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GFOA Newsletter
October 6, 2016
EMPLOYMENT ADS  |  TRAINING  |  BEST PRACTICES
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Agency Develops Strategic Plan to Manage Short-Term Capital Assets

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) understood the importance of properly managing short-term capital assets. Even so, the organization often found itself in reactive rather than planning mode. Many support items that were required to achieve the organization’s primary mission had never been looked at from a strategic standpoint. Information technology, for example, was often treated as an afterthought. This reactionary approach of “fix it when it breaks” was the norm; there were no replacement schedules for much of the organization’s technology.

As this approach became increasingly unsustainable, HART completely changed its organizational paradigm for short-term capital assets. The first step was to establish a comprehensive IT asset inventory database that included all desktops, tablets, software, switches, routers, servers, phones, etc. Next, the agency developed short- and long-term replacement programs for all IT assets. Finally, HART refined its budget development process, making it more inclusive by assessing user and organizational needs, and building business cases to support CIP needs for short-term capital assets.
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Association News
GFOA’s First Annual Better Budgeting Web-Stream Event Is Today

Thanks to the more than 1,400 registrants who have signed up to participate in today’s Better Budgeting web-stream event, from 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern). All registered participants have been sent an e-mail from GFOA Announcements, which contained 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 800-274-9390. After the training today, you will receive an e-mail with a program evaluation to complete.

You will receive 2 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 balance will not receive a certificate until the outstanding amount 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 12, 2017, at 2 to 4 p.m. (Eastern). Click here for details and to review an agenda.

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

If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.
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GAAP Update is Fast Approaching

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 own computer during 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). Read more.

Register today. Download the brochure and registration form or register online.

Earn 4 CPE credits with your participation. If you have any questions about the training, contact GFOA.

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News Links
Expanding Municipal Securities Enforcement

Federal scrutiny of municipal bonds has dramatically accelerated since 2013, and the SEC is imposing fines and other sanctions against a wide swathe of local governments and officials. City and county officials now have unavoidable responsibility to read and stand behind bond disclosures. In a new book, Expanding Municipal Securities Enforcement: Profound Changes for Issuers & Officials (recently published by the International Municipal Lawyers Association), author Robert Doty explains the SEC’s Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative, which allowed municipalities to reduce sanctions based on voluntary disclosure of past violations.

Readers will also learn about:

  1. The recent SEC enforcement aggressiveness leading to fines for issuers and officials, conditions on issuers’ future issuance of bonds, bars against officials' participation in the market, and many other “firsts.
  2. Control person liability (broadly construed), which applies even in the absence of fraud or negligence by key officials and places a burden on the officials to prove that they acted in good faith and did not induce an issuers’ fraud.
  3. Liability for signing fiduciary statements with misstatements or omissions without reading the documents (one official was fined and barred from the market).

Be More Persuasive with these Tips

Government outreach is very much persuading outside stakeholders to help in achieving the jurisdiction’s service mission. It stands to reason that the more persuasive public officials can be, the better their chances for recruiting support and collaboration. In his book, Influence: Science and Practice (Boston, MA: Pearson Education), psychologist, author, and speaker Robert Cialdini presents six tactics that can be used to influence behavior and shape positive engagement and action:

  1. Reciprocity. People tend to return favors, either immediately or eventually.
  2. Commitment and consistency. If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement.
  3. Social proof. People will do things that they see other people are doing.
  4. Authority. People tend to obey authority figures, so don’t be afraid to ask directly.
  5. Liking. People are easily persuaded by people they like.
  6. Scarcity. Perceived scarcity tends to generate demand. 

Read Peoples’ Faces to Improve Your Negotiating Skills
Emotions play a huge role in negotiations, and the ability to read what your counterpart is feeling can make all the difference in achieving your goals. Even if you’re dealing with experienced negotiators who are choosing their words, tone, body language, and expressions carefully, you can learn to pay attention to the spontaneous and involuntary micro-expressions that rapidly flit across everyone’s faces at times of intense emotion, according to the Harvard Business Review. Techniques include focusing on your counterpart’s face for at least four seconds, instead of just listening to the words coming out of his or her mouth; telling a story to get your counterparts to lower their guard; and present multiple options so you can get an idea of which ones your counterparts like and which ones they don’t.
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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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