Potomac Forum The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) in Government Training Workshop II - OMB Circular A-123: Beyond Compliance

What federal executive, managers, and front line practitioners need to know to incorporate the updated OMB Circular A-123 requirements that define management's responsibility for internal control with an emphasis on integrating enterprise risk management (ERM) in FY 2017 and beyond

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Keynote Speaker pending agency approval:


Dr. Karen Hardy

Deputy Chief Risk Officer

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

Former risk management policy senior advisor to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)



Guest Speakers:


Javier Lopez, MSA


Division of Management Assurance
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


Additional Government Speakers Awaiting Agency Approval:

Larry Koskinen

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


Nicole Puri

Risk Management Officer

Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC)



This workshop is for government employees only to permit candid discussion. Press and industry are not permitted.


Deputy Chief Risk Officer at U.S. Department of Commerce and

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Meeting Location: 
Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington 20004
United States

Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines). Use the exit marked “12th & F Sts” to exit onto F St., then continue straight two blocks and cross 14th St.


With the updated OMB Circular No. A-123 being issued nearly a year ago, this training is an advanced level internal control workshop focusing on what agencies and departments have done in relation to the requirements that defines management’s responsibility for internal control with an emphasis on integrating enterprise risk management (ERM) and what they plan to do going forward.   


OMB Circular No. A-123 and the statute it implements, the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) of 1982, are at the center of federal requirements to improve accountability in federal programs and operations. A re-examination of the existing internal control requirements, originally issued in December 2004, for federal agencies was initiated in light of the new Standards for internal control in the federal government (better known as the Green Book) issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on September 10, 2014. The revised OMB Circular No. A-123 enhances the existing internal control framework to provide for stronger risk management, an enhanced governance model and improve operational efficiency.


This workshop is designed for the executive, manager, or front-line practitioner who is responsible for sustaining an effective internal controls program and who is charged in implementing the updated requirements of OMB A-123, including elements of ERM.

With limited resources, federal agencies are focused on administering internal control programs that are efficient and effective, avoiding duplication, minimizing the burden on staff, and reducing the compliance burden on the agency.  With several new requirements issued within the last two years around strengthening internal controls, risk management and fraud risk assessments, it is even more important to avoid duplication of efforts.


Participants will learn how to efficiently and effectively strengthen an internal control program while complying with the new requirements of OMB A-123, GAO Green Book, GAO Fraud Risk Assessment, and ERM.  Participants will also gain an understanding of the evolution of internal controls, learn about emerging trends and best practices, and gain an understanding of a practical approach to assessing internal controls using a Governance, Risk, and Compliance methodology. We will present very practical information about the federal government’s requirements for not only internal control programs, but mission related programs and will offer insight on integration, risk assessment, testing, and reporting. The focus of this workshop will be on efficiently meeting the updated internal control and risk management requirements in an efficient and effective way.

 Practical Information – Not Theory

What You Will Learn: 

·         Information that will help you continue to implement the updated requirements of OMB Circular A-123

·         What the 2017 risk profile deadline means and how to continue your ERM focus beyond 2017

·         How the Green Book fits into the new A-123 requirements

·         Risk Management – how much is enough?

·         GAO Fraud Guide – discussion on this requirement and how it fits into internal control reviews

·          Presentations by experts with extensive, practical experience in DoD and civilian agencies

Why You Should Attend: 

Government organizations have established internal control programs. Many are very effective and many comply with regulations but need to be more aligned with program activities to strengthen the overall internal control system. This Potomac Forum Workshop will help agencies to “raise the bar” for their Internal Control programs and convert that investment into value-added program advantage.

Who Should Attend: 

•    Financial management professionals
•    Internal controls and Risk Management Executives, Managers and and team members
•    Program management professionals with responsibilities in Managing Risk
•    Auditors
•    Risk Management and Internal controls steering committee members
•    Inspectors General and Staff
•    Chief Financial Officers and Staff
•    Chief Information Officers and Staff
•    Chief Procurement  and Acquisition Officers and Staff
•    Risk Management Staff
•    Chief Human Capital Officers, HR Managers and Staff
•    Managers, Directors and Senior Officials who have fiduciary/financial  and/or risk management responsibilities
•    Executives, Managers in Staff in functional areas who oversee, review, or have internal control and/or risk management responsibilities. 




Registration and Continental Breakfast


Welcome and Introduction


Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


Keynote Presentation


Invited: Dr. Karen Hardy, Deputy Chief Risk Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce. Former risk management policy senior advisor to the Office of Management and Budget.

9:45am Refreshment Break

Government Risk Management Leaders Panel

  • Success in creating an agency risk profile
  • Where does your agency fit in the ERM maturity model?
  • Planning for FY 2018 activities


Moderator: Bobbi-Jo Pankaj, CGFM, PMP, Director, Grant Thornton



- Javier Lopez, Deputy Director, Division of Management Assurance, HHS

- Invited: Larry Koskinen, HUD

- Invited: Nicole Puri, Risk Management Officer, PBGC



Integrated Risk Management


- Linda Miller, Director, Grant Thornton. Former Assistant Director, Forensic Audits and Investigative Services, GAO.

