Issue Date: August 9, 2016
Office of the City Auditor
Committed to increasing government efficiency, effectiveness,
accountability and transparency
of the City Auditor
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ ii
Comprehensive List of Recommendations .................................................................................... iii
What Works Well ............................................................................................................................4
Consistent Use of Committed General Fund Balance to Cover Expenditures May Not be
Sustainable .......................................................................................................................................6
Operating Expenditures Were Not Fully Funded ............................................................................7
General Fund Revenues Projections Were Not Documented ........................................................14
Budgeting Process Could Be Improved To Increase Accountability ............................................15
Budgeting Process Could Be More Efficient .................................................................................17
Management Responses ................................................................................................. Appendix A
GFOA Detailed Criteria Location Guide ...................................................................... Appendix B
ii
Executive Summary
August 9, 2016
Ms. Selena Cuffee-Glenn, Chief Administrative Officer
The City Auditor’s Office has completed an audit of the City’s Budgeting Process for the 12 month
period ended June 30, 2015. The results of this audit were discussed and agreed upon with the
City Administration and City Council staff.
During the audit period, the City’s budget was neither transparent nor accurate. It did not cover
all City cost and revenue projections were not appropriately supported. Without a proper estimate
of revenue and expenditures, it is not possible to determine if the City is keeping its expenditures
within limits permitted by revenues. In these circumstances, long-term sustainability of the City’s
operations and reliability of its services cannot be assured. During the past three years, the City
consistently used committed general fund balance for covering expenditures, which is a practice
that may not be sustainable in the long run. As observed in the previously issued Sustainability
audit, the credit rating agencies focus on the fund balance as a component of their rating. A
diminishing general fund balance may have an adverse impact on the City’s bond rating.
Also, the budget, if tied to performance, can act as a good overall control for the government’s
spending and living within its means. This method also ensures organizational accountability.
However, departmental appropriations are not linked to performance. Currently, the
departments are primarily funded based on the previous year’s appropriations.
The City Auditor’s Office has made 12 recommendations in this report, which the City
Administration has concurred. Based on the responses, it appears that improvements were made
for the subsequent budget process. The City Auditor’s Office will evaluate the improvements as
they become due.
The City Auditor’s Office appreciates the cooperation of the Budget staff during this review. The
responses to the report are attached. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Sincerely,
Umesh Dalal
Umesh Dalal, CPA, CIA, CIG
City Auditor
cc: The Richmond City Audit Committee
Ms. Lenora Reid, DCAO of Administration and Finance
Mr. Jay Brown, Director of Budget and Strategic Planning
Ms. Lou Brown Ali, Council Chief of Staff
COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
iii
#
PAGE
1
The Mayor and the CAO need to ensure that the City’s operational costs are controlled to avoid
the use of unassigned fund balance for any future obligations or deficits.
7
2
The Mayor and the CAO need to identify and provide full funding for all mandatory and
contractual obligations of the City.
13
3
The Mayor needs to certify in documentation accompanying the budget that:
The submitted budget includes all mandatory and contractual obligations
and anticipated costs for effective operations of the City.
The revenue estimates have been appropriately compiled and evaluated
using established methodology.
The amount of vacancy savings that represents the funding expected to be
used for operational purposes and the impact of further reduction of these
savings will have on the City services.
13
4
The Mayor and the CAO need to prepare the budget using realistic estimates of
revenues and expenditures for the City.
13
5
The CAO needs to evaluate all positions remaining vacant for multiple years and
determine the justification of keeping them.
13
6
The Mayor and the CAO need to fund vacancies that are realistically expected to be
filled in order to ensure effective City operations.
13
7
The City Council needs to evaluate the operational impact of reducing the funded
vacancies included in the budget proposed by the Mayor prior to using these funds for
balancing the budget.
14
8
The CAO needs to ensure that departments routinely do not use funding for the vacant
positions to cover unfunded cost.
14
9
The DCAO over Finance and Administration needs to ensure proper documentation of the
revenue projection methodology.
15
COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
iv
10
The CAO needs to ensure that adequate KPIs are developed for functions in each
department that are easily measurable and tied to the City’s focus areas. The CAO
needs to use the KPIs results to determine resources allocated to easily measurable
functions in the City departments.
16
11
For other functions in the City departments, the CAO needs to determine appropriate
methods to evaluate functional performance and establish a performance based
budget for them.
17
12
The DCAO over Finance and Administration needs to automate the budgeting process.
17
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Richmond City Auditor’s Report# 2017-01
Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
Introduction, Objectives, and Methodology
The City Auditor’s Office has completed an audit of the City’s Budgeting Process
for the 12 month period
1
ended June 30, 2015. The objectives of this audit were
to:
Verify alignment of the budget process with the City’s objectives
Evaluate the adequacy of the budget process compared to best practices
Verify compliance with City and State Code
o Chapter 6 (Budget) City Charter
o Code of Virginia Chapter 25 Budgets, Audits and Reports.
The auditors conducted this performance audit in accordance with Generally
Accepted Government Auditing Standards. Those Standards require that the
auditors plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence
to provide a reasonable basis for their findings and conclusions based on the
audit objectives. The auditors believe that the evidence obtained provides a
reasonable basis for their findings and conclusions based on the audit
objectives.
