District receives highest award for 2015-2016 budget

PALATKA, Fla., June 17, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is being awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its fiscal year 2015-2016 budget from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. District Budget Director Mary-Lou Pickles was also recognized for her leadership and contributions to the process.

“This award represents a significant achievement by the district’s governing board and our staff,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of financial responsibility and accountability to the public in our financial processes. This award speaks volumes about the strength of the district’s commitment to taxpayers and other stakeholders.”

The award marks the 10th consecutive year the district has received the GFAO award and the second time this month the district’s financial processes have been recognized.

According to GFAO, the award reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. To receive the award, the district had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation, which assess how well the agency’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. A budget must be rated “proficient” in all four categories and 14 mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award.

As the district’s budget director, Pickles received a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation. The certificate is presented to the individual or department primarily responsible for the agency having achieved the award.

The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting. Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., GFAO is a major professional organization serving the needs of approximately 18,700 appointed and elected local, state and provincial level government officials and other finance practitioners.