GFOA State/Provincial President and Representative Forum on Facebook
Thank you to those who have joined GFOA’s new “State/Provincial President and Representative Forum” on Facebook so far. If you have not yet joined the group, we encourage you to do so to share information with the leadership from other organizations and to learn more about GFOA’s activities. You can start conversations, ask questions, provide feedback, and so much more. Click here to log onto Facebook and to request to join the group. If you would like to add members of your team or if you have any questions about how to join, please e-mail GFOA Social Media. We also encourage you to follow GFOA on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Help us Keep Our Records Current
If you have not yet done so, please send an updated officer listing with term dates for your organization to Kate Southard.
New Membership Brochure Released
Thank you for your continued membership in GFOA. We created a new membership brochure that is posted here. Please check it out and share it with your colleagues.
112th Annual Conference Update
GFOA’s 112th Annual Conference will take place May 6─9 at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri. We have almost 3,000 attendees registered. Please tell your members that if they are not yet registered to sign up by March 23 to save with an advance discount. GFOA’s conference sessions are posted here. Read about this year’s keynote speakers here.
We want to share the following update with you:
- GFOA will hold the lowest fee of $380 the span of the conference for GFOA State/Provincial Presidents and Representatives. To receive the discount, submit the conference registration form and write “State/Provincial President/Representative” in the fee section. The discount cannot be applied when registering online.
- Plan to attend GFOA’s State and Provincial Presidents and Representatives meeting on Saturday, May 5, at America’s Center Convention Complex from 3:00 to 4:30 pm (Room number TBA). A reception will follow until 5:15 pm. Please RSVP for the meeting to Natalie Laudadio.
- If you or your members are national GFOA government members and have never attended the Annual Conference, up to 50 scholarships are available per state or province. The scholarship waives the Annual Conference registration fee. Click here for details and to download an application. Please note that all of the available scholarships for the states of Illinois and Missouri have been awarded.
- We ask that the presidents and representatives from the states of New York and South Carolina encourage your members to show support to GFOA’s outgoing President Patrick McCoy, Director of Finance, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, and incoming President Steven Gibson, Assistant City Manager, City of Rock Hill, South Carolina. McCoy will address GFOA delegates during the opening general session on Monday morning, May 7, and Gibson will address delegates before the Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday morning, May 8.
- GFOA has reserved a block of discounted Cardinals baseball tickets against the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins over the conference. For information and to purchase tickets, click here. Space is limited.
- 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 St. Louis.
- Please 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 5, after 5:00 pm; Sunday, May 6, after 6:30 pm; and Monday, May 7, after 5:30 pm.
If you have any questions about the Annual Conference, contact GFOA.
See you in St. Louis!
Take Advantage of GFOA Training Close to Home
Increasing Trust and Financial Sustainability through Transparency: Part 2, Fiduciary Responsibility
Trust produces financial sustainability for local governments, and transparency is a means to obtaining this end. However, financial sustainability is not simply a matter of dollars and cents. A local government has three fundamental responsibilities that are essential to reaching financial sustainability: equitable responsibility, fair pricing, and fiduciary responsibility. This article will cover fiduciary responsibility, which refers to the responsibility of each jurisdiction to ensure that current and future expenditures are justified by benefit-cost calculations and supported by reliable revenue streams. Hence, local governments must think carefully about how to clarify the relationship between the benefits received by stakeholders and the contributions they make to sustaining local government.
The fiduciary responsibility is about providing good value to taxpayers and making sure that services are supported by reliable revenue streams in the future. Again, articulating the values related to this responsibility is a good starting point. For example, the Town of Gilbert, Arizona, recognized the need to have reliable funding for infrastructure maintenance in order to maintain a high quality of life in the community. To that end, “Long- and Short-Term Balanced Financial Plans” and “Proactively Address Infrastructure Needs” were included as two of only six strategic initiatives adopted by the Council in 2011. This clearly signaled that Gilbert takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously.
Integrity is essential to the public’s perceptions of fiduciary responsibility. This is because concerns about public corruption and the capture of lawmaking and enforcement authority by moneyed interests are some of the most important forces working against public trust in government. Public officials should demonstrate their integrity to citizens though measures like asset disclosure, conflict of interest management, and transparency in lobbying and political financing. For example, a handful of cities across the United States share information about campaign financing with their citizens. The City of Albuquerque, for instance, shares campaign finance information through an online portal. Ideally, campaign finance data includes information from reports filed by candidates, political action committees, and other relevant groups. Where the money came from, who spent the money, how much was spent, and what the money went toward are important metrics for the campaign finance dataset.
