Mr. Chairman, Senator Sarbanes, and members of the Committee, my name is Richard F. Keevey, and I am honored to appear before you as President Clinton's nominee for the position of Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Joining me here today is my wife of thirty years, Elizabeth. Our three boys, Rich, Mike and John are productively occupied with attending graduate school or attending to our grandchildren.
President Clinton has challenged the Federal work force to change the way we do our work: to improve the delivery of services to our customers, to do more, to do it better and to do it with less. I look forward to working with the Congress and Secretary Cuomo to fulfill these expectations and make the best contribution I can to the practice of good government at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The mission at HUD, as we approach the new century, is to empower communities and their residents to improve themselves and to restore the public trust by achieving and demonstrating competence. To fulfill this mission, we must achieve our traditional goals of reducing homelessness, fighting for fair housing, increasing the supply of affordable housing and opportunities for homeownership and promoting jobs and economic development. If confirmed, my role would be to support the Secretary as part of a management team dedicated to completing the transformation of HUD into a results-oriented Department, while serving the public in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
As the nominee for the position of Chief Financial Officer, I recognize the importance of the service that is expected of me. The CFO has direct responsibility for financial management, the presentation of accurate financial information, formulation and execution of the budget, management integrity, and oversight for Departmental strategic planning. Importantly, the incumbent must serve as the catalyst for focusing on sound management practice, accountability and integrity. I welcome the challenge.
My previous experience has established the foundation for taking on this new position. As the Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service at the Department of Defense, I was responsible for maintaining all finance and accounting records for the $250 billion annual Defense budget and its 5.9 million military members, civilians and retirees. In this position, I oversaw the day-to-day activities of an agency which employs about 24,000 civilians and 2,000 military personnel at five major centers and approximately 300 smaller DoD accounting offices throughout the United States. I was responsible for consolidating these accounting offices into 18 operating locations and for upgrading, standardizing, and reducing over 324 finance and accounting systems. In this consolidation process the staff required to perforrn the work went from 30,000 to 24,000 and is scheduled to decrease to 16,500.
Immediately preceding my assignment as the Director of the Finance and Accounting Service, I served as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Financial Management. In this position I was responsible for the establishment of policy for financial management systems in the Department of Defense.
Prior to joining the Federal Government, I served for five years as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for the State of New Jersey and for seven years as the Deputy OMB Director. I had the privilege of being appointed and serving under both Governor Kean and Governor Florio. In this capacity, I performed as the State Budget Director and the State Comptroller.
As an active member of my community, I served as the President of my local school board, as a member of the Board of Directors of a local community hospital, on several college advisory boards, and I coached soccer and baseball for ten years in our local community program.
I will rely on the lessons learned in all these previous positions of responsibility to provide leadership and management expertise at the Department of HUD. It is a most critical time in the history of HUD and, if reported favorably by this Committee and confirmed by the Senate, I will do my best to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the position for which I have been nominated.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, I welcome any questions you and the Committee
members may have.
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