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GFOA Newsletter
August 4, 2016
Establishing a Grants Administration Oversight Committee

State and local governments often receive significant grants from other governments and organizations to support their programs and activities. These grants often come with requirements that apply to operations, compliance, sub-recipient monitoring, and reporting. Typically there are negative consequences for failing to meet these requirements, such as the need to return funds to the grantor. Likewise, a grant may result in a program that continues, or an asset that must be maintained, well beyond the expiration of the grant.

To help avoid these negative consequences or unanticipated burdens, GFOA recommends that governments create both a grant administrative oversight policy and a grant administrative oversight committee to ensure adherence to that policy. A grant policy should: 1) require that certain steps be taken before applying for or accepting grants; and 2) address issues related to the ongoing operations of the grant. A centralized grant oversight committee should analyze grants before they are accepted, renewed, or continued to determine whether acceptance, renewal, or continuation would be appropriate.

GFOA’s Establishing a Grants Administration Oversight Committee best practice provides specific recommendations for creating an oversight committee.

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Association News
The August Congressional Recess Is Here—Are you Ready?

Throughout the month of August, your congressional delegation typically puts business on hold in Washington D.C. and heads home. The August Recess is designed to give members of Congress and their staff some time to reorient themselves, so it’s one of the very best times for constituents to meet with their members of Congress. Your advocacy during this period of time means the most because it allows your Congressional member to come face-to-face with the impact of federal preemption legislation, especially because of the deep fiscal impacts these have on localities within their districts. In the next several weeks, please consider meeting with your members of Congress and discussing the key 2016 issues: bank-qualified debt legislation and preserving the tax exemption on municipal bonds.

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Don’t Miss Next Week’s Internet Training, Best Practices in Budgeting and Fiscal Policy

GFOA has developed more than 35 best practices related to budgeting, covering fiscal policy, linking the budget to organizational goals and performance, the budget process and budgetary techniques, and specific elements of the operating budget document.

This interactive Internet training program—on August 10, 2016, from 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern)—focuses on the practical implementation of these best practices. Earn 2 CPE credits with your participation.

Read more and register. If you have any questions about the training, e-mail GFOA Training.
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News Links
Fitch: Public Finance Upgrades Outpaced Downgrades in Second Quarter

U.S. public finance upgrades exceeded downgrades in the second quarter of 2016, with 83 upgrades versus 43 downgrades, according to a Fitch Ratings report. Roughly 60% of the par value of downgrades this quarter were entities related to Puerto Rico, followed by another 25% related to the downgrade of the State of Connecticut. Downgrades in the second quarter represented 4.9% of all rating actions, while upgrades were 9.5% of all rating actions.

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Trading Higher Distance Costs for Lower Congestion Costs Yields Positive Results, Study Finds

Urban congestion represents not just an unpleasant experience but also significant costs, according to “Congestion, Agglomeration, and the Structure of Cities,” a recent working paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. At the same time, urban density creates production advantages. The paper features a spatial equilibrium model of urban structure, taking into account factors such as the spatial distribution of employment, population, land use, land rents, and commute times.

The results suggest that trading higher distance costs for lower congestion costs yields positive results: “Production and rents both increase, while more land is preserved for open space. In addition, the economy exhibits both higher production and increased efficiency in the use of resources in terms of production per unit of land and per worker. The more striking result is that these gains are made even though total congestion and total commuting costs increase. The intuition is that workers are more willing to commute into congested areas given the lower costs; therefore, firms can cluster and take advantage of the production increases from proximity. These increases in productivity offset the increases in transportation costs.”
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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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