State/Provincial Update - April 28, 2016

Are You Registered Yet for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference?

Thank you to those who have signed up so far to participate in GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, May 22-25, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Housing can be reserved through GFOA’s official hotel block. View this year’s sessions to begin planning your conference schedule.

If you have not yet registered, please be aware of the following opportunities:

  • Special offer to state/provincial presidents and representatives. All of our state/provincial presidents and representatives are eligible for the early conference registration fee of $380. Submit the marked conference registration form that has “State/Provincial GFOA President or Representative” written on it.
  • Scholarships for GFOA active government members who have not previously participated in the Annual Conference. Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the amount of the full-conference registration fee to first-time conference attendees who are active national GFOA government members. For details and an application, e-mail First Annual Conference. Please note that Ontario has reached the maximum awarded scholarships.

If you have any questions about the conference, contact GFOA. Remember: All delegates traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Click here for information on accelerated processing.


Will Your Organization be Holding a Meeting or Social Event at the Annual Conference?

If so, please e-mail the name, phone number, and e-mail address of your main contact as well as the date, time, and location of your event to Kate Southard. We will have a listing of events available at the Message Center onsite in Toronto.

Note: We ask that your social events not conflict with any GFOA sessions or social events. Open nights to host a hospitality event are: Saturday, May 21, after 5:00 pm; Sunday, May 22, after 6:30 pm; and Monday, May 23, after 5:00 pm.


GFOA State/Provincial Representatives and Presidents Meeting

This year’s meeting will take place Saturday, May 21, 3:00−4:00 pm, in room 711 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We ask that you please attend this meeting to learn more about the GFOA’s activities and to share information with your fellow state/provincial GFOA colleagues. We urge you to e-mail any suggested topics for roundtable discussions to add to the meeting’s agenda to Natalie Laudadio. You will receive a finalized agenda before the meeting date. We look forward to seeing you there!


Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFOs) Testing this Spring and at the GFOA Annual Conference

The Certified Public Finance Officers Program of the GFOA is a broad educational self-study program designed to verify knowledge in the disciplines of government finance. Attaining certification is the mark of excellence in government finance. To earn the CPFO designation, candidates must pass a series of five examinations covering the major disciplines of public finance.

The CPFO exams are available this spring at locations across the United States. The CPFO exam will also be available at the GFOA Annual Conference in Toronto on Saturday, May 21, 1:30–5:00 pm, and Sunday, May 22, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Click here for more information on the Certification Program.


Don’t Miss GFOA’s Training Seminars in San Francisco this June!

The GFOA is bringing three of its most popular training seminars to The Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, June 14−17, 2016. Sign up for one or more of the following courses:

Submit the training registration form (also contains information on available discounts specific to each course) or sign up online using GFOA’s e-store.  Click here for hotel information. For ideas on what to do while in San Francisco, go to San Francisco Travel. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.


Sign Up for a Listing in GFOA’s New Buyer’s Guide

GFOA’s Associate Members (private-sector companies) are invited to be listed in a NEW 2016 Buyer’s Guide, which will be posted to the GFOA website through December 31, 2016.* The Guide provides a great opportunity for finance professionals to find companies that offer products and services that can save their governments time and money. Click here to read more and to download an order form. Encourage your private-sector members to join the GFOA as Associate Members today to have an opportunity to become part of this Guide.

*GFOA’s conference exhibitors and platinum, gold, silver, and bronze-level sponsors are automatically included in the Buyer’s Guide.


Reducing Utility Bills through Better Asset Maintenance

The Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA), like many of its peers, needed to identify revenue to replace its degrading system infrastructure. Over the years, the agency had become less effective, and while the water utility’s core services were strong, inefficient business processes had created stress points. The authority was looking at increasing water and wastewater bills, which would create hardships for lower-income households. It, therefore, began looking for ways to use performance management technology to link core utility services with support services.

Tulsa’s first pumping station was installed in 1904, and more than a century later, the TMUA needed to find the best way to provide high-quality utilities at an affordable rate for the next century. The agency’s main services – setting residential service rates for sewage and drinking water services, along with related capital improvement planning and maintenance – had become less effective. Support services had been consolidated, and engineering services were isolated from the utility authority, giving the TMUA no direct control over the business processes that were central to its performance. The agency was eager to implement better business processes but lacked the technology it needed to do so.

An audit identified the areas the agency should concentrate on, and it recommended a public-private partnership (P3) to address the funding shortages. In response, the city contracted with a consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive organizational assessment it could use to determine the best path forward.

Instead of focusing solely on the utility’s capital, financial, and operational needs, the city chose instead to conduct a far-reaching assessment that included governance, operational performance; organizational structure; management, financial and legal conditions; capital needs; and public policy issues that would affect the delivery of sewer and water services. The assessment determined that performance and asset management technology, coupled with operating and capital program improvements, could provide results similar to outsourcing or privatization. In fact, it was determined that the performance management capabilities of modern asset maintenance technology could potentially reduce future rate increases by 20% to 30% over projections.

For more information on Tulsa’s water utility, click here.

Related Best Practices:


GFOA Awards Program Update

GFOA encourages and recognizes excellence in financial reporting, budgeting, and financial management by granting awards to those governments that meet program standards. Below is latest program update:

Complete List of Award Winners for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program)

Congratulations to the entities that have received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 2015 for the fiscal year ended 2014 comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs). The complete list of the winners has been posted on the GFOA website and can be viewed here. We would also like to thank the reviewers in the CAFR Program for volunteering their time to review reports in 2015. The list of the reviewers has also been posted on the GFOA website and can be viewed here.

The GFOA established the CAFR Program in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. Over 4,200 governments participate in the program each year which include all types (general purpose and special purpose) and all sizes.

Click here if you are interested in participating in the CAFR Program or serving as a reviewer.

GFOA’s Latest Budget Awards Program Winners

The GFOA has just released the names of the most recent winners of its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award (governments that have received the award as of 3/31/16 for the budget year that began 1/1/15). Each name is accompanied by a PDF of the award-winning budget document. 

View list of governments in your state that earned the Budget Award in February 2016 and March 2016. Budgets that are initial winners of this award are identified by the phrase “FIRST-TIME WINNER.” The GFOA encourages you to contact each of the first-time award winners and to offer to arrange a formal presentation of the award. If you have any questions regarding the award winners, please contact Kathie Schultz, Senior Program Associate, GFOA Technical Services Center.

Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award Program First Time Winners

GFOA’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) Program recognizes individual governments that successfully produce high quality annual reports which are specifically designed to be easily accessible and understandable to the general public and other interested parties.

Congratulations to the following governments for achieving the first time Award: City of Woodstock, IL; Spring Independent School District, TX.

Read more about the PAFR Program or e-mail us.


Do you have an Upcoming Annual Conference?

If so, please fill out the “GFOA Promotional Items” form, checking off any materials you are interested in receiving for your upcoming annual conference. The form is interactive, so you can type and save your changes directly to the document. Submit the completed form at least two months before your event to Kate Southard. If your state or provincial association has any new educational or mentor programs to promote or events at your annual conference to connect fellow finance officers and advance the profession, we will share the information in this monthly memorandum. Please send a brief description of your program to Kate Southard.


Washington Update

Please find attached the latest Washington Update prepared by our Federal Liaison Center in Washington, DC. More information may also be found on the Federal Government Relations section of GFOA’s website.


Help Us Keep Our State/Provincial Officer Directory Up-To-Date

If you have not done so yet, please review the State/Provincial Officer Directory we have on file and let us know if you have any changes. Any changes can be e-mailed to Kate Southard.