Verrnon Mayor Akbal Mund (centre) presents the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the city’s budget to (from left) Debra Law, director of financial services, Larissa Fitchett, administrative assistant, finance, Cindy Barker, manager of revenue services, and Terry Martens, financial analyst. Missing from the presentation is Aaron Stuart, manager of financial planning and reporting. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

City of Vernon finance department wins major award

Vernon department honoured by Government Finance Officers Association for its budget

Government Finance Officers Association has presented the City of Vernon with the organization’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the city.

“It reflects the commitment of management and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting,” said Mayor Akbal Mund, who presented the honour to Debra Law, the city’s director of financial services,Larissa Fitchett, administrative assistant, finance, Cindy Barker, manager of revenue services and Terry Martens, financial analyst (Aaron Stuart, manager of financial planning and reporting, was missing from the presentation).

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In order to receive the budget award, the city had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well the city’s budget serves as:

* a policy document;

* a financial plan;

* an operations guide;

* a communications device.

Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and in the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

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When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted to an entity, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual(s) or department designated as being primarily responsible for having achieved the award. This was also presented to the City of Vernon’s financial services department.

Mund praised the efforts of the department, adding (Late councillor Spiers) “Bob would have been very proud” (Spiers was the city’s unofficial finance ‘watchdog prior to his sudden passing in June).

There are more than 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management. The association is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with offices in Washington D.C.

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