GFOA’s 2016 Awards for Excellence in Government Finance

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) announced the winners of its 2016 Awards for Excellence in Government Finance. GFOA’s most prestigious awards recognize contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance.

This year’s winning entries of the Awards for Excellence encompass such work in areas of management and service delivery, and pensions and benefits. The awards were presented at the GFOA’s Annual Conference in Toronto, May 24, 2016.

The Award for Excellence in Management and Service Delivery was awarded to the City of Baltimore, Maryland, for its OutcomeStat project.

The City of Baltimore recently developed OutcomeStat to align the city’s outcome budgeting and CitiStat performance data tracking system processes, while adding a strategic planning component that engages more external city partners. The four primary goals of OutcomeStat include: creating a strategic plan structured around priority outcomes and measurable indicators; better aligning existing performance management system to ensure consistency; engaging community stakeholders and outside partners in an ongoing, collaborative effort; and identifying 5-year targets for each indicator, with action plans for achieving those targets. OutcomeStat uses an intuitive structure and overall low level of complexity to integrate the previously separate budgeting and CitiStat data and performance indicators on a broad and ongoing basis, providing better overall transparency.

Contact: Andrew Kleine, Budget Director, City of Baltimore, Maryland, Andrew.Kleine@baltimorecity.gov.

 

The Award for Excellence in Pensions and Benefits was awarded to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), for A Balanced Approach to Risk Mitigation initiative.

CalPERS developed a funding risk mitigation concept to help reduce the pension fund's unfunded liability, providing greater predictability of contribution rates, along with lower volatility. Once the concept was developed – by a broad array of CalPERS staff and also including extensive stakeholder outreach – the Funding Risk Mitigation Policy was formally adopted to increase the long-term sustainability of pension benefits for CalPERS members. The policy is based on an integrated asset liability management framework designed to reduce risk and volatility in the pension system by incrementally lowering the discount rate in years of good investment returns and adjusting the asset allocation to account for the new discount rate.

Contact: Cheryl Eason, Chief Financial Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Cheryl.eason@calpers.ca.gov.

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