Award Applicant Criteria

Agencies that participate in the program submit their report to a five-member review team for an in-depth evaluation, which includes recommendation for improvements. Agencies with reports that are considered excellent are awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting.

The following steps are to assist the agencies in the preparation and submission of the Fiscal Year 2018 Performance and Accountability/Agency Financial Reports. Please include all required documents to complete your submission. AGA will contact the agency's point-of-contact should the packet received be incomplete.

  • Follow the FY 2018 CEAR program guidelines format when preparing PAR/AFR reports once it is available in summer 2018.
  • Reference commendable practices — summary of results from the FY 2017 reports for examples of exemplary sections from PAR/AFR reports.
  • Download and complete the CEAR application. Application coming soon! 
  • An original letter signed by your agency’s chief financial officer or equivalent-level official requesting that your report be reviewed by the Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting program.
  • Provide six (6) printed copies of your PAR/AFR (a signed, print-ready copy is acceptable).
  • If your agency participated in the program the prior year, YOU MUST make six (6) copies of a letter responding to each of last year’s recommendations for strengthening the PAR/AFR. Excellence in PAR/AFR is an evolving process.
  • Optional:
    • The CEAR program highly encourages all agency applicants to send names of high-level individuals representing the CFOs, inspectors general and other officers who participated in performance activities from participating agency who are available to serve as program reviewers.
    • To assist the review team, agencies are requested to submit, with their PAR or AFR, one copy of the guidelines to which you adhered, detailing on which pages of your PAR/AFR the requirements in the guidelines are met. Completing and submitting a copy of the guidelines in this manner helps the agency ensure it has included each of the appropriate items of information in the report and helps the reviewers readily locate the required items.

Mail completed application packet to:
ATTN: CEAR Program
2208 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA  22301

When to Apply

All reports, related documents and program fees are due 30 days after the PAR or AFR is due to OMB and Congress. The Summary of Performance and Financial Information (SPFI) is due 15 days after OMB's due date. NOTE: Section III of the program guidelines provides guidance for the preparation and/or review of the SPFI that, for FY 2017, at least, continues to be an optional report.

  • Nov. 15, 2018 — Auditor’s report must have this date, or prior, to receive the CEAR Award.
  • Dec. 14, 2018 — Six printed copies of the report must be submitted to AGA. Digital copies and/or a URL to the report is NOT acceptable.
  • Feb. 21, 2019 — Optional/Required - TBD: Six copies of the SPFI should be submitted to AGA.

Application Filing Fee

  • $7,500 for CFO Act agencies
  • $5,000 for agency components, ATDA Act agencies, and congressional or judicial branch agencies

The filing fee is due when the application and other documents are submitted. AGA Federal Tax ID: 53-0217158