Stephen Gauthier, director of the GFOA Technical Services Center, said this award represents a significant achievement by Westlake Academy.
“It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting,” Gauthier said. “In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation.”
Guidelines set by the GFOA to receive the award 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, including 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.
“Being proficient in all four categories takes time and effort, but is worth it because transparency is vital to government entities,” said Debbie Piper, finance director. “I am extremely proud of our financial team for going the extra mile to make this happen.”
Gauthier said award recipients such as Westlake Academy have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
The GFOA is a major professional association servicing the needs of 18,300 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.