Town’s Financial Practices Continue to Receive Awards
The Town of Huntington continues to receive recognition from the national organization representing government finance professionals for the Town’s financial practices and the clarity in reporting and describing them for the public.
The Town was recently notified that for the 17th consecutive year, it has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, the highest award issued by the Government Finance Officers Association. The award was based on the GFOA’s analysis of the Town’s comprehensive financial report (CAFR) for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016. As noted in GFOA’s release about the award, “The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story.”
Earlier this year, the GFOA presented Huntington the Town’s seventh consecutive Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, which the GFOA considers its highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. That award, for the 2017 budget, followed a review by a panel drawn from more than 525 professionals nationwide that assessed how the Town’s budget satisfied nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The main factors weighed were how well the budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communication device. The panel needed to rate the budget as “proficient” in all four categories, including 14 mandatory criteria within those categories.
“When I took office 24 years ago, the Town’s finances were in a mess and the Town’s financial practices were the subject of considerable criticism,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “As I prepare leave to office now, I am pleased that I am turning over budget practices and presentations that have continually been cited as top-notch and that make it easy for all to see and understand the prudent fiscal policies that have held down taxes and produced AAA bond ratings. I again thank the GFOA for their continuing recognition of our efforts.”
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving nearly 18,000 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting 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. Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee, which comprises individuals with expertise in public-sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics and other finance-related professionals. More than 3,500 governments participate in the program each year. Participants include governments of all levels (state and local), types (general-purpose and special-purpose), and sizes. The Distinguished Budget Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.