Methodology
Auditors performed the following procedures to complete this audit:
Interviewed Budget and Strategic Planning management and staff;
Interviewed selected departments’ staff to determine how their budgets
were developed and were they aligned with City objectives;
1
Budget data prior to and after FY15 was reviewed to conduct trend analyses. Also,
the FY16 budget data was reviewed given all of the media coverage regarding the
budgeting issues and the anticipated end-of-year deficit.
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
Tested for compliance with selected City and State code requirements;
Reviewed various budgeting documentation and reports;
Conducted walkthroughs of the budgeting processes;
Compared the City’s budget process to the GFOA’s best practices;
Benchmarked with other localities; and
Performed other tests, as deemed necessary.
Management Responsibility
The City management is responsible for ensuring resources are managed
properly and used in compliance with laws and regulations; programs are
achieving their objectives; and services are being provided efficiently,
effectively, and economically.
Background
The budgeting process is very important for a government as it serves as:
o The focal point of key resource allocation decisions;
o A fiscal control over spending of the resources;
o A plan for the future;
o A measurement of performance of City services; and
o A communication tool to help the public understand where revenues
come from and how they are spent on City services.
Pursuant to the recommended budget practices promulgated by the
Government Finance Officer Association (GFOA), “the mission of the budget
process is to help decision makers make informed choices about the
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Richmond City Auditor’s Report# 2017-01
Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
provision of services and capital assets and to promote stakeholder
participation in the process.”
The City’s budgeting process is a collaborative effort between City
Agencies/Departments; The Office of Budget and Strategic Planning; The
Finance Department; The City Administration consisting of the Mayor and the
Chief Administrative Officer, and the City Council. During the audit period, the
Budget Department was responsible for developing the expenditure projections
and the Finance Department was responsible for developing the revenue
projections. Citizens input is obtained through numerous means, such as,
Council District meetings, public budget meetings and citizen surveys. Overall,
the budget process works as depicted below:
The City prepares and adopts a biennial fiscal plan (budget document). The
initial adoption approves the budget for the first year of the plan. The second
year of the plan is approved after adopting amendments. The City is required
to have a balanced budget in which the total proposed expenditures cannot
exceed the estimated revenue plus carried forward fund balance. The adopted
expenditures for FY2014 and FY2015 were:
Departments
submit budget
requests
Budget Dept.
submits budget
recommendations
to City
Administration
Mayor makes
changes and
submits proposed
budget to City
Council
Council makes
amendments and
adopts budget
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Richmond City Auditor’s Report# 2017-01
Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
Adopted Expenditures
Fund
FY2014
FY2015
General Fund
$760,532,300
$786,484,419
Capital Improvement Program
$212,819,829
$236,971,328
Special Revenue Funds
$83,054,332
$77,670,971
Enterprise Funds
$312,671,455
$334,508,010
Internal Service Funds
$25,097,050
$26,130,318
Debt Service Fund
$66,768,354
$94,326,665
Richmond Public Schools
$247,043,662
$262,594,000
Total
$1,707,986,982
$1,818,685,711
The general fund adopted expenditures include contributions to Richmond Public Schools and the City’s Debt Service
Fund.
OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
What Works Well
The City received the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
for its budget for the biennium beginning July 1, 2015. The award is
given for presentation of required information along with financial
policies of the organization. The City has received this award for its
biennial budget every two years since 1999 with the exception of
FY2007. (See Appendix B for award criteria).
The budget was developed, approved and distributed in compliance with
State and City Code requirements. Specifically, the audit testing found
compliance with the following State Code requirements:
o 15.2-2503. Time for preparation and approval of budget
contents.
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Richmond City Auditor’s Report# 2017-01
Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
o 15.2-2506. Publication and notice; public hearing; adjournment;
moneys not to be paid out until appropriated.
o 15.2-2507. Amendment of budget.
The City has implemented various elements within the principles of the
budgeting best practices issued by the GFOA. However, as this report
presents, improvements in the below areas are needed.
Improvement Opportunities
The following figure depicts the audit observations, which will be discussed in
detail in this report:
Budget Process
Operating Expenditures not
fully funded
Known contractual /
mandatory obligations not
fully funded
Use of Commited General
Fund balance to cover
expenditures
Vacancies funded at lowest
pay range
Revenues
Fund balance used to cover
budget shortfall
Vacancy funding used to
balance the budget
Methodology/assumption
used for revenue
projections not documented
Does not ensure
accountability
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
Consistent Use of Committed General Fund Balance to Cover Expenditures May Not Be
Sustainable
The general fund is the primary operating fund, which includes all revenues and
expenditures that are not accounted for in other funds. It finances the regular
day-to-day operations of the City. The reserved/committed
2
general fund
balance was consistently used for the past three years (FY13-FY15) to cover
expenditures as noted below. If this trend continues, the City will have to tap
into the unassigned
3
(Rainy Day) fund balance to cover the general fund
shortfalls. Based upon the third quarter revenue and expenditure projections
for FY2016, a general fund deficit of approximately $4.2 million is anticipated.
This situation may not be sustainable in the long run.
