For the eighth year in a row, the City of Bellingham has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in recognition of its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for 2008.
"This award assures our citizens and bondholders that the City uses accurate and sound accounting and financial reporting practices," Bellingham Finance Director John Carter said.
The City of Bellingham was honored with the award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Carter said the award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
The annual financial report was judged by an impartial panel of GFOA members to meet the high standards of award achievement. These standards include demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate financial status and to motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.
Carter said the award is a factor that is considered by rating agencies when determining the City's bond rating. The City currently has a very favorable Aa3 bond rating from Moody's on its voted debt and an A1 rating on non-voted debt. The strong bond ratings allow the City to repay bonds it issues at lower interest rates.
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 15,000 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL and Washington D.C.
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has announced that the City of Bellingham has received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2009 budget.
According to the GFOA, the award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.
The City’s budget had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation to receive the budget award. These guidelines are designed to assess how well the budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories to receive the award.
Since the inception of the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program in 1984, approximately 1,069 entities have received the award. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
The Government Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit professional association serving 16,800 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.
The City’s investment policy has been awarded a Certification of Excellence by the Washington Municipal Treasurers’ Association.