Magazine article Government Finance Review

Getting a Handle on Our Challenges. (President's Message)

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Getting a Handle on Our Challenges. (President's Message)

Article excerpt

During a recent finance conference I oversaw one of our colleagues reading a book entitled I Used to Have a Handle on Life but It Broke. This seems to have been a common theme for many finance officials over the past year. We have seen the accounting and auditing profession come under increasing public scrutiny. We have witnessed unprecedented terrorism at home and abroad. We have dealt with a slowing economy and, for many jurisdictions, a real loss of financial stability. These issues and many others point to the continued need for our profession to provide real and timely solutions to the complex problems that are impacting our communities and our daily lives.

GFOA's 96th Annual Conference in Denver gave many of us an opportunity to learn how our colleagues are facing and addressing these and many other issues of concern. I thank the many presenters, the GFOA staff, and the local conference committee for putting on such a tremendously successful conference.

I must admit that the highlight of the conference for me was taking the gavel from Past President Timothy Grewe and becoming president of this outstanding organization. As I told the delegates assembled at the business meeting, it is such a tremendous honor to be able to serve as president of the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. I am only able to do this because I know what tremendously talented individuals we have serving on the Executive Board and on the GFOA staff. With their help and yours, we will together strive to continue the tradition of excellence that has been established over the almost 100-year existence of our organization.

I am looking forward to an outstanding year for GFOA. The Executive Board plans to focus on several issues that have been identified as organizational priorities.

One of these priorities is performance measurement. During the annual business meeting in Denver, the GFOA membership adopted a policy statement on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's role in performance measurement. This policy statement clearly expresses GFOA's unqualified support for the use of performance measures as a policymaking tool by individual units of government. GFOA will continue to seek opportunities to promote the use of performance measurement and to provide resources and training that will help governments effectively use this technique.

The policy statement also clearly expresses our fundamental opposition to the GASB's efforts to mandate or even recommend the use of performance measures to enhance accountability. …

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