- Chris Hare, Senior Manager, Grant Thornton


Working Lunch: Performance Driver Model (PDM) and ERM

  • How the PDM can help you identify the risks and issues you have for achieving the future state of ERM
  • Leveraging governance structures
  • How well-developed is ERM at your agency?
  • What has been the biggest challenge to implementing ERM at your agency?


- Denise Lippuner, CGFM, CPA, Partner, Grant Thornton

- Calandra Layne, PMP, Senior Manager, Grant Thornton


Reducing the Compliance Burden

With the recent release of the President's management agenda, there is increased focus on efficiency and maximizing the value of federal spending. This session will highlight the following key points:

  • Leveraging required compliance requirements with agency impact/benefit
  • How can your agency prioritize the allocation of resources to compliance activities?
  • Examples of creative compliance


John Scornaienchi, CGFM, Director, Grant Thornton

3:00pm Refreshment Break

Leveraging Information Technology Risk Management to Strengthen Enterprise Risk Management

  • Leveraging what currently exists n your IT control envionment
  • Risk management in cybersecurity
  • Bridging the gap between risk management performed today and the requirements of tomorrow
  • We have been doing risk management in IT. WHat points of integration do we have between this risk management and ERM?


Government speakers awaiting agency confirmation


Summary and Wrap-Up

- Were objectives met?

- Class feedback.


Wendy Morton-Huddleston, Principal, CGFM, PMP, Grant Thornton

4:30pm Workshop Adjourns


Registration Information: 

  Early Bird Registration Fee AFTER MAY 6th
Government Employees:
(Federal, State or Local Government Issued ID)
 $ Now $795 
Special Reduced Rates in Support of Government Budget Reductions
 $995    $895
Team Rate for Government: Send a government team to learn together. Register two government employees from the same office at the same time and the third person registers at $200 off the current government rate.

Registration Includes: Presentations, Workshop Notebook, Continental Breakfast, All Day Refreshments and Hosted Luncheon

Guest Speakers: 

Javier Lopez, MSA

Division of Management Assurance
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


Mr. Lopez serves as the Director of Management Assurance (MA) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Javier and his team are responsible for providing reasonable assurance that ASPR can lead the nation in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters. His responsibilities include implementing enterprise risk management and ensuring a clean audit opinion for ASPR’s internal controls over financial reporting.


Prior to joining HHS, Javier designed long-range budget plans that advanced national security as a Financial Officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate. As a consultant, he advised agencies on various financial management and contracts administration implementation strategies. His client successes include streamlining agency-wide business operation frameworks and enabling telecommunication connectivity to Army installations in 35 countries from locations worldwide.


In addition to his duties, Javier also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Organizational Management in Trinity University’s Graduate School of Professional Studies. He has authored executive articles and book reviews for the National Business Journal of Hispanic Research on varying topics that span across Leadership, Judgment, and Identity Branding in the Federal Sector.


Born in El Paso, Texas, he holds a Master’s of Science in Administration from Trinity University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Nicole Puri



Risk Management Officer

Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC)


Nicole Puri is the Risk Management Officer for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a government corporation which protects the retirement incomes of nearly 40 million American workers in nearly 24,000 private-sector defined-benefit pension plans. PBGC was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to encourage the continuation and maintenance of private-sector defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and keep pension insurance premiums at a minimum. In FY16 PBGC received over $6.5 billion in premium income and paid out over $5.7 billion to or for retirees.


Nicole joined the PBGC in 2017 as part of their efforts to establish an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program. Her role is to lead the ERM efforts of the corporation, educate the staff, leadership, and board of directors of the corporation in risk management, and to serve as an advisor on risk.


Prior to PBGC, Nicole was part of a small team which created an enterprise risk management program for the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) at HUD. As the Deputy Director of that program, Nicole led the organization through a gradual change to more strategic and risk-based decision-making using an ERM framework. PIH’s efforts to implement ERM were recognized by GAO in its recent report titled ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT: Selected Agencies' Experiences Illustrate Good Practices in Managing Risk.


Before coming to government, Nicole worked for a Big Four consulting firm focused on risk management services to the federal government. She holds a law degree from George Mason University School of Law and an undergraduate business degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Chris Hare, PMP, CGFM, CRMA

Senior Manager
Global Public Sector
Grant Thornton LLP


Mr. Hare is a Senior Manager in Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector. He has a background in financial management with a broad knowledge of internal controls, risk management, federal financial management, financial management systems, enterprise risk management, federal regulations and processes. Mr. Hare is a Project Management Professional (PMP), a Certified Governmental Financial Manager (CGFM) and holds a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). He has over twelve years of consulting experience with more than eleven of those years in the public sector arena of financial and risk management working with organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, National Institutes of Health, Administrative Office of the US Courts, General Services Administration (GSA), and the Department of Justice (DOJ). He holds a degree in Finance from the College of William and Mary and speaks and writes regularly on the topics of risk management and internal controls.

