For the 16th consecutive year, the City of Cleveland has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.
The GFOA is a professional association of finance officers in the United States and Canada.
"This recognition proves once again that our city is a good steward of taxpayers' money. Our Department Of Finance And Administration, along with City Manager Janice Casteel takes accountability very seriously," said Mayor Tom Rowland.
According to the GFOA website, the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program began in 1984 to encourage state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the very highest quality that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and GFOA’s best practices on budgeting and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.
The award assures the public that the budget is prepared in a uniform manner, which enhances comparability from year to year and improves readability.
To receive the award, the municipality must satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. A budget must be rated proficient in all four categories to receive the award.
The local annual budget process begins with a budget calendar showing the deadlines that must be met in time to adopt a budget before July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
The budget process actually begins in the fall with the strategic planning session. At this meeting, the city council establishes priorities for the next fiscal year. Using these priorities,
Department heads along with their budget officers prepare budget requests to accomplish departmental goals for the upcoming year. Once revenue projections are finalized, the budget is balanced. The city council reviews the proposed budget during an all-day work session in early spring. This assures that the proposed budget aligns with their priorities for the city.
That work session is scheduled for later this month for the next budget year.
After review by the city council, the budget document is formatted and prepared. The final reading of the budget ordinance occurs in late May.