress.1
The warrants provide authority for the agencies to obligate and disburse funds.Acting Assistant Commissioner for Financial Innovation and Transformation, Adam Goldberg, stated that the project “aligns with our recently launched Digital End-to-End Efficiency initiative, which aims to digitize and automate entire business processes rather than individual tasks. This project is one of the Bureau’s first assessments of how cognitive tools support a financial management digital transformation.”
This four-month study will assess whether artificial intelligence tools can imitate the analysis and legislative interpretations performed by accountants. Appropriations language is not always written in plain language, thus making it difficult to identify the three primary warrant components: appropriation amount, period of availability, and purpose. This study will evaluate whether it is possible to train the computer algorithm to interpret the language and correctly predict the three warrant components.
Chief Data Officer, Justin Marsico noted that, “even at this early stage, I see great potential for artificial intelligence and machine learning at the Fiscal Service to help us work smarter, faster, and to be more effective at delivering for our customers.”
This project is a joint effort led by the Bureau’s Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation and Office of Fiscal Accounting, To learn more contact firstname.lastname@example.org (FIT) or email@example.com (Data Transparency).
1 Appropriation: An authorization by an act of Congress that provides an agency with budget authority. An appropriation allows the agency to incur obligations and to make payments out of the Treasury for specific purposes. Appropriations are definite (a specific sum of money) or indefinite (an amount for "such sums as may be necessary")