The city of Clinton has again received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget, repeating its award-winning performance after achieving the distinction for the first time ever last year.
Shawn Purvis, assistant city manager and finance director, was individually recognized for his role in the budget presentation. City manager John Connet read a letter from the GFOA at the City Council meeting this week, and specifically honored Purvis for the staff achievement.
“The award represents a significant achievement,” said Connet, reading from the GFOA notification. “It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.”
Purvis, who was unaware of the recognition prior to Connet’s recitation of the letter, said he was humbled by the award. He said it was a reflection of the good working environment had not only in the finance department, but across city departments and among the City Council.
“I am excited and grateful for the award. It recognizes a lot of hard work accomplished, not only by the finance department, but the whole city,” Purvis stated. “The finance department has the final responsibility of compiling the budget, but every department head works with their supervisors to develop their budgets. Finance and administration then work together with department heads to come together on options for City Council. City Council put in a lot of extra hours in workshops this past year to help develop the budget. They provided guidance, recommendations and established policy that ultimately shaped the budget in order to fulfill the city’s mission and goals in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.
The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program serves over 17,400 government finance professionals in the United States and Canada. It is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting and, for budgets including fiscal period 2010, more than 1,250 entities earned the award.
The program was established in 1984 to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the “very highest quality” that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting.
The budget awards program sets out to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.
“Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America,” the letter stated.
Along with the distinction itself, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual or department designated as being primarily responsible for its having achieved the award. Connet presented that to Purvis at Tuesday’s meeting.
The assistant manager and finance director said the budget award helps to confirm that the city is standing by its continued commitment to open and responsible government.
“The budget award demonstrates the city’s commitment to open and sound governance,” said Purvis. “The budget is not only the financial plan for the city, it represents a policy guide, operations guide and communications tool for city officials and citizens.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.