New Guidance For Federal Credit Program Managers: Navigating the Changes to A-129


April 16, 2013

FI-OMBOn January 18, OMB released revisions to Circular A-129, the first time the circular had been updated since November 2000. Effective immediately, the revised circular puts forth a number of new guidelines that federal agencies must follow. OMB has directed that federal credit agencies must develop and submit implementation plans by June 2013.

On April 10th, FI hosted a webinar to discuss the A-129 changes and present approaches to meet the new requirements.

The full webinar presentation in .wmv format may be downloaded by clicking here.

More About Revised Circular A-129 

OMB Circular A-129 (link here) prescribes policies and procedures for justifying, designing, and managing federal credit programs. The updated A-129 attempts to provide best practices for program implementation, oversight, and reporting as a means to protecting the government’s resources while pursuing agency goals.

While other OMB circulars cover specific accounting treatment and budgeting processes for federal credit programs, A-129 is the program manager’s guide to prudently deploy and monitor taxpayer dollars. Most critically, A-129 provides guidelines for creating the oversight structures and reporting channels necessary to manage portfolio risk and balance risk with the pursuit of agency goals. Key to a successful risk management strategy is the use of timely and comprehensive data-driven reporting and analytics. Management reporting, potentially including dashboards, pipeline reports, watch list reports, and operations reports, notify decision makers of problem areas and potential opportunities.

Agencies’ implementation of A-129 guidance informs management decisions from organizational staffing needs to technology infrastructure requirements and impacts every aspect of federal credit program oversight. Successful compliance with A-129 guidelines will result in smarter, faster decision-making and reduce program oversight burden, streamlining periodic reporting and program justification to outside bodies, and enable greater focus on achieving agency missions.

To learn more about how FI can help you assess, plan, and implement an approach to comply with the recent A-129 changes, please contact Roman Iwachiw, Principal, at 571.255.6900