The Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2003 (Report) provides our most important financial and program performance information for the United States Department of State. It also is our principal publication and report to the President and the American people on our stewardship, management, and leadership of the public funds to which we have been entrusted.
It has been an exceptional year. For the seventh consecutive year, the independent CPA firm selected by our Inspector General, has issued an unqualified ("clean") opinion on the Department's consolidated financial statements. This is the best possible audit result. With it the American people can have confidence that the financial statement information presented here is both accurate and reliable. Along with this opinion, the Department achieved a number of other key goals.
For the past three years, President Bush has led the effort on management reform through his President's Management Agenda initiatives. Two of these are Improved Financial Performance, and Budget and Performance Integration. In support of this strategy, the Department will continue integrating budgeting and planning into all aspects of our stewardship, and provide timely and accurate financial and performance information that facilitates foreign policy decision-making.
While there are no material weaknesses or nonconformances reported under FMFIA, the Department continues to maintain a robust system of management controls overseen by senior leadership. The Department's Management Control Steering Committee (MCSC) meets regularly to review pending concerns raised by the Inspector General, the independent CPA firm, GAO and others.
In addition to financial performance, this Report also covers policy and program performance — how well the Department implemented the foreign policy goals of the President and Secretary of State. The reader can see our nation's foreign policy strategic goals, along with performance measures, performance trends, and results achieved. From the very first strategic objective, "Achieve Peace and Security," to "Strengthen Diplomatic and Program Capabilities," we present to the American people a transparent assessment of results for the prior fiscal year. Encompassing the war on terror, the struggle to end regional conflicts, to programs on the rule of law, and the fight against HIV/AIDs and other diseases, the Performance Section of this Report describes our work. It also shows our effort to fulfill the Department's mission, "to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world, for the benefit of the American people and the international community."
Christopher B. Burnham
Assistant Secretary for Resource Management and Chief Financial Officer
December 31, 2003