Mayor Carlo DeMaria and City Auditor Richard Viscay plan to submit the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 city operating budget to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), in an effort to have the city’s financial planning peer review by municipal finance professionals and help guide the city’s future financial planning activities.
The FY 2015 Everett operating budget, submitted to the City Council last week by Mayor DeMaria (see related story), includes a five-year financial forecast for the city, which is designed to help the city plan its finances going forward over a longer term, rather than on an annual basis.
Mayor DeMaria and Viscay have noted for the Council that although there is no mandated format for budget documents and no “right or wrong approaches” to presenting such information, there are best practices that are recognized nationally in municipal finance circles.
By submitting Everett’s FY 2015 budget to the GFAO, the city will have the opportunity to have its financial planning and budget document assessed by municipal finance officials based on a core set of criteria including how well the budget serves as:
• A policy document
• A financial plan
• An operations guide, and
• A communications device
According to Viscay and Mayoral Chief of Staff Melissa Rodrigues, the budget document is due to the GFOA 90 days after it is adopted by the City Council.
Lacking a national guidance document for municipal budgeting and planning, the GFOA Distinguished Budget Award is the only national awards program in government budgeting.