Richland County was again recognized by government finance professionals across the nation and in Canada for its exemplary efforts to maintain financial transparency, encourage accuracy in its budgeting process and promote a strong financial plan.
This is the 19th consecutive year the County has received the award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The County’s Finance Department was presented in December with the group’s annual Distinguished Budget Presentation Award – its highest recognition in government budgeting.
The County’s annual Budget Book was cited for meeting specific criteria, including an emphasis on access to the public. The Budget Book is readily available on the County’s website to give residents insight into how their tax dollars are used to serve them.
“Having received GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 19th consecutive year is a tremendous reflection of the dedication and professionalism of Richland County’s Finance and Budget staffs and of the commitment of County Council to maintain and adhere to sound budgetary policies and principles,” Richland County Administrator Tony McDonald said.
To earn the award, Richland County had to meet nationally-recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The guidelines assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, communications device and operations guide. Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four of those categories, as well as 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.
The award affords the County several benefits. For instance, credit agencies and other interested parties may view the award as a positive factor in decision making, the GFOA states.
“The budget staff deserves most of the credit for this award,” said Daniel Driggers, Richland County’s Chief Financial Officer. “This award really means a lot to Richland County’s finance department, especially since this category was judged by other government finance officers from across North America.”
GFOA is a nonprofit professional association that serves more than 17,800 government finance professionals across the continent.