Firms listed below provide services to assist governments in issuing and managing debt. Firms are categorized based on the type of services provided Categories include:
- Municipal Advisors
- Bond Counsel
- Bond Insurance
- Disclosure Services
- Rating Agencies
Unless the issuer has sufficient in-house expertise and access to market information, it should hire an outside municipal advisor prior to undertaking a negotiated debt financing in order to assist the government with evaluating proposals from underwriters, selecting the underwriter(s) for the transaction, and executing the bond sale.
Issuers should hire a municipal advisor prior to the undertaking of a debt financing unless the issuer has sufficient in-house expertise and access to current bond market information, and issuers should select municipal advisors on the basis of merit using a competitive process and that issuers review those relationships periodically.
GFOA recommends that issuers select bond counsel on the basis of merit using a competitive process and review those relationships periodically. A competitive process using a request for proposals (RFP) or request for qualifications (RFQ) permits issuers to compare qualifications of firms and select a firm or firms that best meets the needs of their community and the type of financing being undertaken. The RFP or RFQ should clearly describe the scope of services desired, the length of the engagement, evaluation criteria, and the selection process. Issuers should have a clear understanding of their service needs (single transaction, multiple transaction, or establishment of a qualified pool of firms) and develop the RFP/RFQ to meet these needs. Additionally, issuers should carefully develop an RFP that complies with state and local procurement requirements.
GFOA recommends that issuers evaluate the need for obtaining one or more credit ratings and develop appropriate policies and procedures for selecting and managing credit rating agencies.