Calandra Layne, PMP

Senior Manager,

Grant Thornton LLP

Calandra Layne is a Senior Manager in Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector. She has over thirteen years of experience in Federal financial management. Calandra oversees project teams at agencies within the Federal Civilian and State & Local sectors, wherein she provides internal controls, enterprise risk management, audit readiness, improper payments, and business process improvement services. Calandra is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a B.S. in Accounting from George Mason University.

Denise Lippuner


Grant Thornton


Denise Lippuner is a partner at Grant Thornton and is responsible for leading its Public Sector Financial Management Advisory Services. She began her career with the Government Accountability Office performing pre-CFO Act audits, which inspired her to help public sector organizations improve their financial management processes. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Denise was a partner at IBM Global Business Services where she led their Public Sector Risk and Compliance Practice. She also worked at PwC, Coopers and Lybrand and Pricewaterhouse as a consultant and an auditor. Denise is a co-author of Managing Public Dollars, has presented at numerous conferences as a speaker on financial and risk management, and has contributed to several research papers and articles. In addition, she has been a reviewer for the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting (CEAR) Award Program. Denise graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Accounting and is a CPA and CGFM.

Linda Miller


Grant Thornton

(Former Assistant Director, Forensic Audits and Investigative Services, GAO)

Linda Miller is a Director in Grant Thornton’s Public Sector practice. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Ms. Miller spent 10 years as an Assistant Director with GAO’s Forensic Audits and Investigative Services team where she led work examining a variety of homeland security issues, such as transportation and border security, as well as fraud in programs across the federal government. Ms. Miller was the principle author of GAO’s recently issued Framework for Managing Fraud Risks in Federal Programs, which describes leading practices that agency managers can use to develop a strategic, risk-based approach to assessing and mitigating fraud in their programs. Ms. Miller holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from The George Washington University and is a former Olympic athlete in the sport of rowing.

Wendy Morton-Huddleston


Grant Thornton LLP


Wendy Morton-Huddleston is a Principal in Grant Thornton’s Public Sector practice with over 17 years of experience. As a Financial Management Advisory, Brand and Solution Leader, Wendy advises Public Sector clients on financial management transformation, strategic planning and enterprise risk management. Wendy is the current President of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) Washington, DC Chapter and an executive sponsor for the Women at Grant Thornton and Allies Business Resource Group (BRG) and promotes the mission of recruitment, retention and advancement of women into leadership positions.   


Wendy is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) and Project Management Professional (PMP). Wendy holds a B.S. in Finance - Norfolk State University, MBA in Management, M.S in Finance – University of Maryland and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University. Wendy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association for Female Executives, and the Project Management Institute. 



Association of Government Accountants Journal of Government Financial Management, Winter 2016.  Sustaining Improper Payment Prevention Programs.


Association of Government Accountants Journal of Government Financial Management, Summer 2016.  Rolling the Dice with that Government Card?  Not so Fast. 


Journal of the National Grants Management Association - Spring 2016.  Government Accountability Office (GAO) Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (Green Book) and Grants Management Lifecycle Examples.




John Scornaienchi

Senior Manager, Grant Thornton


John Scornaienchi has served as the Project Manager since 2008 supporting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in complying with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123. Mr. Scornaienchi also supports CMS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).  CCIIO is the principal Center managing Healthcare.gov and the related Marketplace Exchanges; CMMI is responsible for testing and overseeing payment and service delivery models to achieve better care and lower costs for our health care system. Mr. Scornaienchi also supports the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the assessment of improper payments pursuant to the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (IPERIA).  He recently authored the white paper on improper payments:  ‘OMB Overhauls Guidance with Release of Revised A-123, Appendix C’ in February 2015. 

Bobbi-Jo Pankaj, CGFM, PMP


Global Public Sector

Grant Thornton LLP


Mrs. Pankaj is a Director in Grant Thornton Global Public Sector with over fifteen years’ experience in financial management and systems review and implementation in the public and private sector. She is a Certified Governmental Financial Manager (CGFM) and Project Management Professional (PMP). For the past eleven years she has focused on internal controls, risk management, process documentation, and training with an emphasis on OMB Circular A-123, Appendices A, B and C at organizations such as the Department of Transportation (DOT), United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  In addition to internal controls, Ms. Pankaj also has experience in COTS system implementations, requirements gathering, business process reengineering, process improvement strategy, and development of policies and procedures.

Cancellation Policy: 

Confirmed registrations who cancel within 3 business days of the program will be subject to a $250 cancellation fee. Registrations cancelled after the program starts are subject to the full registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. In the event a particular training workshop is cancelled, the liability of Potomac Forum, Ltd is limited to refund of any prepaid registration fee.

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