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GFOA Newsletter
July 14, 2016
Enhanced Disclosure Provides Opportunities

The effort a jurisdiction’s finance director makes to communicate with investors before a bond sale is even planned may lead to more long-term benefits—in the form of lower borrowing costs—than you’d think. But how to fit these additional tasks into an already busy schedule? The key is using technology to enhance the disclosures of public data and reports to investors through the use of investor websites. The effort will likely provide real, tangible benefits to taxpayers over time.

GFOA’s newest best practices in this area, Understanding Your Continuing Disclosure Responsibilities and Using Technology for Disclosure, will provide the guidance you need Also, take a look at “Enhanced Disclosure Provides an Opportunity for Governments,” from the June 2016 issue of Government Finance Review.

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Association News
GFOA Seeking Finance Officers to Help Develop Best Practices—Share Your Expertise by Joining a Standing Committee

Applications to become a 2016 standing committee member are being accepted through July 22. Serving on a standing committee is an excellent opportunity for GFOA members to contribute their experience and knowledge to the entire membership. GFOA’s seven standing committees meet twice each year and develop best practices, advisories, and policy statements. GFOA associate members from the private sector may also apply to be committee advisors.

We invite you to submit your application to one of GFOA’s seven standing committees: Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting; Canadian Issues; Economic Development and Capital Planning; Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy; Governmental Debt Management; Retirement and Benefits Administration; and Treasury and Investment Management.

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Don’t Miss GFOA’s First Annual Better Budgeting Web-Stream Event

Budgeting is at the very core of local government finance, functioning as a practical tool for setting policy, establishing priorities, promoting effectiveness and efficiency in operations, and ensuring both financial and programmatic accountability. Budgeting can only be as effective as the budget professionals who make it all happen. GFOA’s first annual Better Budgeting web-streaming event on October 6, 2016, with an encore presentation on January 12, 2017, both at 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern), is designed to equip those on the front lines of local budgeting to do their best at meeting the many practical challenges they must face from day to day and from year to year.

This year’s first annual Better Budgeting web-stream event will offer practical advice on how to:

  • Improve the process of budgeting for salaries and wages.
  • Better assess the potential impact of changes in service level.
  • Make better decisions on the appropriate levels of fees and charges.
  • Create a truly effective capital budgeting process.
  • Design more effective measures of performance.
  • Setting up a long-term planning process.

This two-hour web-stream event will combine lecture, panel discussion, and examples to communicate and reinforce the key policies and critical procedures presented. Earn 2 CPE credits with your participation.

Save with group discounts. (Please type your information on the October Group registration template or January Group registration template, save the document, and e-mail it to GFOA Training with your registration form or fax it to GFOA.)

Register today! Brochure and registration form / Register online. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

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Register Early and Save on GFOA’s 21st Annual Governmental GAAP Update

Learn everything you need to know about the most recent developments in accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments, including the latest GASB statements, exposure drafts, and implementation guidance, at GFOA’s 21st Annual Governmental GAAP Update web-streaming event. The training will take place on November 3, 2016, with an encore presentation on December 1, 2016, both at 1 to 5 p.m. (Eastern). Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation.

Take advantage of:

  • Early discounts. Sign up by September 30 and take advantage of an early registration discount on the November offering (or register by November 8 to save on the registration fee for the December offering).
  • Special group discounts. Make a day of it and build an event around this training as an affordable way to train staff and/or educate clients. Sign up with your colleagues and save with group pricing. (Please type your information on the November Group registration template or December Group registration template, save the document, and e-mail it to GFOA Training with your registration form or fax it to GFOA.)

Act now and register. Brochure and registration form / Register online. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

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Jurisdictions Win Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award for First Time

GFOA would like to congratulate the following jurisdictions for receiving the Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) Award for the first time: City of Phoenix, AZ; City of Livermore, CA; Arapahoe County School District Number Six, CO; City of Ankeny, IA; City of Woodstock, IL; Baltimore Fire & Police Employees' Retirement System, MD; State of Minnesota; City of Sanford, NC; Pitt County, NC; The City of New York, NY; Jackson County, OR; City of Rock Hill, SC; Spring Independent School District, TX; Eagle Mountain City, UT.

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News Links
Study Finds New York State's Disaster Response Approach Unique and Effective

The State of New York’s approach to handling natural disasters is unique in “facilitating the development of plans by harnessing local knowledge, resources, and capacities; supplementing it by providing technical assistance, data analysis, and consultation; and managing the scale and scope both of the process and the funds allocated for disaster recovery,” according to a recent study from the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery and the Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York The study evaluates New York’s planning efforts to reduce its vulnerability to future disasters, part of the state's adaptations to climate change. 

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Intergenerational Shift Leading to Funding Conflicts in Suburbs

More conflict between school and senior funding is expected as vast numbers of baby boomers near retirement and change the demographics of their often-suburban communities, according to a study by Pew Trusts. As more older residents stay in their homes, less housing will be occupied by young families, which could mean schools that are less full, potentially pitting families with children against retirees in a fight for limited tax dollars. “Boomers are likely to push many local governments to widen sidewalks and install benches, beef up public transit, and help pay for home maintenance and repair, among many other things,” the study’s authors speculate, noting that “we spent billions of dollars building cul-de-sac suburbs, which are the worst possible design for people who lose the ability to drive.” And in some communities, “seniors have been flexing their political muscle over taxes and spending for many years. Often, the fight has been over schools.” One study  found that the greater the number of seniors who lived in a suburban community, the less it spent on schools.

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Make Sure Others Know the Value of What You Do

Government workers often live with the uncertainty that their initiatives and even their jobs could be swept away with the next administration. The public sector also has a unique relationship with the citizens it serves, who need to trust the executives who spend their tax dollars. It is crucial, therefore, that public servants adequately communicate the importance of the work they’re doing, a Government Executive article explains. The title of a recent Washington Post article says it all: “The solutions to all our problems may be buried in PDFs that nobody reads.” The article provides five tips for building the narrative that will help garner public interest and support:

  • Prioritize your central theme—focus on telling the most important story with conviction, and be ready to do it in less than 30 seconds if necessary. 
  • Interact with stakeholders—generate interest in new initiatives and maintain curiosity in existing programs.
  • Build a coalition of the willing to support your programs; it is much harder to cancel effective projects than programs with uncertain results.   
  • Don’t ignore the process in pursuit of the outcome; look for opportunities for creating collective support, driving progress toward shared priorities, and mutually communicating results.
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good—moving from a legacy reporting method to a new way of sharing data and results takes time, so get started.
Read More.
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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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