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Financial Report of the United States Government

Management's Discussion & Analysis

Introduction

The FY 2021 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 long term.

Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 331(e)(1), Treasury, in cooperation with OMB, must submit an audited (by GAO) financial statement for the preceding fiscal year, covering all accounts and associated activities of the executive branch of the U.S. government1 to the President and Congress no later than six months after the September 30 fiscal year-end. The first audited Financial Report covered FY 1997, making the FY 2021 Financial Report the 25th edition of this important vehicle for federal accountability and transparency.

The Financial Report is prepared from the financial information provided by 162 federal consolidation entities (see organizational chart on the next page and Appendix A). As it has for the past 24 years, GAO issued a disclaimer of opinion on the accrual-based, consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020. GAO also issued a disclaimer of opinion on the sustainability financial statements, which consist of the 2021 and 2020 SLTFP; the 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 SOSI; and the 2021 and 2020 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 GAAP. In FY 2021, 342 of the 40 most significant entities earned unmodified (“clean”) opinions on their financial statements.

The FY 2021 Financial Report consists of:

This Financial Report addresses the government’s financial activity and results as of and for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021 and 2020. Note 31—Subsequent Events discusses events that occurred after the end of the fiscal year that 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 is organized.

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

Notes

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. The consolidated financial statements include the legislative and judicial branches. (Back to Content)

2 The 34 entities include the HHS, which received disclaimers of opinion on its 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 SOSI and on its 2021 and 2020 SCSIA. (Back to Content)

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Last modified 03/24/22