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Note 1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


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A. Reporting Entity

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the Federal Government. Congress created the CFTC in 1974 under the authorization of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) with the mandate to regulate commodity futures and option markets in the United States. The agency's mandate was renewed and expanded under the Futures Trading Acts of 1978, 1982, and 1986; under the Futures Trading Practices Act of 1992; under the CFTC Reauthorization Act of 1995; under the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000; and under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Congress passed the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), which reauthorized the Commission through FY 2013. Since its inception, the CFTC has continuously operated through authorized appropriations.

The CFTC is responsible for ensuring the economic utility of futures markets by encouraging their competitiveness and efficiency, ensuring their integrity, and protecting market participants against manipulation, abusive trade practices, and fraud.

On July 21, 2010, the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" (the Dodd-Frank Act, or the Act) was signed into law, significantly expanding the powers and responsibilities of the CFTC. According to Section 748 of the Act, there is established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund known as the "Commodity Futures Trading Commission Customer Protection Fund" (the Fund). The Fund shall be available to the Commission, without further appropriation or fiscal year limitation, for a) the payment of awards to whistleblowers; and b) the funding of customer education initiatives designed to help customers protect themselves against fraud or other violations of this Act or the rules and regulations thereunder.

B. Basis of Presentation

The financial statements have been prepared to report the financial position and results of operations for the CFTC, as required by the Chief Financial Officers' Act of 1990 along with the Accountability of Tax Dollars Act of 2002, and the Government Management Reform Act of 1994. They are presented in accordance with the form and content requirements contained in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-136, "Financial Reporting Requirements," as amended.

The principal financial statements have been prepared in all material respects from the agency's books and records in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), as prescribed for the federal government by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). The application and methods for applying these principles are appropriate for presenting fairly the entity's assets, liabilities, net cost of operations, changes in net position, and budgetary resources.

The financial statements report on the CFTC's financial position, net cost of operations, changes in net position, budgetary resources, and custodial activities. The books and records of the agency served as the source of information for preparing the financial statements in the prescribed formats. All agency financial statements and reports used to monitor and control budgetary resources are prepared from the same books and records. The statements should be read with the understanding that they are for a component of the U.S. Government, a sovereign entity.

The Balance Sheets present the financial position of the agency. The Statements of Net Cost present the agency's operating results; the Statements of Changes in Net Position display the changes in the agency's equity accounts. The Statements of Budgetary Resources present the sources, status, and uses of the agency's resources and follow the rules for the Budget of the United States Government. The Statements of Custodial Activity present the sources and disposition of collections for which the CFTC is the fiscal agent, or custodian, for the Treasury General Fund Miscellaneous Receipt accounts.

Throughout these financial statements, assets, liabilities, revenues and costs have been classified according to the type of entity with whom the transactions were made. Intragovernmental assets and liabilities are those from or to other federal entities. Intragovernmental earned revenues are collections or accruals of revenue from other federal entities, and intragovernmental costs are payments or accruals to other federal entities. The CFTC does not transact business among its own operating units, and therefore, intra-entity eliminations were not needed.

C. Budgetary Resources and Status

The CFTC is funded through congressionally approved appropriations. The CFTC is responsible for administering the salaries and expenses of the agency through the execution of these appropriations.

Congress annually enacts appropriations that provide the CFTC with the authority to obligate funds within the respective fiscal year for necessary expenses to carry out mandated program activities. In addition, Congress enacted a permanent indefinite appropriation that is available until expended. All appropriations are subject to quarterly apportionment as well as Congressional restrictions.

The CFTC's budgetary resources for FY 2012 consist of:

Unobligated balances associated with resources expiring at the end of the fiscal year remain available for five years after expiration only for upward adjustments of prior year obligations, after which they are canceled and may not be used. All unused monies related to canceled appropriations are returned to Treasury and the canceled authority is reported as a line item on the Statements of Budgetary Resources and the Statements of Changes in Net Position.

D. Entity and Non-Entity Assets

Assets consist of entity and non-entity assets. Entity assets are those assets that the CFTC has authority to use for its operations. Non-entity assets are those held by the CFTC that are not available for use in its operations. Non-entity assets held by the CFTC include deposit fund balances, custodial fines, interest, penalties, and administrative fees receivable.

