City earns 35th consecutive distinguished budget presentation award

Published on February 06, 2023

FY23 Fiscal Year Fiscal Plan Cover image

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids has achieved the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” for its FY2023 Fiscal Plan. This marks the 35th consecutive year the City has received this prestigious award.

“This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting. Its attainment represents a significant achievement by your organization,” Michele Mark Levine, GFOA director, technical services center, wrote in the award notification letter. “We sincerely hope that your example will encourage others in their efforts to achieve and maintain excellence in governmental budgeting.”

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

Molly Clarin, Grand Rapids’ chief financial officer, said, “This 35th consecutive award is a tribute to our elected officials, city managers, administrators and employees – past and present – that have made it a priority to be transparent and provide an easy-to-read document for all. This review also provided feedback on variety of performance measures that are used to judge whether our budget is meeting its goals.”

GFOA’s annual budget review also included the following praise from its judges:

  • The budget document looks very good and easy to follow.
  • The budget provides a good financial summary of revenues and expenditures by major revenues and major expenditures for the city as a whole. The financial plan for the city is very clear as a result of the combining funds schedules.
  • The budget includes illustrations of the fund balances including an analysis of the uses and expectations for fund balances. The focus on future fund balance sufficiency is a strong feature.
  • The budget includes a good discussion about the need for long-range financial plans for operating budget including forecasts, trends or other data reflective of the city operating funds budget for at least three years beyond the budget period.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources, and practical research for more than 22,500 members and the communities it serves.

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