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GFOA Newsletter
March 24, 2016
Framework for Internal Control:
The Control Environment

To support governments’ efforts in adopting the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations’ (COSO) Internal Control—Integrated Framework, GFOA is developing best practices that explain how to implement each of the framework’s five components. The first, Framework for Internal Control: The Control Environment, recommends detailed steps that governments should take in order to establish a strong internal control environment. These include the commitment of everyone – the governing body, upper management, and all levels of staff – along with the governing body’s responsibility for overseeing internal control and the development of organizational structures to ensure staff accountability.

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Association News
Save on GFOA’s Annual Conference Registration ─ Sign Up Today

Register by April 14 to save with an advance registration discount on GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, May 22-25, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Check out this year’s sessions; you can also maximize your training opportunities by registering for GFOA’s preconference seminars.

Can’t attend the entire conference? Register with a special one-day rate on either Monday, May 23, or Tuesday, May 24. You will have access to all conference sessions, meetings, luncheons, and exhibits held on that date. This is also a great way to train junior staff in your organization and save on travel expenses.  

Apply for a first-time attendee scholarship. First-time annual conference attendee scholarships are available for GFOA active government members who have never attended a conference. Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state and province in the order the applications are received. Click here to view a list of how many scholarships have been awarded per state and province (current as of March 22). E-mail First Annual Conference for details and an application.

If you have any questions about the conference, refer to GFOA’s FAQs or contact GFOA.

Travel Resources

  • Reserve your housing online through GFOA’s official hotel block.
  • Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest in North America, making travel to Toronto easy.
  • Take advantage of a favorable exchange rate.
  • Don’t miss 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 to 6 weeks. Information on applying for or renewing a passport / Information for first-time passport application
  • U.S. citizens who are driving to Toronto will need one of the following to re-enter the United States: U.S. 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.
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New to Governmental Accounting?
Don’t Miss GFOA’s April Accounting Academy in Chicago

Accountants and auditors who are new to the public sector immediately face the daunting challenge of familiarizing themselves with the highly specialized rules, guidelines, and practices that apply to state and local governments. GFOA’s Accounting Academy: An Intensive Introduction to Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting, April 11−15, at GFOA’s offices in Chicago, is intended for those who already have at least a basic knowledge of private-sector accounting. The training session will combine lecture, discussion, and exercises to help newcomers make this difficult but essential transition.

Earn 32 CPE credits with your participation. Click here for details and to register today.  

If you have any questions about GFOA training, contact GFOA. For information on Chicago activities, visit Choose Chicago.

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There’s Still Time to Get our March Bonus on GFOA Publications

What better way to get to know GFOA’s popular Elected Official’s Series than with this month’s bonus? If you purchase the GAAFR Supplement in either a softcover or e-book format during these last few days of March, you will receive two Elected Official’s Guide booklets of your choice as a bonus. If you purchase a Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (GAAFR) set (which includes both paperbound and e-book versions of the GAAFR and GAAFR Supplement), you will receive five Elected Official’s Guide booklets of your choice as a bonus.

Download the publication titles listing and submit the enclosed order form to GFOA. Mark either the GAAFR Supplement or GAAFR set on the form as well as the bonus EOG titles of your choice. Enter code GFOAMarch16 on the order form. This offer expires on March 31, 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
House Introduces Public Employee Pension Transparency Act 

On March 22, Devin Nunes (CA-22) introduced the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act (PEPTA), HR 4822. This legislation is identical to previously proposed and ultimately unsuccessful versions of PEPTA introduced in the last two sessions of Congress. The act would require sponsors of state and local defined benefit plans to report plan liabilities to the Secretary of the Treasury annually in order to retain their federal tax-exempt bond status. It would also require supplementary reports restating these liabilities, using a so-called “risk-free” assumed rate of return. The data would then be entered into a federal database that would be accessible to the public. Finally, the bill makes it explicitly clear that public pension obligations are the responsibility of state and local governments and that the federal government will not provide a bailout.

GFOA opposes this measure and any imposition of federally mandated disclosure and reporting on state and local pension plans.

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Tips for Telling Your Government’s Story

The public seldom hears about government technology that runs well. This is in part because jurisdictions often shy away from self-promotion – but there’s no reason not to make citizens aware of the great work being done on their behalf. Following are some quick tips to help you tell better stories, courtesy of GovLoop. They focus on tech (and federal agencies), but the tips apply to all of government.

  • Get to know the community of writers who cover your organization or department, and the topics you and the writers care about, and be direct in alerting them about major and seemingly minor developments.
  • Share information about the things that are unique to your government’s mission that you do well.
  • Tell your story in plain language, avoiding jargon and vague wording.
  • Providing graphics, photos, and charts, will greatly enhance your story, if they’re available.
  • Use social media to promote the work you do, and to field questions from the public about the kinds of stories they want to hear.
  • Keep in mind that a long newspaper article isn’t the only way to communicate – consider a quick video interview, for instance.
  • If you alert the public or press about something, you need to have staff or an expert available to talk about it. 
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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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