E. Fund Balance with Treasury

Fund Balance with Treasury is the aggregate amount of the CFTC's funds with Treasury in expenditure, receipt, revolving, and deposit fund accounts. Appropriated funds recorded in expenditure accounts are available to pay current liabilities and finance authorized purchases. Revolving fund custodial collections recorded in the deposit fund and miscellaneous receipts accounts of the Treasury are not available for agency use. At fiscal year-end, receipt account balances are returned to Treasury or transferred to the Customer Protection Fund.

The CFTC does not maintain bank accounts of its own, has no disbursing authority, and does not maintain cash held outside of Treasury. Treasury disburses funds for the agency on demand. Spending authority from offsetting collections is recorded in the agency's expenditure account and is available for agency use subject to certain limitations.

F. Investments

The CFTC has the authority to invest amounts deposited in the Customer Protection Fund in short-term market-based Treasury securities. Market-based Treasury securities are debt securities that the U.S. Treasury issues to Federal entities without statutorily determined interest rates. Although the securities are not marketable, the terms (prices and interest rates) mirror the terms of marketable Treasury securities.

Interest earned on the investments is a component of the Fund and is available to be used for expenses of the Customer Protection Fund. Additional details regarding Customer Protection Fund investments are provided in Note 3.

G. Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable consists of amounts owed by other federal agencies and the public to the CFTC and is valued net of an allowance for uncollectible amounts. The allowance is based on past experience in the collection of receivables and analysis of the outstanding balances. Accounts receivable arise from reimbursable operations, earned refunds or the Civil Monetary Sanctions program.

H. General Property, Plant and Equipment, Net

Furniture, fixtures, equipment, information technology hardware and software, and leasehold improvements are capitalized and depreciated or amortized over their useful lives.

The CFTC capitalizes assets annually if they have useful lives of at least two years and an individual value of $25,000 or more. Bulk or aggregate purchases are capitalized when the individual useful lives are at least two years and the purchase is a value of $25,000 or more. Property, plant and equipment that do not meet the capitalization criteria are expensed when acquired. Depreciation for equipment and amortization for software is computed on a straight-line basis using a 5-year life. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the remaining life of the lease. The Commission's assets are valued net of accumulated depreciation or amortization.

I. Deferred Costs

The Commission has received lease incentives, Tenant Improvement Allowances (TIA), from the landlords on its operating leases. These allowances can be used for construction, asset purchases, or rent expense, and are classified as deferred costs on the balance sheets. These costs are reallocated either to leasehold improvements, equipment, or if used for rent, expensed. The TIA is also amortized with the deferred lease liability over the life of the lease.

J. Prepayments

Payments to federal and non-federal sources in advance of the receipt of goods and services are recorded as prepayments and recognized as expenses when the related goods and services are received. Intragovernmental prepayments reported on the Balance Sheet were made primarily to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for transit subsidy services. Prepayments to the public were primarily for software maintenance and subscription services.

K. Liabilities

The CFTC's liabilities consist of actual and estimated amounts that are likely to be paid as a result of transactions covered by budgetary resources for which Congress has appropriated funds or funding, or are otherwise available from reimbursable transactions to pay amounts due.

Liabilities include those covered by budgetary resources in existing legislation and those not yet covered by budgetary resources. The CFTC liabilities not covered by budgetary resources include:

L. Accounts Payable

Accounts payable consists primarily of contracts for goods or services, such as operating leases, leasehold improvements, software development, information technology, telecommunications, and consulting and support services.

M. Accrued Payroll and Benefits and Annual Leave Liability

The accrued payroll liability represents amounts for salaries and benefits owed for the time since the payroll was last paid through the end of the reporting period. The annual leave liability is the amount owed employees for unused annual leave as of the end of the reporting period. At the end of each quarter, the balance in the accrued annual leave account is adjusted to reflect current balances and pay rates. Sick leave and other types of non-vested leave are expensed as taken.

The agency's employees participate in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). On January 1, 1987, FERS went into effect pursuant to Public Law 99-335. Most employees hired after December 31, 1983, are automatically covered by FERS and Social Security. Employees hired prior to January 1, 1984, could elect to either join FERS and Social Security or remain in CSRS.