General Fund
FY2013
FY2014
FY2015
Committed
Fund Balance
Used
$34,982,025
4
$680,947
$20,184,209
Fund Balance
$127,031,470
$126,350,523
$106,166,314
Source: Annual CAFRS
Note 1: FY2015 figures are unaudited
Note 2: Total general fund balance, including reserved/committed and unassigned (Rainy Day) balances.
According to the GFOA, using a portion of the unassigned fund balance is one
tool available for addressing tight budget times and may be a necessity for local
2
Amounts constrained to specific purposes.
3
Unassigned fund balance has no specific or designated use.
4
According to the Budget Director, the majority of the committed funds used are
attributed to receipts received from Richmond Metropolitan Authority in FY2012 but
not expended/appropriated until FY2013.
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
governments struggling with declining revenues and increasing costs. However,
continued dependence on the unassigned fund balance will eventually weaken
the locality’s financial stability. If the City has to use the unassigned fund
balance to cover shortfalls, the challenge will be to replenish the fund if
revenues decline and/or expenses continue to increase. Pursuant to City
regulations, any amount drawn from the unassigned fund balance must be
replenished within three years.
Recommendation:
1. The Mayor and the CAO need to ensure that the City’s operational costs are
controlled to avoid the use of unassigned fund balance for any future
obligations or deficits.
Operating Expenditures Were Not Fully Funded
The above general fund deficits are partially attributed to the fact that
operational costs were not fully funded in the budget. Sufficient funding was
not appropriated for contractual obligations and services (including mandatory
services) provided to the citizens.
The following table, presents examples of obligations that were not fully funded
in FY 15 budget:
FY2014
FY2015
FY2016
Adopted
Service/Contract
Budgeted
Actual
Funding Gap
Budgeted
Actual
Funding Gap
Inmate Medical
$4,462,065
$6,563,917
$(2,101,852)
$4,621,078
$7,939,377
$(3,318,299)
$4,552,354
Inmate Food
$951,700
$1,027,548
$(75,848)
$951,700
$1,222,283
$(270,583)
$998,702
Microsoft License
$448,744
$849,144
$(400,400)
$476,346
$1,033,135
$(556,789)
$434,188
Print Governance
$1,304,798
$1,182,141
$122,657
$1,304,798
$1,704,000
$(399,202)
$1,232,729
RAPIDS
$1,000,000
$1,185,312
$(185,312)
$900,000
1,129,7210
$(229,721)
$900,000
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Richmond City Auditor’s Report# 2017-01
Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
Additional funding for inmate food and above DIT expenditures was not
requested by the Departments for FY2015. However, funding, with the
exception of Microsoft license, was requested for the expenditures in the FY16
budgets but was not approved and appropriated. City agencies and
departments are responsible for communicating funding needs to Budget, City
Administration and City Council. Budget, City Administration and City Council
are responsible for ensuring all known fixed costs (contractual obligations) and
mandatory services are fully funded. The following is the description of costs
depicted in the foregoing table:
Sheriff’s Office
Pursuant to State Code, the City is responsible for clothing, feeding and
providing medical treatment for jail inmates. Historically, the Office’s
expenditures have exceeded budget appropriations due to inmate costs. The
City entered into a:
Contract with a vendor on September 1, 2014 to provide medical
prescriptive and non-prescriptive services to inmates;
Contract with a vendor on October 1, 2014 to provide medical services
and health care for inmates; and
Contract with a vendor on October 29, 2014 to provide food for inmates.
Although the costs of the above services were known and represented legal
obligations of the City, they were not fully funded.
Department of Information Technology
Microsoft Office software is essential for operation of the City. Every operation
of the City uses this software. This software is needed to allow for the continual
operation of the City, including financial processing, tracking and reporting. The
licensing cost for this software is a legal obligation if the City desires to continue
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
using the software. A portion of the cost is recouped from City Departments
and agencies. The recoupment amounts are included in the above budgeted
amounts.
Department of Public Works (DPW) In addition to the above costs, the following
services and contractual obligations in DPW were also not fully funded:
Leaf Collection - The City provides an annual leaf collection service for citizens.
This service is highly dependent upon temporary workers. As recently reported
in various presentations and news media, traditionally, the City has not fully
funded leaf collection costs.
Jail Maintenance The City has an annual contractual obligation for the jail
maintenance costs of approximately $1 million. On June 30, 2014, the City
entered into a contract to provide preventive and corrective repairs. However,
only $471,830 was appropriated in the FY15 budget. Approximately $1.2 million
was budgeted in RAPIDS for FY2016. According to the DPW Director, the
Department used funds appropriated for other functions to fund the
appropriation gap between actual needs and budget approvals.
Vacancy Savings
The City typically has some vacancies in its workforce. The time for which the
position remains vacant, the City saves payroll costs. This means that at the end
of each year the City will have some vacancy savings. During FY2016, $24.5
million was needed to fill all vacancies. For this purpose, the proposed budget
included $14.2 million for vacancies to balance the budget. The City Council,
during the budget process, further reduced this funding by an additional $9.3
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
million to provide additional funding to the School Division, leaving $5million to
fund all general fund vacancies. These transactions are depicted below.
