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GFOA Newsletter
October 5, 2017
GFOA Executive Board Approves Best Practices

GFOA’s Executive Board recently approved the following best practices:

  • Negotiating Economic Development Agreements. Governments should develop and pursue a clear negotiating strategy when working with third-party developers on economic development projects, and that the finance department/officer should always be represented on the negotiating team.
  • Economic Development Incentive Policies. Jurisdictions should create policies explaining the appropriate parameters for economic development incentives. The policy should be specific enough to establish clear but not overly restrictive boundaries, allowing for flexibility and discretion to ensure that the best interests of the jurisdiction are being served.
  • Investment Policies for Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings Plans. The governing bodies of tax-deferred retirement savings plans should establish and adhere to formal investment policies that govern the selection and monitoring of investments the plan provides. 
  • Post-Issuance Policies and Procedures. Issuers of bonds or other debt obligations should develop and adopt formal, written post-issuance compliance policies and procedures to assist them in meeting compliance requirements and in preventing, identifying, and correcting possible violations that might occur during the term that bonds are outstanding. 
  • Electronic Vendor Fraud. Governments should put safeguards and internal controls in place to mitigate the risk of fraudulent vendor payment activity, and they should review all control procedures to ensure that they are current and relevant to current threats.
  • Primary Market Disclosure. Issuers should establish clear policies and procedures for compiling information before issuing debt, carefully considering information that may be material to investors when compiling primary market information. 
  • Investment Policies for Defined Benefit Plans. Defined benefit plans should establish and adhere to formal investment policies to regulate and monitor the system’s investment program. Such a policy should be viewed as a long-term governing document. 
Read More.
Association News
Treasury Scraps Burdensome Political Subdivisions as Part of Proposed Amendments

The Treasury Department plans to withdraw proposed Section 103 regulations that would have added requirements to be considered a “political subdivision” for purposes of issuing tax-exempt municipal bonds. The requirements, which would have imposed enhanced standards to show a governmental purpose and governmental control, would have been costly and burdensome.

Read More.
Just Added! GFOA's Budget Academy Is Coming to California in 2018

If you’re a new or an intermediate analyst, or new to government and looking to gain important budgeting skills, sign up for GFOA’s Budget Analyst Training Academy, February 6 to 9, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Orange County Harbor & Chapman in Garden Grove, California.

This course will cover essential elements of public-sector budgeting, such as goal setting, program development, revenue and expense analysis, position budgeting, capital budgeting, and more. Earn 30 CPE credits with your participation. 

 Space is limited. Register today! If you have any questions about the Budget Academy, contact GFOA.


Second Annual Better Budgeting Web-Stream Event Is Today!

Thank you to the participants who have signed up for today’s Better Budgeting web-stream event, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern). 

All registrants have been sent an e-mail from GFOA Announcements with the program link, presentation slides, and steps to follow to log onto today’s program. If you need tech support assistance at any time during the program, e-mail your questions or call the help line at 1-800-274-9390. After the training today, you will receive an e-mail with a program evaluation to complete.

You will receive 4 CPE credits for your participation. A CPE certificate will be mailed to each registered individual in approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Any participant with an outstanding amount due will not receive a certificate until the balance has been settled. 

Whether you are watching on your own or in a group setting, each individual must be registered ─ including those who may not intend to claim CPE credit.

Unable to participate in today’s Better Budgeting training?

Register for the encore presentation, January 11, 2018, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern). Click here for details and to review an agenda.

 Save with early and group discounts! The early discount deadline date is December 8. For group discounts, please type your information on the January group spreadsheet and save it. Please e-mail it to GFOA Training along with your registration form or fax or mail it to GFOA. The discount cannot be applied to registrations made online through GFOA’s e-store.

If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.


Join More than 3,000 Registrants Already Signed Up to Participate in GFOA's GAAP Update

Learn everything you need to know about the most recent developments in accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments from the convenience of your home or office during GFOA’s 22nd Annual Governmental GAAP Update web-stream event. If you need CPE credits, four will be awarded with your participation. 

To accommodate participants’ schedules, the training will be offered from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern) on November 2, 2017, December 7, 2017, and January 18, 2018.

If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

Register today!

Brochure, including registration form / Online 

For group discounts, submit the registration form and attach the group spreadsheet for November, December, or January. The discount cannot be applied to registrations made online through GFOA’s e-store.  


