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Federal Financial Management: Addressing Antideficiency Act Violations

Home / Federal Financial Management: Addressing Antideficiency Act Violations

By Steve Potts

The 2017 Antideficiency Reports are now a matter of public record! They contain page after page of reports to the President of the United States, Speaker of the House, and President of the Senate detailing the inability (or unwillingness) of federal agencies to follow law, rule, and regulation. My continuing question regarding Antideficiency Act violations is: Why? Why? Why?

I have conducted many years of root cause analysis in an effort to get the answer. My research suggests that these violations continue to occur for one or a combination of the following three reasons:

  1. Managerial Negligence – which I define as “the continuing failure to cure gross ignorance,” or
  2. Hubris – unmitigated arrogance, i.e., “It’s MY money and I will do as I please.” or
  3. Lack of proper training

I will leave it to you, the reader, to form your own opinion as to the reason for these violations.

Why? Why? Why? To explore some of the answers, be sure to read my white paper, Federal Finance: What NOT to do!


Steve Potts is a professional management consultant and trainer with thirty years of experience advising and training executives in industry and government. He is president of Professional Services International, Inc., a firm specializing in enhancing government fiduciary responsibility and fiscal performance. Mr. Potts has eleven years’ active federal experience, including service with the U.S. Navy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as a Presidential Appointee with the Department of Energy. He has over twenty years of training and teaching experience, both across the U.S. and internationally, specializing in appropriations law, federal contracting, program and project management, performance measurement, auditing, budgeting, finance and accounting, and management analysis.

Mr. Potts is a Certified Defense Financial Manager(CDFM), and serves as a court-appointed fiduciary in Virginia. An acknowledged expert in Federal Appropriations Law and Federal Acquisition Regulations, Mr. Potts has trained worldwide for the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Graduate School USA, and the U.S. Department of Defense, and is a frequent lecturer with the U.S. Foreign Service Institute , the Federal Acquisition Institute, and the VA Acquisition Academy. He is President Emeritus of his U.S. Naval Academy class.

Mr. Potts has worked in 47 nations, 33 U.S. federal agencies, and in support of several state governments, and the District of Columbia, as well as performing projects for more than 100 companies worldwide. He has extensive public speaking experience, both in the U.S., and internationally.