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For the eighth consecutive year, the city of Mequon has received a Distinguished Budget Presentation award  from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

"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," according to a news release.

According to Tom Watson, Mequon's finance director, the city received these awards by submitted their budget documents to the GFOA for a review by a panel of municipal finance professionals.

Mequon had to follow national guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines help to assess how well a budget is a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and as a communications device, according to the release.

If a budget is rated "proficient" in all four categories (plus 14 criteria within those categories), the award is earned.

"It means that city of Mequon staff are doing their best to promote transparency of our budget process and to produce a document that provides useful information to our stakeholders," Watson said.

A Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is given to those primarily responsible and, in Mequon's case, it's their finance department. Approximately 1,550 entities received the award for budgets beginning in 2015.

Watson said the program, established in 1984, was designed to "encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the very highest quality" and then to recognize those who achieved that goal.

The Government Finance Officers Association services the needs of approximately 18,700 appointed and elected local, stale, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners, according to the release. The GFOA offers publications, training programs, and other products/services.  They are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with offices in Washington D.C.

According to the release, the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards program is the only national awards program for governmental budgeting.

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