Virtual Conference Capital Finance and Infrastructure Sessions

Below are the current capital planning and infrastructure sessions for GFOA's Virtual Conference.

Finance Officers are from Mars, Engineers are from Venus

Effective collaboration between finance officers and engineers is essential to implement your capital program and build and maintain the infrastructure that is necessary to a thriving community. Collaboration encourages thoughtful planning, well-designed projects, and cost effective solutions. Yet, finance officers and engineers often have different ways of approaching challenges and this can impede collaboration. This session examines how finance officers, engineers and other local government leaders, can improve results, build better relationships, and help build more sustainable organizations.

Date and Time: July 13, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Go Get Help: How to Leverage Outside Professionals in Managing Your Debt Program

Issuing and managing debt is one of many complex responsibilities for finance officers. The complexities inherent in the process and limited staff resources often makes it a necessity to rely on external resources like municipal advisors, underwriters, and legal counsel to access the municipal debt market and meet the disclosure responsibilities of the Continuing Disclosure Agreement (CDA). In this session, speakers will discuss what issuers should expect from those engagements and how you can be better prepared to take advantage of your relationships with these external advisors to improve your debt management programs.

Date and Time: July 13, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Will it Ever Be Enough?: Considerations for Voluntary Issuer Disclosure

Issuers active in the municipal bond market are no strangers to the pressure for providing up to date financial information, especially in light of COVID-19. This session will highlight opportunities for voluntary disclosure to the market and how issuers should evaluate the amount and type of information being disclosed. Panelists will also discuss how to leverage your financing team in making those decisions.

Date and Time: July 14, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Year in Washington: 2021 GFOA Federal Update

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt by communities throughout the country. The CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 both provided $500 billion in funding to state and local governments for rescue and recovery. In this session, we will discuss lessons learned from the already-appropriated funds and discuss the potential for an infrastructure plan on the horizon for state and local governments. Additionally, staff from GFOA's Federal Liaison Center will review where we have been in the 116th congress and where the 117th will likely take us.

Date and Time: July 15, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

Where to Find Your LIBOR and What to do About It

When LIBOR ceases to exist, state and local governments need to be sure that their exposure to the reference rate is also gone. Where can you find your exposure? And when you find it, what should you do about it? This panel will discuss the tax and accounting methods to address eliminating LIBOR in your financial contracts and other places that LIBOR may currently be used.

Date and Time: July 19, 11:45 a.m. (Eastern)

New Congress, New Administration, New Goals

2021 marks the beginning of the 117th Congress. Together with a new administration, there are many changes on the horizon for state and local governments related to tax and funding priorities at a federal level. In this session, speakers will provide an overview of current plans, which options are most likely to impact your government, and where finance officers can look for more information. Specific emphasis will be placed on exploring strategies for enhancing infrastructure in communities across the United States and how GFOA's advocacy efforts can keep you connected to the latest developments from Washington DC.

Date and Time: July 19, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Life Cycle Costing: Promoting Long-Term Thinking in Asset Maintenance

The acquisition cost of an asset is just a portion of the total cost of owning it. Ongoing maintenance significantly adds to that cost. Moreover, failure to keep up with asset maintenance can result in premature deterioration, an increased risk of failure, and higher total costs. Life cycle cost analysis helps guard against these risks by considering the entire cost of owning the asset over its entire life. In this session, you will see how lifecycle costing cab help governments make smarter, more cost-effective, and geographically equitable spending decisions, and how you can get started in implementing this approach in your organization.

Date and Time: July 20, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

More than a Buzzword: Understanding Equity in Budgeting

The term "equity" continues to be mentioned often involving discussions on a host of topics in our society, communities, and governments. But what does equity actually mean in terms of provision of governmental services and how does this impact the budget? Equity-driven initiatives are and will be very different from one community and organization to the next. However, common themes have emerged in both the definition of equity and how to overcome common challenges. This session will focus on the finance officer's role in making more equitable financial decisions related to both revenues and expenses.

Date and Time: July 20, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Bye Bye Backlogs: Strategic Capital Asset Management

Every government manages capital assets, but many governments inadequately fund their ongoing maintenance and lack the data needed to manage assets optimally. Failure to manage assets effectively can result in ballooning deferred maintenance backlogs at best and catastrophic asset failure at worst. This session describes how each community can take a more strategic approach to capital asset management, based on case study examples from local governments that are considered leaders in the field. The session will address how the finance department should work with other stakeholders, the key competencies you need to build in your organization, and how to remedy common capability gaps.

Date and Time: July 21, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

What's Trending in the Muni Bond Market

Municipal bond issuance remained strong throughout all of 2020 despite the pandemic. For example, the issuance of taxable bonds increased drastically in the last year due in large part to recent tax law changes and favorable market conditions. If you are considering accessing capital in the future, attend this session to hear from speakers what factors you would be considering to determine pricing, structure, and type of security. Speakers will also discuss their recent experience and share lessons learned for all state and local government issuers.

Date and Time: July 21, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

Rating Agency Update

In this rapidly changing environment, finance officers need to remain mindful about credit rating agency criteria for state and local governments. This session will present a panel of speakers who will discuss how credit rating agencies view issues facing governments, recent changes in rating methodology, and what your organization can do to adjust. Speakers will also review GFOA’s best practice on engaging with rating agencies and highlight other recommendations and lessons learned for improving your relationship with the rating agencies.

Date and Time: July 23, 2 p.m. (Eastern)