Funding Needed
$24.5 million
Cuts by the Mayor
Funding in Proposed
Budget
$10.3 million
$14.2 million
Cuts by Council
$9.3 million
Vacancies Funded
$ 5 million
However, City agencies/departments have historically relied on vacancy funding
to hire temporary employees and pay overtime to supplement staffing
shortages. Based upon discussions with the above Department Directors and
various presentations to City Council, it was noted that vacancy funding and/or
funds defined for other purposes were generally used to fill the funding gaps.
Reduction of this funding has had, and will continue to have significant
consequences citywide in areas such as public safety, transportation
infrastructure and services for the youth and elderly, which are all top priorities
identified in the citizen survey.
Vacancy funding was reduced in various budgets as follows:
Fiscal Year
Funding
Reduction
% of Vacant
Positions
Funded
FY2015
$11 million
63%
FY2016
$20 million
20%
FY2017
$21 million
17%
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
The Department of Public Works (DPW) was one of the hardest hit departments
with adopted vacancy funding reductions of approximately $2.2 (68% reduction)
and $2.4 million (74% reduction) in FY16 and FY17, respectively. According to
the Administrations prepared impact statement, some of the services expected
by the citizens may have the following consequences due to funding reduction:
Without funding for temporary labor, leaf collections would be limited
to the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) areas of the City as mandated by
the State of Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination (VPDES) permit. This
means that most of the City will experience leaves not being collected.
The winter maintenance/snow program would be reduced to non-
responsive. It will take longer to clear roadways if severe snow storm
occurs.
The bulk and brush collection would have a backlog exceeding three
months.
Grass cutting will not be on schedule for 60% of assigned locations.
Reduction of vacancy funding is also anticipated to result in a loss of significant
reimbursements from the State. For example, it was anticipated that the City
would lose approximately $1.4 million and $1.5 million in Social Services
reimbursements from the State in FY16 and FY17, respectively.
Vacant Positions Funded at Minimum Pay Range
When a position becomes vacant, typically it must be funded to fill it
immediately. Also, in today’s competitive labor market, the position should be
funded at fair market value of the position in order to attract qualified talents
for the City’s operation. However, the current practices are to fund only a
portion of vacant positions at the minimum pay in the pay range for the position.
This pay usually is insufficient to attract experienced individuals to the City’s
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
employment. If the department desires to attract qualified individuals, it would
have to wait until it could fund the pay for the qualified individual. Meanwhile,
the positions remain vacant and citizen services may suffer.
Vacant Positions Open for Multiple Years
Based upon review of vacancy data for FY2013-FY2016, it was noted that several
departments have positions that have been vacant for at least three consecutive
years. For example, the Department of Public Works (DPW) had 41 vacant
positions in FY2016 that have been open since at least FY2014. The majority of
those positions are for Refuse Truck Operators, Refuse Collectors, and
Equipment Operators.
The table below provides examples of other such positions within DPW:
Position Title
No. of Years Vacant
Facilities Maintenance Manager
FY2013-FY2016
Traffic Signal Specialist II
FY2014-FY2016
Superintendent of Facilities
FY2013-FY2016
Maintenance Technician II
FY2013-FY2016
Assistant City Traffic Engineer
FY2013-FY2016
Tree Maintenance Specialist
FY2013-FY2016
Engineer I
FY2014-FY2015
Capital Project Manager
FY2014-FY2016
Custodian Crew Chief
FY2014-FY2016
Source: FY2013-FY2016 Vacancy Data provided by Budget Department
The above information may indicate that the DPW may not be intending to fill
these positions, or they are not adequately funded. However, these positions
are carried as active positions. This type of action results in skewed impressions
of the total number of vacant positions. The City Administration needs to
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
evaluate all positions that have remained open for multiple years on a citywide
basis, to determine if the positions are needed to efficiently and effectively run
City operations. Cutting vacant positions that are no longer needed will free up
additional funds that can be used to fully fund existing services and cost or
provide additional services.
Recommendations:
2. The Mayor and the CAO need to identify and provide full funding for all
mandatory and contractual obligations of the City.
3. The Mayor needs to certify in documentation accompanying the budget
that:
The submitted budget includes all mandatory and contractual
obligations and anticipated costs for effective operations of
the City.
The revenue estimates have been appropriately compiled and
evaluated using established methodology.
The amount of vacancy savings that represents the funding
expected to be used for operational purposes and the impact
of further reduction of these savings will have on the City
services.
4. The Mayor and the CAO need to prepare the budget using realistic
estimates of revenues and expenditures for the City.
5. The CAO needs to evaluate all positions remaining vacant for multiple years
and determine the justification of keeping them.
6. The Mayor and the CAO need to fund vacancies that are realistically
expected to be filled in order to ensure effective City operations.
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
7. The City Council needs to evaluate the operational impact of reducing the
funded vacancies included in the budget proposed by the Mayor prior to
using these funds for balancing the budget.
8. The CAO needs to ensure that departments routinely do not use funding for
the vacant positions to cover unfunded cost.
General Fund Revenues Projections Were Not Documented
The actual revenues were generally in line with the projections with minor
variances (2% or less). However, the methodology and assumptions used to
calculate the projections were not documented. Supporting documentation for
the projections were not provided to auditors. Without procedures in place,
forecasting may be inappropriately conducted resulting in an overstatement or
understatement of revenue.