However, a limitation of the methods above is that citizens must avail themselves of these records in order for these methods to have their full intended impact. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that large numbers of citizens will do so. Therefore, governments may need to recognize and take advantage of high-profile opportunities to demonstrate integrity. Large capital projects, for example, have the reputation for attracting mismanagement and corruption. The public also can’t help but to notice such projects, since they’re usually big. Local governments could make special efforts to demonstrate and publicize integrity around such projects, thereby piggybacking off the attention they naturally generate. For example, a special website for the project could highlight transparent and fair procurement and bid award procedures.
Finally, local governments can make long-term financial planning and cost-benefit analysis integral to decision-making. This demonstrates that the fiduciary responsibility is a concern to decision-makers and allows citizens to check government’s work. We have already covered two examples of this: financial policies and popular financial reports. Another approach would be publicizing long-term forecasts of the government’s financial position, including transparent assumptions and underlying data. Ideally, such a model would be online and interactive, allowing users to adjust certain parameters. The ability for a user to simulate different scenarios has been shown to promote greater understanding and learning than static presentations. A government could also obtain and publicize independent expert reviews of its financial analysis to improve credibility. The external audit that a government receives every year is a leading example of this. Some state governments involve external reviewers in the revenue forecast to improve the forecast’s credibility. Local governments could look for similar opportunities.
If you have any questions, please contact Shayne Kavanagh.
Certified Public Finance Officers (CPFOs) Testing at GFOA's Annual Conference
GFOA’s Certified Public Finance Officers Program is a broad educational self-study program designed to verify knowledge in the disciplines of government finance. Attaining certification is a 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 at GFOA’s Annual Conference in St. Louis on Saturday, May 5 in the afternoon, and on Sunday, May 6 in the morning. The testing is also available this spring and summer at locations across the United States. Click here to access the schedule.
There are 735 individuals who have achieved the CPFO designation.
Click here for more information about the Certification Program.
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 the latest program update:
- GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (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 (CAFR) that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. More than 4,300 governments participate in the program each year, which include all types (general purpose and special purpose) and all sizes.
It’s easy to participate! Once the CAFR is prepared, submit it along with a completed application. The normal submission deadline is six months following a government’s fiscal year end. Requests to extend the deadline may be made one month at a time as a result of various factors (e.g., employee turnover, implementation of major pronouncements, audit issues, etc.).
The due date to submit December 31, 2017, fiscal year ended reports to the CAFR Program is June 30, 2018.
Extensions are available if you are not able to meet the normal submission deadline. You can request an extension by e-mailing CAFR Program.
Click here for information if you are interested in participating in the CAFR Program or serving as a reviewer.
GFOA also wants to congratulate the following governments, which achieved the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program for the fiscal year ended in 2016:
City of Phoenix Aviation Department; City of Tolleson
Alameda County Flood Control & Water Conservation District - Zone 7 Water Agency; City of Clayton; California State Water Resources Development System; County of Kings; City of Kingsburg; Port San Luis Harbor District; Solano Transportation Authority; Panama-Buena Vista Union School District; City of La Habra Heights; City of Lemoore; San Lorenzo Valley Water District; Soquel Creek Water District; Tahoe City Public Utility District
Lake Dillon Fire Protection District
Town of Madison; Town of Monroe; Town of New Canaan; Town of South Windsor; University of Connecticut
Town of Dundee; Miami Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works; District School Board of Pinellas County; St. Johns County School District; Tampa Bay Water
Cobb and Douglas Public Health; City of Doraville
Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System; Rockford Public Schools #205; DuPage Airport Authority; Village of Johnsburg; Schaumburg Park District; West Chicago Fire Protection District
Pleasant Valley Community School District
St. Bernard Parish Government
City of Westminster
City of Beverly; Town of Arlington; Town of Concord; Town of Falmouth; Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea; MBTA Retirement Fund; Town of Norwell
City of Boyne City
City of Olivette; City of Cassville; County Employees' Retirement Fund
Burke County; Charlotte Douglas International Airport; Franklin County Schools; Town of Huntersville; Town of Nags Head; Town of Wendell
Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority; Central New Mexico Community College
Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority; Mansfield City Schools; Strongsville City School District; Xenia Community School District
City of Owasso
Bend Metro Park & Recreation District; County of Clatsop; City of Prineville
County of Dauphin
State of South Dakota
City of Clinton
Canutillo Independent School District; City of Celina; Employees' Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas; McKinney Independent School District; City of Nassau Bay; Santa RosaIndependent School District
Heber City Corporation; Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District
City of Burlington
- Distinguished Budget Awards Program Winners
- Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award Program
GFOA would like to congratulate the 399 entities for successfully achieving the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award in 2017 for annual financial reports with fiscal years ended in 2016. We would also like to thank the reviewers for their invaluable contributions in reviewing reports in 2017.
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. Please note: raffle items are limited to Annual Conferences.
Share! 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 Natalie Laudadio.