Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) recently awarded the Cook County Department of Budget and Management Services its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award in recognition of the County’s determined efforts to exercise budgeting best practices, according to a press release from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office.
This is kind of a big deal. While some may bemoan the fact that taxes are high — and that cannot be denied — how those tax dollars are spent is critical. And elected officials must be able to explain how those dollars are spent in clear, transparent terms. A budget is a plan for spending, and, in government, this is essential.
Which makes the situation with state and federal government so very, very disappointing.
Park Forest has won the GFOA award for many years, thanks in no small part to Director of Finance/Deputy Village Manager Mary Dankowski.
And thank Tom Mick and members of the Village Board who have supported transparency in government.
But, today, lauds belong to Cook County.
“I am proud that the great work of Director Tanya Anthony and the entire Budget Department is being recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada,” Preckwinkle said. “This is a much-deserved award for Tanya and her team as they have done exemplary work to create a responsible and efficient budget.”
In order to be eligible for the award, Cook County had to satisfy rigorous set of nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentations. These benchmarks are designed to evaluate how well a government budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.
These are no small hurdles to overcome, especially with a budget the size of Cook County’s. So, kudos to the Cook County Board on this distinguished budget achievement.
According to the GFOA, the budget award represents the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and honors recipients who have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and, by doing so, have set high standards for other governments.
Shortly after taking office in December 2010, the release says, President Preckwinkle established a formal budgeting process to confront the fiscal challenges Cook County was facing. Through that process, the County has eliminated operating deficits of $1.6 billion, lowered the County’s headcount by more than 9 percent and reduced the County’s direct operating tax allocation to its Health and Hospitals System by more than $260 million
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving nearly 18,000 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.
This article includes material from a press release from Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle’s office.