For employees under FERS, the CFTC contributes an amount equal to one percent of the employee's basic pay to the tax deferred Thrift Savings Plan and matches employee contributions up to an additional four percent of pay. FERS and CSRS employees can contribute a portion of their gross earnings to the plan up to IRS limits; however, CSRS employees receive no matching agency contribution.

N. Leases

The CFTC does not have any capital lease liabilities. The operating leases consist of commercial property for the CFTC's headquarters and regional offices. Lease expenses are recognized on a straight-line basis.

O. Deposit Funds

Deposit funds are expenditure accounts used to record monies that do not belong to the Federal government. They are held awaiting distribution based on a legal determination or investigation. The CFTC Deposit Fund is used to collect and later distribute collections of monetary awards to the appropriate victims as restitution. The cash collections recorded in this fund are offset by a Deposit Fund liability. Activities in this fund are not fiduciary in nature because they are not legally enforceable against the government.

P. Net Position

Net position consists of unexpended appropriations and cumulative results of operations. Unexpended appropriations are appropriations that have not yet been used to acquire goods and services or provide benefits. Appropriations are considered expended, or used, when goods and services have been acquired by the CFTC or benefits have been provided using the appropriation authority, regardless of whether monies have been paid or payables for the goods, services, or benefits have been established.

Cumulative results of operations represent the excess of budgetary or other financing sources over expenses since inception. Cumulative results of operations are derived from the net effect of capitalized assets, expenses, exchange revenue, and unfunded liabilities.

Q. Revenues

The CFTC receives reimbursement and earns revenue for the following activities:

R. Net Cost of Operations

Net cost of operations is the difference between the CFTC's expenses and its earned revenue. The presentation of program results by strategic goals is based on the CFTC's current Strategic Plan established pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. The Commission implemented a new strategic plan in FY 2011. (Note 15)

The mission statement of the CFTC is to protect market users and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to the sale of commodity and financial futures and options, and to foster open, competitive, and financially sound futures and option markets. The mission is accomplished through five strategic goals, each focusing on a vital area of regulatory responsibility:

S. Custodial Activity

The CFTC collects penalties and fines levied against firms for violation of laws as described in the Commodity Exchange Act as codified at 7 U.S.C. ยง 1, et seq, and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000, Appendix E of P.L. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763. Unpaid fines, penalties and accrued interest are reported as custodial receivables, with an associated custodial liability. The receivables and the liability are reduced by amounts determined to be uncollectible. Revenues earned and the losses from bad debts are reported to Treasury.

Collections made by the CFTC during the year are deposited and reported into designated Treasury miscellaneous receipt accounts for:

At fiscal year-end, custodial collections made by the CFTC are either returned to Treasury or when determined eligible, transferred to the Customer Protection Fund. The CFTC does not retain any amount for custodial activities including reimbursement of the cost of collection.

T. Use of Management Estimates

The preparation of the accompanying financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make certain estimates and assumptions that directly affect the results of reported assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. Actual results could differ from these estimates.

U. Reconciliation of Net Obligations and Net Cost of Operations

In accordance with OMB Circular No. A-136, the Commission reconciles its change in budgetary obligations with its net cost of operations.

V. Earmarked Funds

The Commission's Customer Protection Fund (CPF) is earmarked to operate a whistleblower program and support customer education initiatives. See Note 1.A. for a description of the purpose of the CPF and its authority to use revenues and other financing sources. Deposits into the CPF are credited from monetary sanctions collected by the Commission in a covered judicial or administrative action where the full judgment is in excess of $1,000,000 and the collection is not otherwise distributed to victims of a violation of the Dodd-Frank Act or the underlying rules and regulations, unless the balance of the CPF at the time the monetary judgment is collected, exceeds $100 million. No new legislation was enacted as of September 30, 2012 that significantly changed the purpose of the earmarked fund or redirected a material portion of the accumulated balance.

W. Reclassifications

In FY 2012, the presentation of the Statements of Budgetary Resources was changed in accordance with OMB Circular A-136. As such, activity and balances reported on the FY 2011 Statement of Budgetary Resources have been reclassified to conform to the presentation in the current year. Certain other prior year amounts have also been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.

 

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