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Financial Report of the United States Government

Management's Discussion & Analysis


The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Financial Report of the United States Government (Financial Report) provides the President, Congress, and the American people with a comprehensive view of the federal government’s financial position and condition, and 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), in cooperation with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), must submit an audited (by the Government Accountability Office or GAO) financial statement for the preceding fiscal year, covering all accounts and associated activities of the executive branch of the United States Government1 to the President and Congress no later than six months after the September 30 fiscal year-end.

The Financial Report is prepared from the audited financial statements of specifically designated federal agencies, (see organizational chart on the next page and Appendix A). As it has for the past twenty years, GAO issued a disclaimer of opinion on the accrual-based, consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2017 and 2016. GAO also issued a disclaimer of opinion on the sustainability financial statements, which consist of the 2017 and 2016 Statements of Long-Term Fiscal Projections (SLTFP); the 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 Statements of Social Insurance (SOSI); and the 2017 and 2016 Statements 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 2017, 332 of the 39 most significant agencies earned unmodified opinions on their financial statement audits. The FY 2017 Financial Report consists of:

This Financial Report addresses the Government’s financial activity and results as of September 30, 2017.  Note 25, Subsequent Events discusses events that occurred after the end of the fiscal year which may affect the Government’s financial position and condition.

In addition, the Executive Summary to this Financial Report provides a quick reference to the key issues in the Financial 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 Government’s functions have evolved over time to include health care, income security, veterans benefits and services, housing and transportation, security, and education. Exhibit 1 provides an overview of how the U.S. Government (Government) is organized.

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


1 The Government Management Reform Act of 1994 has required such reporting, covering the executive branch of the Government, beginning with financial statements prepared for FY 1997. Treasury and OMB included the legislative and judicial branches in the consolidated financial statements as well. (Back to Content)

2 The 33 agencies include: (1) the Department of Health and Human Services, which received disclaimers of opinion on its 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013 SOSI and on its 2017 and 2016 SCSIA; (2) the Department of Labor, which received disclaimers of opinion on its 2017 SCSIA and 2016 SOSI and SCSIA; and (3) the Department of Agriculture (USDA), which received an unmodified opinion only on its balance sheet (other statements were not audited). The Department of Energy (DOE) expects to issue its audited Agency Financial Report (AFR) after the release of this Financial Report. (Back to Content)

Last modified 02/09/23