The Finance Department erroneously projected a surplus in delinquent personal
property tax revenue in the third quarter of FY2014 totaling approximately $8
million. This contributed to the estimated FY2015 general fund revenues to
increase by approximately $9 million. However, the anticipated surplus did not
materialize for FY14; in fact, a deficit totaling approximately $700,000 occurred.
This was an overstatement of net results by $9.7 million.
The Finance Department disclosed the error in the 3
rd
Quarter of FY2015
Revenue and Expenditure Report. This error was identified during the FY 2014
CAFR preparation. This error may have also been caused due to the fact that
the FY2014 actual figures were not available as the Comprehensive Annual
Financial Report (CAFR) was not completed until October 2015.
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
Recommendation:
9. The DCAO over Finance and Administration needs to ensure proper
documentation of the revenue projection methodology.
Budgeting Process Could Be Improved To Increase Accountability
Performance Based Budgeting
Performance based budget typically uses the past performance to assess if a
particular expense is worth incurring based on benefits derived. This type of
budgeting requires establishment of goals and performance measures to achieve
the goals, relating budgetary appropriations to performance measures and
rewarding or penalizing functions for the future budgets. According to the
National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), performance based budgeting relies
on accountability rather than the need to comply with regulations.
The GFOA’s Best Practices identified similar principles for effective budgeting.
Set Broad Goals to guide decisions
Develop strategies and financial policies
Design a budget supportive of strategies and goals
Focus on the necessity of continually evaluating a government’s success at
achieving the goals that it has set for itself (i.e. performance)
This concept in theory, may sound logical, however, in practice, it has different
applicability depending upon the nature of the function. For example, filling a
pothole on an average, may require a set amount of material and labor for filling
them. This activity is easily and reasonably accurately measurable. This
information could be used for developing future budgets and rewarding superior
performance. In these cases, performance based budgeting can be successful.
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Department of Budget and Strategic Planning
Citywide Budgeting Process
August 2016
However, where activity that cannot be easily measured such as addressing
recidivism amongst juveniles helped by the Justice Services. In this case, a set
amount of effort or cost may not produce identical results in two similar cases. In
this case, applying the performance based budgeting principle to determine the
entire budget may not work.
The City has adopted Performance (Outcome) Based Budgeting, and has started
the groundwork for implementing this approach. Accordingly, broad goals in the
form of the seven objectives or focus areas have been established. The City has
developed key performance indicators (KPI) for the focus areas, which do not
appropriately measure the results of operations. The City does not use costs and
efforts by a department for each focus area to determine budget appropriations
for that department. The currently established performance measures do not
consistently measure outcomes of operations and therefore cannot be used to
evaluate departmental performance.
If the City is committed to proper controls over budget and use the budget as an
accountability tool, it needs to establish performance measures that are
appropriately tied to achieving the City’s goals and objectives. It needs to
segregate activities where performance measures can be effectively used for
performance based budgeting and gather and use the data for this purpose. For
the other areas, the City needs to devise methods to use performance
measurement as one of the factors for establishing future budgets and
sustainability of the function based on benefits derived.
Recommendation:
10. The CAO needs to ensure that adequate KPIs are developed for functions in
each department that are easily measurable and tied to the City’s focus
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areas. The CAO needs to use the KPIs results to determine resources
allocated to easily measurable functions in the City departments.
11. For other functions in the City departments, the CAO needs to determine
appropriate methods to evaluate functional performance and establish a
performance based budget for them.
Budgeting Process Could Be More Efficient
During the audit scope, the City used the BRASS system to complete and
process the budget. BRASS was replaced with the Public Sector
Budgeting Module within RAPIDS. The City spent $136,000 to implement
the module and related training. The Department was subsequently
informed that the vendor would no longer support the budgeting
module after 2019.
Currently, the budget team is using excel spreadsheets for accumulating
their data for the annual budget. Spreadsheets are sent to the different
agencies and then returned for verification and accuracy. Ideally, this
task needs to be accomplished by an automated system either within
the current ERP system or as a stand-alone module that is capable of
communicating with the ERP system.
Recommendation:
12. The DCAO over Finance and Administration needs to automate the
budgeting process.
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
1
The Mayor and the CAO need to ensure that the
City’s operational costs are controlled to avoid
the use of unassigned fund balance for any
future obligations or deficits.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
2
The Mayor and the CAO need to identify and
provide full funding for all mandatory and
contractual obligations of the City.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
3
The Mayor needs to certify in documentation
accompanying the budget that:
• The submitted budget includes all mandatory
and contractual obligations and anticipated
costs for effective operations of the City.
• The revenue estimates have been appropriately
compiled and evaluated using established
methodology.
• The amount of vacancy savings that represents
the funding expected to be used for operational
purposes and the impact of further reduction of
these savings will have on the City services.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
MANAGEMENT RESPONSE FORM APPENDIX A
2017-01 Citywide Budget Process
MANAGEMENT RESPONSE FORM APPENDIX A
2017-01 Citywide Budget Process
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
4
The Mayor and the CAO need to prepare the
budget using realistic estimates of revenues and
expenditures for the City.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
5
The CAO needs to evaluate all positions
remaining vacant for multiple years and
determine the justification of keeping them.
