Government Finance Review

Magazine covers financial management for state and local government through articles and commentary on best practices, management and more.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 1, February

Back to Basics
What Every Government Should Check Each Time It Issues DebtWhile issuing bonds is a routine task for many governments, it still pays to use a basic checklist each time debt is issued, to be sure that best practices are being followed and that the jurisdiction...
Back to Basics: What Every Government Should Check Each Time It Issues Debt
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] While issuing bonds is a routine task for many governments, it still pays to use a basic checklist each time debt is issued, to be sure that best practices are being followed and that the jurisdiction remains in compliance...
Calculating Debt Service When Payment Frequencies Differ
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Like many localities, the City of Durham, North Carolina, uses debt to provide long-term financing for projects. When it was time, recently, to calculate the amount of debt service Durham would be obligated to pay as a result...
Calendar
[gfoa events]MarchDesktop Training3 Realizing Value from Technology Series: Alternative Delivery Models - NEWChicago, Illinois9- 1 2 Budget Analyst Training AcademyDesktop Training1 7 Concepts of Performance Management Series: Implementing Performance...
Depository Trust Company to Change the Way It Processes Principal and Income Payments
Beginning in 2011, the Depository Trust Company (DTC) will change the way it handles principal and income payments (P&I) on more than 3.5 million securities it services, according to a DTC white paper published in November. The move will help reduce...
Depository Trust Company to Change the Way It Processes Principal and Income Payments
Beginning in 2011, the Depository Trust Company (DTC) will change the way it handles principal and income payments (?&G) on more than 3.5 million securities it services, according to a DTC white paper published in November. The move will help reduce...
Driving Performance by Building Employee Satisfaction and Engagement
In a recent conversation, the CEO of the Gallup Organization (which has done extensive research on employment, in addition to conducting its famous polls) mentioned a large corporation that wanted to do a customer satisfaction survey He advised the company's...
Driving Performance by Building Employee Satisfaction and Engagement: Good Government Requires Good People, Which Is Why the Key to Meeting Our Current Challenges Is Talent-Committed and Engaged Talent
In a recent conversation, the CEO of the Gallup Organization (which has done extensive research on employment, in addition to conducting its famous polls) mentioned a large corporation that wanted to do a customer satisfaction survey. He advised the...
Economic Crisis Leading Local Governments to New Way of Doing Business, Survey Indicates
Many local governments have established new ways of operating that will remain in place after the U.S. economy rebounds, according to a recent survey by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). More than 80 percent of the 2,200...
Economic Crisis Leading Local Governments to New Way of Doing Business, Survey Indicates
Many local governments have established new ways of operating that will remain in place after the U.S. economy rebounds, according to a recent survey by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). More than 80 percent of the 2,200 local...
Economic Trends
Many people are paying more attention to economic trends than they did before the credit meltdown. The GFOA's new Long-Term Financial Planning blog provides frequent updates on important issues and topics of interest, including a monthly summary of...
Ensuring a Successful Bond Sale
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In many communities, bond issues are highly visible processes. For example, a community whose voters have recently approved general obligation bonds for popular projects such as parks or schools might be actively watching...
Issuers' Continuing Disclosure Responsibilities and Using EMMA
The Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA) serves as the official, centralized electronic repository for all municipal securities disclosure documents. EMMA, operated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), collects municipal securities...
Issuers' Continuing Disclosure Responsibilities and Using EMMA: Issuers of Municipal Bonds Need to Know How to Use EMMA, Now the Official Repository for All Municipal Securities Continuing Disclosure Filings
The Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA) serves as the official, centralized electronic repository for all municipal securities disclosure documents. EMMA, operated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), collects municipal...
Looking at Debt Management
The municipal bond market has changed in the past two years, and issuers are deciding how to adapt. In addition to an uncertain economy, issuers must factor in different buyers, the absence of bond insurance, and concerns about the rating agencies....
Municipal Bond Issues Remain Popular in Washington
As 2010 gets underway, the municipal bond market continues to garner attention by policy makers and regulators in Washington. Throughout the year, we can expect Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to propose and finalize significant...
