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GFOA Newsletter
February 11, 2016
Rethink Organizational Structure, Increase Efficiency

Many governments struggle to strike the right balance between specialization and flexibility. Outdated organizational structures designed to accommodate older technology keep many organizations from building teams, departments, and organizational units in ways that maximize efficiency. The City of Dayton, Ohio, addressed this challenge by developing budget teams around the city’s primary finance-related functions. 

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Association News
GFOA Alert: The SEC MCDC Initiative and Issuer Settlements

Following three rounds of settlements with underwriters and broker dealers under the SEC’s 2014 Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, the SEC’s Enforcement Division has begun reaching out to government debt issuers who participated in the program. As issuers receive calls and settlement proposals from the SEC in the coming weeks, GFOA wants to alert members who participated in the initiative that they may have very little time to agree to settlement terms once those terms are offered by the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

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Take Advantage of Opportunities to Connect with Your Peers at GFOA’s Annual Conference

Thank you to the thousands who have registered to participate in GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions and Strategies, May 22–25, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario. Please be sure to send an e-mail to GFOA Badges to register your guests.  

If you haven’t yet signed up to participate in the Annual Conference, don’t miss this opportunity to earn more than 20 CPE credits! The conference will feature more than 60 educational sessions ─ go to GFOA’s website and click on the “Annual Conference” tab to access the brochure and register for the conference today.

Check out these additional opportunities:

  • Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the amount of the full-conference registration fee to first-time conference attendees who are GFOA active (government) members. To apply for a scholarship, e-mail First Annual Conference.
  • Unable to attend the full conference, or interested in sending your junior staff to participate? Take advantage of the one-day rate on May 23 or May 24. Download the registration form to complete and submit to the GFOA.

If you have any questions on the conference, contact GFOA.

Travel Resources:

  • Reserve your housing through GFOA’s official hotel block.
  • Take advantage of GFOA’s arranged travel discounts with Air Canada, Delta, Porter, United, and Hertz Rental Car.
  • Toronto has many attractions, events, and places to visit to help make your conference trip enjoyable ─ sign up for this year’s tours.
  • All delegates traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Please plan ahead; obtaining a passport can take approximately 4-6 weeks. 
         Information on applying for or renewing a passport
         Information for first-time passport application image
  • Driving to Toronto? To enter the United States, citizens will need a US passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, Trusted Traveler Program card (Nexus, Sentri, Fast), U.S. Military ID card (when on official orders), U.S. merchant mariner document (when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business), or form I-872 American Indian Card. Click here for more information.


Come to Town Early and Participate in GFOA's Preconference Seminars

Gain in-depth training while earning additional CPE credits by participating in GFOA’s preconference seminars on Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Click here for seminar descriptions and to register.

One of this year’s seminars is Best Practices in Managing Payroll (Saturday, May 21, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, 4 CPE credits). Many finance officers have responsibility for payroll. With that comes responsibility to manage a process that accounts for approximately 85% of an organization’s operating budget, maintain compliance with an ever changing set of state and federal legislative and regulatory requirements, navigate business rules further complicated by unique collective bargaining requirements, and perform with zero margin for error. And while just about every organization is able to manage these tasks routinely, there are often opportunities for significant improvements. This preconference seminar will explore best practices in managing payroll, including the role of HR and finance, how to incorporate internal controls, use of technology, third-party service providers, recommendations on dealing with an ever changing set of compliance requirements, and case study examples from local governments that have successfully improved their payroll processes and overall payroll functions.

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Lend Your Support to Preserve the Tax Exemption on Municipal Bond Interest
 As Congress and the White House return to discussions on comprehensive federal tax reform in 2016, GFOA is urging our members to help engage federal lawmakers regarding the need to preserve the tax exemption on municipal bond interest. In addition to the resources already available for your use on our federal government relations page, GFOA is urging members to sign their jurisdictions onto this letter to the leaders of the House and Senate tax writing committees, expressing support for the tax exemption. Beyond GFOA’s membership, the letter is also being distributed by our colleagues at the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and the National Association of State Treasurers. Our aim is to secure the support of hundreds of jurisdictions on this letter to demonstrate to Congress the immense support for this provision of the tax code. Jurisdictions that are interested in signing on should contact Emma Heydlauff at by February 15.
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Now is the Time to Purchase GFOA Elected Official’s Guide Sets

Take 29% off all GFOA’s popular Elected Official’s Guide sets in February! We have sets on accounting, budgeting, cash management and debt, management, monitoring and control, and pensions and benefits. A starter and complete set are also available to fit your financial management needs.

GFOA’s Elected Official’s series provides practical and easy-to-understand explanations — in plain language — on a variety of public finance topics. Using a simple question-and-answer format, each guide provides a thorough introduction to a single topic. An affordable price structure and quantity discounts make these booklets ideal for distribution to newly elected officials, government employees, citizen and taxpayer groups, the media, and others interested in local government finance.

Download the publication titles listing and submit the enclosed order form to GFOA. Enter code GFOA29 on the order form. (This offer expires on February 29, 2016. The discount cannot be applied when ordering online using GFOA’s e-store. The offer applies to new publication orders only and cannot be combined with any other discount.)

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News Links
City Uses "Rumor Page" to Get the Truth Out There

Glendale, California, added a Rumor Page to its website to get facts out immediately. Citizens can use the site, www.glendaleca.gov, to access up-to-the-minute information in a format that fits any mobile device, American City & County reported. When a newspaper recently got its facts wrong in a story about the city’s water conservation efforts, the city used the Rumor Page – a hub for citywide communications and one of the ten most popular pages on the site – to get the facts out and end a potential problem before it started.

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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Jeffrey Esser

The GFOA Newsletter (ISSN 1051-6964) is published weekly by
the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
Correspondence regarding editorial and/or business matters should be sent to
GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Phone - 312/977-9700 FAX - 312/977-4806.


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