Y
Recommendation will be incorporated in the
FY18/19 biennial budget process.
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
6-Mar-17
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
6
The Mayor and the CAO need to fund vacancies
that are realistically expected to be filled in order
to ensure effective City operations.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
MANAGEMENT RESPONSE FORM APPENDIX A
2017-01 Citywide Budget Process
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
7
The City Council needs to evaluate the
operational impact of reducing the funded
vacancies included in the budget proposed by the
Mayor, prior to using these funds for balancing
the budget.
Y
Richmond City Council concurs with the
recommendation and has and will continue to
evaluate operational impacts when considering
funding changes to the Mayor's proposed
budget. Council is committed to adopting a
budget that funds the operational needs of the
City. Council will continue to assess the
budgetary needs and take the necessary actions
that are in the best interest of the City and it's
residents.
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
Richmond City Council Complete
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
Richmond City Council has continuously taken
necessary steps to evaluate the impacts of
funding changes to the Mayor's proposed
budget. Council's evaluation of any potential
impacts is limited and largely reliant upon the
detail and accuracy of the information that is
requested of the Administration, who provides
the oversight of daily City operations. Prior to
any action, Council has and will continue to ask
Council's Budget Analysts and the
Administration to provide what, if any, potential
impacts may occur as a result of any funding
changes to the Mayor's proposed budget.
Council consistently uses the information
provided by Council's Budget Analysts and the
Administration to properly evaluate, discuss and
consider what is in the best interest of the City
prior to taking any formal action.
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
8
The CAO needs to ensure that departments
routinely do not use funding for the vacant
positions to cover unfunded cost.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
MANAGEMENT RESPONSE FORM APPENDIX A
2017-01 Citywide Budget Process
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
9
The DCAO over Finance and Administration needs
to ensure proper documentation of the revenue
projection methodology.
Y
The FY 17' Budget was developed reflecting full
costs of known obligations as submitted by the
Agencies of the City. Revenue estimates were
prepared conservatively based upon various
trend and projection methodologies commonly
used and acknowledged as Best Budgeting
Practices
#REF!
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
FY17 Budget Complied
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
10
The CAO needs to ensure that adequate KPIs are
developed for functions in each department that
are easily measurable and tied to the City’s focus
areas. The CAO needs to use the KPIs results to
determine resources allocated to easily
measurable functions in the City departments.
Y
FY 17' Budget workplan includes the
documentation of performance measures for key
service elements with the FY 19' Budget process.
10
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
#REF!
1-Dec-17
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
11
For other functions in the city departments, the
CAO needs to determine appropriate methods to
evaluate functional performance and establish a
performance based budget for them.
Y
FY 17' Budget workplan includes the
documentation of performance measures for key
service elements with the FY 19' Budget process.
11
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
11
1-Dec-17
#REF!
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
MANAGEMENT RESPONSE FORM APPENDIX A
2017-01 Citywide Budget Process
# RECOMMENDATION
CONCUR
Y/N
ACTION STEPS
12
The DCAO over Finance and Administration needs
to automate the budgeting process.
Y
The Budget staff have deemed the use of PBS to
be inefficient given the lack of functionality and
anticipated vendor support post 2019. The
development of a new budget model is underway
that will incorporate efficient use of
technological solutions to import/export data
to/from RAPIDS and link budget elements for
enhanced accuracy, integrity, and efficiency in
production of the budget document.
12
TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON TARGET DATE
12
1-Nov-16
12
IF IN PROGRESS, EXPLAIN ANY DELAYS IF IMPLEMENTED, DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION
#REF!
1
GFOA Detailed Criteria Location Guide Name of Entity: ____________________________
Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program State/Province: ____________________________
First Submission? Yes
No
Cite specific page references on the lines in response to each question.
Introduction and Overview
#C1. Mandatory: The document shall include a table of contents that makes it easier to locate information in the
document.
1. Is a comprehensive table of contents provided? ________________________________________________
2. Are all pages in the document numbered or otherwise identified? _________________________________
3. Do the page number references in the budget or electronic table of contents agree with the related page
numbers in the budget or electronic submission? _______________________________________________
#P1: The document should include a coherent statement of organization-wide, strategic goals and strategies that
address long-term concerns and issues.
1. Are non-financial policies/goals included? ___________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Are these policies/goals included together in the Budget Message or in another section that is separate from
the departmental sections? ________________________________________________________________
3. Are other planning processes discussed? _____________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#P2: The document should describe the entity’s short-term factors that influence the decisions made in the
development of the budget for the upcoming year.
1. Are short-term factors addressed? __________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Does the document discuss how the short-term factors guided the development of the annual budget?
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Is a summary of service level changes presented? ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#P3. Mandatory: The document shall include a budget message that articulates priorities and issues for the upcoming
year. The message should describe significant changes in priorities from the current year and explain the factors
that led to those changes. The message may take one of several forms (e.g., transmittal letter, budget summary
section).
1. Does the message highlight the principal issues facing the governing body in developing the budget (e.g.,
policy issues, economic factors, regulatory, and legislative challenges)? ___________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Does the message describe the action to be taken to address these issues? ___________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Does the message explain how the priorities for the budget year differ from the priorities of the current year?
