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GFOA Newsletter
April 28, 2016
Coping with Unfunded Mandates – When the Buck Gets Passed to You

Continued budgetary pressures have resulted in a shifting of responsibility for both service provision and funding to lower levels of government – in other words, unfunded mandates. In the GFOA conference session, Coping with Unfunded Mandates – When the Buck Gets Passed to You (May 22, 2016, from 2:40 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.), you’ll learn strategies for dealing with the different kinds of unfunded mandates, gleaned from the experiences of the local governments that know mandates best: school districts.

Take a look at all the sessions being offered at GFOA’s annual conference. 

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Association News
We Hope to See You in Toronto Soon!

There’s still time to register for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions and Strategies, May 22-25, 2016, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Learn the latest trends, developments, and best practices in each major facet of public finance. Check out session descriptions and preconference seminars. Sign up today!

Unable to attend the full conference? Interested in sending junior staff to participate? Take advantage of the one-day rate on May 23 or 24. Click here for registration information.

First-time annual conference attendee scholarships are still 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. Please note that Ontario has reached the maximum awarded scholarships. E-mail First Annual Conference for details and an application.

If you have questions about the conference, go 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.
    Click here for information on accelerated processing.  
  • U.S. citizens driving to Toronto will need one of the following to return to 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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Last Chance for April Savings on GFOA Publications

There’s still time to save 25% on GFOA publications during the last few days of April.

Take a look at GFOA’s “must-own” publications including Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (GAAFR), the GAAFR Supplement, and GFOA’s popular Elected Official’s Guides – whether you are new to the finance profession or a career veteran, GFOA has the resources you need to meet your professional goals!

Download the publication order form to mail, fax, or scan and e-mail to GFOA. Enter promotional code GFOASpring on the order form. (The offer expires on April 30, 2016. This discount cannot be applied when ordering online using GFOA’s  e-store. Offer applies to new publication orders only and cannot be combined with any other discount.)

If you have any questions, e-mail GFOA Publications.

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News Links
Change Management: Put All Hands on Deck

“Change management” is often treated as a buzzword term, and something that HR deals with. But change is both difficult and unavoidable, so governments need to take it seriously. In a Context of Things blog post, Ted Bauer discusses the major hurdles of change management in the private sector, but his detailed article includes much that is useful for governments, as well. He urges the reader to examine traditional, organization-centric thinking versus the newer model of “network thinking,” along with the factors needed to make those complex changes.

For instance, he notes that achieving strategies and action plans is difficult because “executives have one set of beliefs, purposes, visions, and accountability metrics. They set the higher-order “strategy” (which in most cases is just an operational plan, but let’s not split too many hairs here) and then the rest of the company is supposed to follow it. But oftentimes there’s no alignment between what you’re hearing from execs at meetings (“strategy”) and what you’re doing at your desk all day (“execution”). That’s a major disconnect for a lot of people, and it fuels most turnover in organizations…”

The key to successful change management, then, is moving a group of people in the same direction when they were never aligned to begin with. Senior management must therefore make it clear to the entire organization why everyone should care about this change and why it’s needed; listen to workers at all levels of the organization (“janitors know stuff”); and align the organization’s goals with performance measures, which should be aligned with employee tasks, which should, in turn, be aligned with employee goals.

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Swedish City Takes a Holistic Approach to Water and Energy

The City of Borås, Sweden, has developed an “ultra-efficient wastewater treatment plant that will not only meet strict emissions requirements, but also contribute renewable fuel for a city power plant,” the Smart Cities Council reports. The project succeeded in part because it treated the city as a collection of complex, interrelated systems. The new wastewater treatment plant will be co-located with the local power plant, which provides the city with district heating, district cooling, biogas, waste management, water and sewage treatment and energy and waste services, as well as producing electricity in a combined heat and power plant and hydro power stations. “By using their unique recycling model, they aim to convert the energy of the city´s waste streams into renewable valuables, and create a city free from fossil fuels.”

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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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