FY 2020 CEAR Awardees

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FY 2020 Awardees

The recipients listed below were presented with the CEAR awards for their FY 2020 reports at AGA's Virtual CEAR  Award Ceremony held May 27, 2021. Recipients are listed along with the number of times they have earned the award with the link to their report.


CEAR Special/Best-in-Class Awards

The 14 recipients listed below were presented with special awards at AGA's Virtual CEAR Award Ceremony following the presentation of the CEAR awards. Recipients were not told beforehand if they would receive a special award.

Please click on the agency's name above to reference their report. 

  • Editorial Excellence
    Federal Housing Finance Agency — Certificate (PDF)
    • The FHFA PAR is concise and crisp yet chock full of useful information.  A reviewer cited it as being very efficient with no fluff.  For example, in just two pages, the FHFA flowcharts FNMA’s and Freddie Mac’s operations under FHFA’s review, Federal Home Loan Banks operations under FHFA’s review, and the volume of business activity for both the Enterprises and the Banks. In the MD&A, the summary of (all) Performance Measures and Results cites only the target and actual results for the current year, rests on two pages, and provides footnotes for targets not met. The remaining details are in the Performance Section of the PAR. Other important topics are summarized as inserts on one page or two: Supervision of the Regulated Entities, Financial Condition of the Enterprises, Financial Condition of the FHLBanks, Regulated Entities Affordable Housing Goals and Programs, and Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities Transition and Monitoring. These summaries discuss the points at hand.
  • Creative and Innovative Ways for Readers to Access Information
    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — Certificate (PDF)
    • ​The agency report is professional and user-friendly, including pop-outs such as “terms to know,” “technical” terms glossary and data visualizations.
  • The Presentation of Frequently Asked Questions*
    U.S. General Services Administration — Certificate (PDF)
    • A four-page section at the beginning of the report uses a “question and answer” format to explain the reasons for the Agency Financial Report and its various components.
    • Presents technical concepts in a way that can be understood by members of the public who are not accountants.
    • Many of the questions are those that readers frequently have but do not feel comfortable asking.
  • A Report That Tells A Story
    Federal Aviation Administration — Certificate (PDF)
    • The report tells a compelling story highlighting agency relevance on key public interest matters, day-to-day agency operations. It integrates related photographs and graphics to explain the agency’s performance and capture and retain reader interest.  
  • Innovative Presentation of What The Agency Does*
    Commodity Futures Trading Commission — Certificate (PDF)
    • ​In an appendix, this agency describes the role of 17 different types of entities falling under the agency’s purview. They group the entities by type, list the number of each type of entity operating in September 2020, and describe the agency’s regulatory role regarding each group of entities.
  • Innovative Presentation of A Matter of Wide Public Interest
    Department of Education — Certificate (PDF)
    • In a well-designed cosmograph in the MD&A of the DOEd AFR, the Department illustrates the financial statement impacts of COVID-19 activities.  
    • The chart shows CARES Act and other funding monies appropriated, obligated, and disbursed during the year. This is innovative because it provides a great deal of information all in one spot.  Following the picture, the AFR describes each funding source and its application to Education. This information is then reiterated in Notes 1a and 11 to the financial statements. 
  • Innovative Use of Graphics to Display Information*
    Federal Trade Commission — Certificate (PDF)
    • Graphic depicts the timeline for balances in Non-entity fund balance with Treasury.
    • The timeline identifies timing of each collection of funds from a settlement or disbursement of funds to consumers.
    • Supporting schedule identifies companies involved and monies collected or disbursed from each action .
    • Hyperlinks provided to press releases and other materials explaining the actions.
  • Inspiring Photographs with Captions
    U.S. Agency For International Development — Certificate (PDF)
    • Visually tell the agency’s story, its mission and accomplishments.
    • Very high-quality photo resolution.
    • Illustrates the diversity of activities of the agency.
  • The Summary of Financial and Performance Highlights*
    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - Certificate (PDF)
    • The agency displays a prominent, clear, and concise one-page of their financial and performance highlights, including key financial measures, trends, performance measures and color-coded results. 
  • Excellence Presentation of Performance Results in An Agency Financial Report*
    Dept. of Homeland Security - Certificate (PDF)
    • In the agency’s MD&A, following a brief discussion of the organization, we see a newly written description of the agency’s “Performance Framework.” This begins with a graphic presentation of the Performance Community from the top of the agency to the various components of the agency, to component performance managers. The discussion then includes improving the measures, verification and validation, quarterly internal reporting, annual external reporting, agency priority goals, performance reviews, and the strategic review process. This precedes 16 pages of clearly written key performance measure results versus targets. The agency also displays the results of improper payment testing of disaster relief payments, mostly by FEMA, revealing the challenges of providing speedy relief in crisis environments.
  • Corrective Action Plans*
    Dept. of Defense — Certificate (PDF)
    Visit DoD's AFR Page
    • The agency provided a complete, detailed, clear, and concise corrective action plan for each of its 26 material weaknesses. 
    • For each plan, a bulleted description of the material weakness, a list of relevant corrective actions, and a target date that identifies the initial date are cited as a material weakness.
    • The agency also identified slipped correction target dates from the prior year with the reasons. 
  • Exceptional Reporting on COVID-19 Response*
    Social Security Administration — Certificate (PDF)
    • The agency explains a well-integrated candid COVID-19 response summary, including the Commissioner’s message with forward-looking information. Their financial statement notes and related highlighting of operational and process adjustments displayed the need to address COVID-19 challenges while maintaining service continuity.
  • The Inspector General's Summary of The Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges
    Dept. of the Interior — Certificate (PDF)
    • The agency receiving this award: 
      • Identifies the FY2020 challenges regarding how DOI’s COVID-19 pandemic needs, and responses relate to the long-standing management and performance challenges.
      • Used symbols to identify which long-standing challenges existed in the COVID-19 response.
      • Illustrated the IG’s summary of the most serious management and performance challenges with graphics and call-out boxes.  
  • The Presentation of A Matter of Public Interest — The Tax Gap* 
    Dept. of the Treasury — Certificate (PDF)
    • Well-organized comprehensive and clear discussion of a complex subject with usefuldefinitions (tax gap, types of tax gaps, tax burden), explanations of methodologies (tax gap estimates), relationships to other issues (improper payments), and challenges.
    • Use of graphics (Tax GAP Map) and tables (Tax Gap By Source, Underreporting Tax Gap Estimates, Individual Income Tax Liability, Corporation Tax Liability) to further illustrate and explain the tax gap and tax burden issues.

*First time the CEAR program has recognized any agency in this category

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Important Dates

  • Aug. 4, 2021
  • Nov. 15, 2021
    • Auditor's report must have this date
    • Agency applications due
  • Dec. 2, 2021
  • Dec. 15, 2021
    • Reviewer applications due
    • CEAR Program agency packet and filing fees due
  • Dec. 31, 2021
    • SPFI (optional)