You will find more detail on the issues discussed in this Guide in the 2011 Financial Report of the United States Government, issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Report provides a comprehensive view of both the Governmentís current financial position and prospects for moving forward. It further discusses the steps the Federal Government has taken to restore stability in the U.S. financial system and the fiscal challenges of the future. The issues discussed in the Citizensí Guide and the Financial Report affect, and should be of interest to, every citizen. The Financial Reportís comprehensive reporting is intended to inform and support the decision-making needs of lawmakers and the public and to help keep the United States on solid financial ground.
You are encouraged to explore the information the Report contains and to ask questions about how the Government manages taxpayersí money. The 2011 Financial Report of the United States Government and other information about the Nationís finances are available at:
This Citizen's Guide highlights information in the 2011 Financial Report of the U.S. Government (Report). The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) audit report on the U.S. Government's consolidated financial statements can be found beginning on page 211 of the Report. GAO disclaimed an opinion on the 2011 and 2010 Statements of Social Insurance (SOSI) and the 2011 Statement of Changes in Social Insurance Amounts because of significant uncertainties (discussed in Note 26 in the Report) primarily related to the achievement of projected reductions in Medicare cost growth reflected in the 2011 and 2010 SOSI. However, GAO issued an unqualified or "clean" opinion on the 2009, 2008, and 2007 SOSI. In addition, certain material financial reporting control weaknesses and other limitations on the scope of its work prevented GAO from expressing an opinion on the remaining FY 2011 and 2010 financial statements in the Report.