Announcing First-Time CAFR Award Winners

Congratulations to the following entities that have received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) for the first time:

City of Phoenix Aviation Department

City of Leemore, Soquel Creek Water District, City of La Habra Heights, and San Lorenzo Valley Water District

Town of Monroe, Town of New Canaan, Town of South Windsor

Town of Dundee, Miami Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works, Tampa Bay Water

City of Doraville

Town of Arlington, City of Beverly, Town of Concord, Town of Falmouth, Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Town of Norwell

North Carolina
Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Franklin County Schools, Town of Nags Head

Strongsville City School District, Xenia Community School District

Bend Park and Recreation District, County of Clatsop, City of Prineville

South Dakota
State of South Dakota

City of Clinton

Canutillo Independent School District, City of Celina, Santa Rosa Independent School District, City of Nassau Bay

Heber City Corporation

City of Burlington

GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program to help state and local governments go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. More than 4,000 governments participate in the program each year.

It’s easy to participate! Once the CAFR is prepared, submit it along with a completed application. The normal submission deadline is six months following the government’s fiscal year end. Requests to extend the deadline may be made one month at a time as a result of various factors (e.g., employee turnover, implementation of major pronouncements, audit issues, etc.).

Due date to submit June 30, 2017, fiscal year ended reports to the CAFR Program is December 31, 2017.  

Read More.
News Links
How Local Governments Can Address Disaster Recovery More Effectively

With governments across the United States thinking about the impact of natural disasters, Governing spoke with a specialist about ways governments can plan for their roles in disaster planning and recovery. The interview stresses the importance of having a recovery plan in place, even if you have not faced a disaster, and reviewing that plan to make sure it’s scenario-based. “When you have a scenario and say, ‘This is what can happen with this particular event,’ it forces you to go through all of the logistics of response and recovery and how you would be able to manage that.”

Other suggestions include keeping in mind that we’re seeing an increased propensity for very large flood events, and planning for ways to rebuild well above what’s specified for a 100-year flood. Another idea is to turn some areas into open space such as parks, which can absorb water and, at the same time, don’t have structures that can be damaged.

Another point is whether it makes sense to enact tougher building standards. The answer depends on whether a community tends to trust what their elected officials say is best or not. In the latter type of community, it’s important to provide access to the information about what’s going on and allow citizens to influence the solutions chosen.


Read More.
Supreme Court to Hear Cases of Interest to State and Local Governments in 2018

The State and Local Legal Center, which files Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Big Seven national organizations representing state and local governments, has summarized Supreme Court cases on the 2018 docket that will be of interest to state and local governments. 

  • In Gill v. Whitford the Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether and when it is possible to bring a claim that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional. 
  • In Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, the Supreme Court will decide whether the decision to deny a visa is reviewable in this case, whether the travel ban violates the Establishment Clause, and whether the travel ban became moot on June 14, 2017. The travel ban was supposed to last 90 days. 
  • In Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Supreme Court will decide whether the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibition against state-sanctioned sports gambling is unconstitutional commandeering. 
  • The issue in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is whether Colorado's public accommodations law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, violates a cake artist’s First Amendment free speech and free exercise rights. 
  • This issue the Supreme Court will decide in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute is whether federal law allows states to remove people from the voter rolls if the state sends them a confirmation notice after they haven’t voted for two years, they don’t respond to the notice, and then they don’t vote in the next four years.
  • In United States v. Carpenter, the Supreme Court will decide whether police must obtain warrants per the Fourth Amendment to require wireless carriers to provide cell-site data. 
  • In District of Columbia v. Wesby, the Supreme Court will decide whether, when the owner of a vacant house informs police he has not authorized entry, an officer assessing probable cause to arrest those inside for trespassing may discredit the suspects’ claims of an innocent mental state.
  • The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether federal courts of appeals or federal district courts have the authority to rule whether the “waters of the United States” regulations are lawful in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense.
  • Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28 U.S.C 1367(d) states that statutes of limitations for state law claims pending in federal court shall be “tolled” for a period of 30 days after they are dismissed (unless state law provides a longer tolling period). The question in Artis v. District of Columbia is what “tolled” means under 28 U.S.C 1367(d). 
Read More.
Be Strategic about Your Career

Managers tend to be too busy to stop and think about how to best deploy their talents, but it’s very important to take control of your career and position yourself for long-term growth, according to the Harvard Business Review. The article suggests four ways to become more strategic about this process: forcing yourself to set aside time, getting clear on your next steps, investing in deep work (as opposed to just staying busy and meeting deadlines), and build your external reputation.

Read More.
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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Chris Morrill 

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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