Program Eligibility

All federal agencies are encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to excellence by participating in the program, whether or not they are statutorily required to produce a PAR or AFR. The FY18 CEAR Guidelines is still in progress. View or download the program guidelines from FY 2017 as a reference. 

Program Benefit

PARs and AFRs are potentially the most important vehicle federal agencies have to present how dollars are spent and how programs are managed. 

CEAR participation can have a positive effect on an agency: 

  • Improved reports: Reports will show how financial and performance management are closely integrated by agency leaders. Unlike annual "performance budgets," the reports are free from advocacy.
  • Valuable training for PAR preparers: Each participating agency can register up to five staff members for AGA's free two-hour training, during which attendees will learn strategies and best practices for performance and accountability reporting.
  • Technical development: Any federal agency can appoint senior-level staff to act as program reviewers. Serving as a reviewer is an opportunity to perform an in-depth analysis of other agencies' PARs/AFRs, and Summary of Performance and Financial Information (SPFI), and learn how to make their own agencies' reports better.

Awardees of the Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting receive:

  • Professional and public recognition: Readers of the PARs, AFRs, and SPFIs have the assurance that the agencies have prepared highly informative, highly readable, complete documents which can also reflect well with government leadership and to the media. Agencies can publicly recognize the individuals who prepare the reports, and acknowledge their dedication and hard work. AGA also promotes the exceptional accomplishment to the federal government community through press releases and may recognize the agencies in communications including Topics, the Journal of Government Financial Management and on its website.
  • Validation of accountability: Congress, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. General Accounting Office recognize CEAR as evidence of a complete presentation of an agency's programmatic and financial affairs.
  • Prestigious national award: During an award ceremony each May, AGA presents the prestigious CEAR award to agency representatives. Some agencies also receive special awards to acknowledge reporting beyond the CEAR award.

Questions? 
Email cear@agacgfm.org or call 800.242.7211 ext: 322