County Budget Earns National Award for Transparency
Author: Administrative Office
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017 2:13 PM
On the heels of presenting a recommended budget that was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 20, the County of San Luis Obispo Administrative Office was once again nationally recognized for meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.
In early July, the County’s FY 2016-17 budget earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officer’s Association, a national organization made up of more than 19,000 appointed and elected government officials and other financial professionals.
“The budget is the most important document we produce and we create it with the average citizen in mind,” said County Budget Director Emily Jackson. “This award demonstrates our commitment to transparency and openly communicating how we plan to use public funds. We invite anyone to view our budget online or at any branch of the County library system.”
The County Administrative Office publishes the budget every year and attempts to strike an appropriate balance between financial detail and discussion of major issues, Jackson said. Each year, the document is intended to inform meaningful discussion about resource allocation decisions among the public, the Board of Supervisors, and staff.
This award recognizes that the County’s budget document is not only an effective communications tool, but that it also serves as a policy document, financial plan and operations guide. To receive the award, a budget document has to receive a “proficient” rating by independent reviewers in all four scoring categories and in the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories.
The FY 2017-18 budget approved on June 20 demonstrates how the County plans to spend $592.3 million, which is less than 1 percent growth over the previous fiscal year. The budget prioritizes funding that allows the County to meet legal mandates and debt service requirements, strengthen public safety, and improve roads.
It also includes funding to manage groundwater basins, continue the 50Now program to house and serve chronically homeless individuals, regulate medical and recreational cannabis, and fund parks projects in the south county.