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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Town Of Vermilion Receives Award

The Town of Vermilion received its first Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget since it was introduced in 1984.

The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to 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

- a communications device

According to a press release, the budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all of the four categories, and in the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award.

Due to receiving the award, the Town is provided a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation to the individual(s) or the department designated as being primarily responsible for having achieved the award, in this case, it was the Finance Department.

There are over 1,700 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Brian Leibel, director of corporate services said, “We’re quite pleased to receive this award on behalf of the Town. Without the support of Council and CAO this achievement would not have been possible.

Leibel noted that as far as he knows this is the first time the Town of Vermilion has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation award and said, “It is a real honour.” He also noted that while he is the one who gets the honour of compiling and presenting the budget, it is a team effort to get to the finish line.

“A lot of credit goes to Council, the CAO, and the other Directors here at the Town office, but especially Council and the CAO. Each Director drafts their request for the upcoming year with the strategic plan Council set out in mind, discusses with the CAO, and hands it over for compilation into the overall budget, which I then present to Council who clarifies their priorities, requests adjustments, and make the final decision on the budget. Commitment to best practices, transparency, and accountability is important,” commented Leibel.

Leibel went on to say, “Hard work and long hours go into the budget document each year, as we strive to create a high-quality budget document that’s informative yet understandable. We want our citizens to see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

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