Guidehouse and AFERM 2023 Survey Results Reveal State of ERM in the Federal Government

Continued focus on navigating cybersecurity, human capital, and operational risks

WASHINGTON, November 28, 2023 — For the ninth consecutive year, Guidehouse, a leading global provider of consulting and managed services to public sector and commercial clients, and the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management (AFERM) have collaborated to survey Federal government professionals for their insights into the current state of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) in their organizations. 

Results of the 2023 survey, which is designed to provide federal leaders with perspective on the current state and trends of ERM in the U.S. Federal Government, show Federal government leaders have continued to focus on weaving ERM into the fabric of government, with increases in ERM integration with key management processes, including execution processes and budgetary processes, organizations embracing the cultural aspects of risk transparency and promoting an environment where managers and staff are open to discussing risks as part of everyday business.

For the sixth year in a row, “cyber security/privacy” was identified as the top risk area currently receiving the greatest attention from management. It also tops the list of risks Federal agencies believe have the greatest current impact on strategic objectives and has retaken the top spot on the list of risks anticipated to have the greatest impact in the next three to five years. 

“Agencies continue to consider human capital — employee retention, morale and engagement — cybersecurity and supply chain risks as emerging risks that should be included in agency risk profiles.  In addition, 37% of respondents believe that within three years environmental and social issues will generate significant risks for their Agencies,” said Kate Sylvis, ERM Leader at Guidehouse. “We continue to see Federal agencies improving integration of ERM with organizational processes, developing risk appetite and enhancing culture around risk.” 

As showcased at AFERM’s 16th Annual ERM Summit, there has been a continued focus on risk appetite and a forecast of 62% of respondents plan to continue a focus on risk appetite over the next 12 months. Additional notable findings include:

  • Integration of ERM with other management processes increased this year, but significant opportunities exist to improve outcomes by enhancing integration of ERM with strategy, performance, and budget activities. 
  • For the third year in a row, “tone at the top, executive support for risk management” took the top spot for most impactful improvement area for organizations to respond to current and anticipated risks. 
  • While culture and leadership-related challenges continue to be prominent barriers facing organizations attempting to establish and maintain a formal ERM program, budget limitations continue to be a rising concern to ERM programs as it rose to the second spot this year. This year, more than half of respondents indicated that ERM budgets stayed the same, which may point to current budget levels being unable to address ERM program needs. 

To access the 2023 survey results and for more information, please click here.


About AFERM 

AFERM is the only professional association solely dedicated to the advancement of ERM in the Federal government through thought leadership, education and collaboration. AFERM provides programs and education about benefits, tools and leading practices of Federal ERM and collaborates with other organizations and stakeholders to encourage the establishment of ERM in Federal departments and agencies. For more information about AFERM, please visit


About Guidehouse 

Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public sector and commercial markets, with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting. By combining our public and private sector expertise, we help clients address their most complex challenges and navigate significant regulatory pressures focusing on transformational change, business resiliency, and technology-driven innovation. Across a range of advisory, consulting, outsourcing, and digital services, we create scalable, innovative solutions that help our clients outwit complexity and position them for future growth and success. The company has more than 17,000 professionals in over 55 locations globally. Guidehouse is led by seasoned professionals with proven and diverse expertise in traditional and emerging technologies, markets, and agenda-setting issues driving national and global economies. For more information, please visit 

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