Municipal Bond Issues Remain Popular in Washington: Throughout the Year, We Can Expect Congress and the SEC to Propose and Finalize Significant Legislative and Regulatory Initiatives That Will Have a Direct Impact on Municipal Bond Issuers
As 2010 gets underway, the municipal bond market continues to garner attention by policy makers and regulators in Washington. Throughout the year, we can expect Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to propose and finalize significant...
On Why Producing Better Results Can Be Achieved Only by Ratcheting Up Performance
Years ago, when my son was a young teenager, the two of us stood at the bottom of Tuckerman's Ravine in New Hampshire's White Mountains. The plan was to hike up the ravine, over a saddle point near the top of Mt. Washington, and then to the Lake of the...
On Why Producing Better Results Can Be Achieved Only by Ratcheting Up Performance: When Trying to Improve Performance, You Can't Jump from the Nadir of the Results Valley to the Apex of the Results Mountain. You Can Only Make It Up One Step at a Time
Years ago, when my son was a young teenager, the two of us stood at the bottom of Tuckerman's Ravine in New Hampshire's White Mountains. The plan was to hike up the ravine, over a saddle point near the top of Mt. Washington, and then to the Lake of...
Slowdown in Tax Collections Less Severe for Local Governments Than for States
Tax collections nationwide declined by 10.9 percent during the third quarter of 2009, the third consecutive quarter during which tax revenues fell by double-digit percentages, according to a recent report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government....
Slowdown in Tax Collections Less Severe for Local Governments Than for States
Tax collections nationwide declined by 10.9 percent during the third quarter of 2009, the third consecutive quarter during which tax revenues fell by double-digit percentages, according to a recent report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government....
Study Cites Risks in Issuing Pension Obligation Bonds
Shoring up pension funds by issuing pension obligation bonds (POBs) is a risky proposition, except in certain circumstances, according to a new issue brief from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. The brief notes that U.S. public...
Study Cites Risks in Issuing Pension Obligation Bonds
Shoring up pension funds by issuing pension obligation bonds (POBs) is a risky proposition, except in certain circumstances, according to a new issue brief from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.The brief notes that U.S. public pension...
The 2010 Municipal Market: Looking for the Calm after the Storm
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] After an extraordinary year in the municipal bond market, finance officers have a number of questions about what is to come. What will happen in regard to the monetary policy measures the Federal Reserve undertook in 2009?...
The City of Salina, Kansas, Switches to an Interactive Voice Response System
Much of the staff time in any utility billing office is spent answering routine inquiries regarding customer accounts - "How much do I owe?"" When did I last make a payment on my acco\mt?n"Can I have a payment extension?" These questions occupy a lot...
The City of Salina, Kansas, Switches to an Interactive Voice Response System: Salina Officials Find That Interactive Voice Response Systems Provide Enhanced Customer Service and Increased Security and Internal Control While Improving the Working Environment and Reducing Costs
Much of the staff time in any utility billing office is spent answering routine inquiries regarding customer accounts--"How much do I owe?" "When did I last make a payment on my account?" "Can I have a payment extension?" These questions occupy a lot...
The New World of Selling Bonds
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's time for issuers to rethink how they sell municipal bonds. The world is no longer as it was in 2006, when buyers were plentiful, bond insurance was AAA, and investors trusted the rating agencies. A strong economy, combined...
The State Comparative Performance Measurement Project
Many governments benchmark or compare their performance data against data from similar organizations. Of course, the term "benchmarking" can be defined in different ways, not always yielding the same results. While comparing data is the primary activity...
The State Comparative Performance Measurement Project: Benchmarking Organizations Provide a Forum for Information Exchanges on Business Practices, Strategies, Solutions to Common Problems, and Innovative Ideas
Many governments benchmark or compare their performance data against data from similar organizations. Of course, the term "benchmarking" can be defined in different ways, not always yielding the same results. While comparing data is the primary activity...
The Use of Private-Sector Standards by State and Local Governments
From the beginning, state and local governments have used different generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) than their private-sector counterparts. All the same, private-sector accounting standards have played an important role in the public...
The Use of Private-Sector Standards by State and Local Governments: Private-Sector Accounting Standards Have Played an Important Role in the Public Sector, Even Though State and Local Governments Have Always Used Different Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
From the beginning, state and local governments have used different generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) than their private-sector counterparts. All the same, private-sector accounting standards have played an important role in the public...
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