When to Apply

The deadline for all reports, related documents and program filing fees is 30 days after the AFR or PAR is due to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress. The Summary of Performance and Financial Information (SPFI) is due 15 days after OMB's due date. For FY 2020, OMB released a memo stating that agencies with audited AFRs or PARs -- completed and published by Dec 31, 2020 -- will be considered on time and within deadline. 

FY 2020 CEAR Program Timeline - For AFR/PAR Preparers

  • Nov. 15  Dec. 31, 2020
    • Auditor’s report must have this date, or until Dec. 31, 2020 to receive the CEAR Award
  • Dec. 11, 2020
    • Agency application due. By sending the agency's application to AGA by Dec. 11, 2020, it will confirm the agency's committment to participate in the CEAR Program. Thus, AGA will be able to begin assigning Reviewer Team members.  
  • Dec. 15, 2020  Jan. 29, 2021
    • CEAR Program agency application and filing fees due
    • AFR/PAR materials submit to AGA
      • Six printed copies of the report - Digital copies and/or a URL to the report is NOT acceptable
      • Six printed copies of a letter respond to each of prior year's recommendations for stregthening the AFR/PAR
  • Feb. 26, 2021 —  SPFI - continues to be optional

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

Award Applicant Criteria

The following steps are to assist the agencies in the preparation and submission of the Fiscal Year 2020 Agency Financial Reports/Performance and Accountability. 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 2020 CEAR Program Guidelines when preparing AFR/PAR reports - FY2020 CEAR program guideline is in the draft phase and awaiting final A-136 to be issued. 
  • Reference commendable practices — summary of results from the FY 2019 reports for examples of exemplary sections from AFR/PAR reports.
  • Completed CEAR application for your agency. 
  • 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.
  • Six (6) printed copies of your AFR/PAR (a signed, print-ready copy is acceptable).
  • Six (6) printed copies responding to last year's recommendations - If your agency participated in the program the prior year, we strongly encourage your agency to make six (6) copies of a letter responding to each of last year’s recommendations for strengthening the AFR/PAR. Excellence in AFR/PAR is an evolving process.
  • Optional:
    • The CEAR program highly encourages all agency applicants to provide names of experienced 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 AFR/PAR, one copy of the guidelines to which you adhered, detailing on which pages of your AFR/PAR the requirements in the guidelines are addressed. 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


Contact cear@agacgfm.org or call 703.684.6931 ext: 322