New Bedford Receives National Budget Award
New Bedford, Massachusetts- The City of New Bedford has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its current budget by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Only 18 Massachusetts municipalities, and 1,565 entities nationwide, received the award in 2015. The award represents a significant achievement by the City and reflects the City’s ongoing efforts to improve business operations and increase transparency in city finances.
“This award is affirms the collaborative effort over the last several years across city government to better manage city finances and increase transparency,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I want to thank the City Council, the city’s finance team and all of our city departments for their teamwork on this effort.”
Recent examples of changes designed to make city government more accessible and transparent include New Bedford Open Checkbook, a searchable online database of the City of New Bedford’s accounts payable activity that is open to the public, and program performance measurement and fiscal policies adopted by the Mayor and City Council.
“I applaud the city’s financial team, led by Chief Financial Officer Ari Sky, for its commitment to improving the budget process and to assembling a budget document that is well-organized, easy to understand and properly reflects the city’s priorities and goals,” the Mayor continued.
“To earn the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, the City of New Bedford had to substantially conform to the program’s demanding criteria. Such a record reflects the professionalism and commitment of numerous individuals as well as many hours of hard work,” said John Fishbein, Senior Program Manager at GFOA. “The Government Finance Officers Association hopes that this award to the City of New Bedford will serve as an example and encourage others to strive for the same high standards in their own budget documents,” he continued.
To be eligible for the award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The City’s budget was evaluated as to how well it serves as 1) a policy document; 2) a financial plan; 3) an operations guide; 4) a communications device.
Chief Financial Officer Ari Sky said, “Going forward, we will continue our efforts to improve the City’s business operations by identifying new efficiencies and opportunities for greater effectiveness. These efforts will generate tangible results in the debt markets as the City’s economic fortunes continue to improve.”