_________________________________________________________________________________
4. Is the message comprehensive enough to address the entire entity? ________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#C2. Mandatory: The document should provide an overview of significant budgetary items and trends. An overview
should be presented within the budget document either in a separate section (e.g., executive summary) or
integrated within the transmittal letter or as a separate budget-in-brief document.
1. Is an overview contained in the budget message/transmittal letter, executive summary, or in a separate
budget-in-brief document? ________________________________________________________________
2. Is summary information on significant budgetary items conveyed in an easy to read format?
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Is summary information on budgetary trends provided? _________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
* Table of
Contents
Strategic
Goals and
Strategies
Short-term
organization
factors
* Priorities and
Issues
* Budget
Overview
APPENDIX B
2
Financial Structure, Policy, and Process
#O1. Mandatory: The document shall include an organization chart(s) for the entire entity.
1. Is an organization chart provided which shows the entire entity? __________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F1: The document should include and describe all funds that are subject to appropriation.
1. Is a narrative or graphic overview of the entity’s budgetary fund structure included in the document?
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Does the document indicate which funds are appropriated? (Other funds for which financial plans are
prepared also may be included in the document.) ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Does the document include a description of each individual major fund included within the document?
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. If additional or fewer funds are included in the audited financial statements, does the document indicate this
fact? _________________________________________________________________________________
#O2: The document should provide narrative, tables, schedules, or matrices to show the relationship between
functional units, major funds, and nonmajor funds in the aggregate.
1. Is the relationship between the entity’s functional units, major funds, and nonmajor funds in the aggregate
explained or illustrated? __________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F2: The document shall explain the basis of budgeting for all funds, whether cash, modified accrual, or some other
statutory basis.
1. Is the basis of budgeting defined (eg., modified accrual, cash, or accrual) for all funds included in the
document? _____________________________________________________________________________
2. If the basis of budgeting is the same as the basis of accounting used in the entity’s audited financial
statements, is that fact clearly stated? ________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. If the basis of budgeting is not the same as the basis of accounting used in the entity’s audited financial
statements, are the differences described? ____________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#P4. Mandatory: The document should include a coherent statement of entity-wide long-term financial policies.
1. Is there a summary of financial policies and goals? _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Do the financial policies include the entity’s definition of a balanced budget? ________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Are all financial policies presented in one place? ______________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#P5. Mandatory: The document shall describe the process for preparing, reviewing, and adopting the budget for the
coming fiscal year. It also should describe the procedures for amending the budget after adoption.
1. Is a description of the process used to develop, review, and adopt the budget included in the document?
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Is a budget calendar provided to supplement (not replace) the narrative information on the budget process?
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Is a discussion of how the budget is amended provided in the budget document available to the public
(including the budgetary level of control)? ___________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
Fund
Descriptions
and Fund
Structure
Department/
Fund
Relationship
Basis of
Budgeting
* Financial
Policies
* Budget
Process
*Organization
Chart
3
Financial Summaries
#F3. Mandatory: The document shall present a summary of major revenues and expenditures, as well as other
financing sources and uses, to provide an overview of the total resources budgeted by the organization.
1. Does the document include an overview of revenues and other financing sources and expenditures and other
financing uses of all appropriated funds? ________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Are revenues and other financing sources and expenditures and other financing uses presented either (1)
together in a single schedule OR (2) in separate but adjacent/sequential schedules OR (3) in a matrix?
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Are revenues presented by major type in this schedule (e.g., property taxes, intergovernmental, sales taxes,
fees and charges)? ______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. Are expenditures presented by function, organizational unit, or object in this schedule? (For funds other than
the main operating fund of the entity, a presentation by fund normally would satisfy this requirement.)
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F4. Mandatory: The document must include summaries of revenues and other financing sources, and of
expenditures and other financing uses for the prior year actual, the current year budget and/or estimated current
year actual, and the proposed budget year.
1. For annual budgets, are revenues and other financing sources and expenditures and other financing uses for
the prior year, the current year, and the budget year presented together on the same schedule(s) or on
schedules presented on adjacent/sequential pages? _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Is this information presented for the appropriated funds in total (or for the entity as a whole if no appropriated
funds are included)? __________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Is this information also presented at a minimum for each major fund and for other (i.e. nonmajor) funds in the
aggregate (or for each significant fund and other funds in the aggregate if no appropriated funds are
included)? _____________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. For biennial budgets, are revenues and other financing sources and expenditures and other financing uses for
the prior year, the current year, and both budget years presented together on the same schedule(s) or on
separate schedules presented on adjacent/sequential pages? ______________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F5. Mandatory: The document shall include projected changes in fund balances, as defined by the entity in the
document, for appropriated governmental funds included in the budget presentation (fund equity if no
governmental funds are included in the document).
1. Does the document include the entity’s definition of “fund balance” (or of “fund equity” if no governmental
funds are included in the entity - frequently the noncapital portion of net assets)?
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Is the fund balance (equity) information presented for the budget year? _____________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Is there a schedule showing (1) beginning fund balances, (2) increases and decreases in total fund balances
(reported separately), and (3) ending fund balances for appropriated governmental funds?
