CAFR streak holds

Published 8:44 pm Monday, August 13, 2012

The streak continues.

For 16 years in a row, Washington is the recipient of a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The award, from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada, is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

In order to be awarded a CAFR, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report.

The streak began under Carol Williams, a former chief financial officer for the city. Current CFO Matt Rauschenbach continues the streak. Williams and Rauschenbach have credited the city’s finance staff for doing most of the work that has led to 16 consecutive awards.

“I’m pleased and honored to present Matt and his staff, for the 16th-consecutive year, to be awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. … Again, 16 years running. So, congratulations Matt and your staff,” City Manager Josh Kay said during the award presentation at the City Council’s July 23 meeting.

The CAFR program was initiated in 1945 to encourage and assist local and state governments to go beyond the minimum accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and recognized governments that succeed in meeting that goal.

At the July 23 meeting, the council amended the budget to allocate funds for repairs to an oxidation ditch at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

On July 3, one of the oxidation-ditch mixers in the city’s original oxidation ditch suffered a significant failure.

“A large chuck of steel below the waterline from an anti-vortex baffle corroded into and fell on the mixer blade while the mixer was running,” reads a memorandum fro Public Works Director Allen Lewis to the mayor and council. That incident damaged the mixer blade and gearbox that drives the mixer.

The city had a new mixer blade ($25,000 value) in stock, but other expenses for the needed repair work were estimated at $50,000.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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