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. Is this information presented at a minimum for each major fund and for nonmajor governmental funds in the
aggregate? _________________________________________________________________________
5.
If fund balances of any major fund or the nonmajor funds in the aggregate are anticipated to increase or
decline by more than 10%, does the document include a discussion of the causes and/or consequences of
these changes in fund balance? ____________________________________________________________
6. If an entity has no governmental funds, is the change in the fund equity presented for (1) the entity as a
whole, (2) the main operating fund, and (3) each significant fund? ________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
7. If an entity has no governmental funds and the fund equity of any significant fund or other funds in the
aggregate is anticipated to change by more than 10%, does the document include a discussion of the causes
* Consolidated
Financial
Schedule
* Three/(Four)
Year
Consolidated
and Fund
Financial
Schedules
* Fund
Balance
4
and/or consequences of any change in fund equity that is greater than 10% in either a significant fund or
other funds in the aggregate? ______________________________________________________________
8. For biennial budgets is the change in fund equity presented separately for both years of the biennium? ____
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F6. Mandatory: The document shall describe major revenue sources, explain the underlying assumptions for the
revenue estimates, and discuss significant revenue trends.
1. Are individual revenue sources described? ___________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Do the revenue sources that are described represent at least 75 percent of the total revenues of all
appropriated funds? _____________________________________________________________________
3. Are the methods used to estimate revenues for the budget year described (e.g., trend analysis, estimates from
another government or consulting firm)? ________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. If revenues are projected based on trend information, are both those trends and the underlying assumptions
adequately described? ____________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F7: The document should explain long-range financial plans and its affect upon the budget and the budget process.
1. Are long-range financial plans identified? ____________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Do your long-range financial plans extend out at least two years beyond the budget year?
________________________________________________________________________
3. Is there a concise explanation or illustration of the linkage between the entity’s long-range financial plans
and strategic goals?
__________________________________________________________
Capital and Debt
#F8. Mandatory: The document should include budgeted capital expenditures, whether authorized in the operating
budget or in a separate capital budget.
1. Does the document define “capital expenditures”? _____________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Does the document indicate the total dollar amount of capital expenditures for the budget year (both budget
years for biennial budgets)? _______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Are significant nonrecurring capital expenditures described along with dollar amounts? (Information in a
separate CIP document does not satisfy this criterion.) __________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. If the entity has no significant nonrecurring capital expenditures, is that fact clearly stated in the document?
______________________________________________________________________________________
#F9: The document should describe if and to what extent significant nonrecurring capital investments will affect the
entity’s current and future operating budget and the services that the entity provides.
1. Are anticipated operating costs associated with significant nonrecurring capital investments described and
quantified (e.g., additional personnel costs, additional maintenance costs, or additional utility costs)?
(Information in a separate CIP document does not satisfy this criterion.)
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Are anticipated savings or revenues expected to result from significant nonrecurring capital investments
described and quantified (e.g., reduced utility costs, lower maintenance costs)? ______________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
* Revenues
Long-range
Financial
Plans
* Capital
Expenditures
Impact of
Capital
Investments on
Operating
Bud
g
et
5
#F10. Mandatory: The document shall include financial data on current debt obligations, describe the relationship
between current debt levels and legal debt limits, and explain the effects of existing debt levels on current operations.
1. If the entity has legal debt limits:
Are debt limits described? _________________________________________________
Are the amounts of debt limits expressed in terms of total dollars, millage rates or
percentages of assessed value? ______________________________________________
Are the amounts of debt subject to debt limits identified in the same terms used to describe
the debt limits themselves? __________________________________________
2. If the entity has no legal debt limits, is that fact clearly stated within the budget document? ____________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. If the entity does not have and does not intend to issue debt, is that fact clearly stated? ________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. Is the amount of principal and interest payments for the budget year (two years for biennial budgets) shown
for each major fund (for appropriated funds), for each significant unappropriated fund and for other funds in
the aggregate? ________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
Departmental Information
#O3. Mandatory: A schedule or summary table of personnel or position counts for prior, current and budgeted years
shall be provided.
1. Is a summary table of position counts provided for the entire entity? _______________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Does the table include the prior year, the current year, and budget year position counts?
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Are changes in staffing levels for the budget year explained? _____________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
4. If there are no changes in staffing levels, is that item noted? ______________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#O4. Mandatory: The document shall describe activities, services or functions carried out by organizational units.
1. Does the document clearly present the organizational units (e.g., divisions, departments, offices, agencies, or
programs)? __________________________________________________________________________
2. Does the document provide descriptions of each organizational unit? ______________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#O5: The document should include clearly stated goals and objectives of organizational units (e.g., departments,
divisions, offices or programs).
1. Are unit goals and objectives identified?
____________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. Are unit goals clearly linked to the overall goals of the entity?
______________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3. Are objectives quantifiable?
____________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4. Are timeframes on objectives noted?
_______________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
#O6: The document should provide objective measures of progress toward accomplishing the government’s mission
as well as goals and objectives for specific units and programs.
1. Are performance data for individual departments included in the document? _________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Are performance data directly related to the stated goals and objectives of the unit? ___________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Do performance measures focus on results and accomplishments (e.g., output measures, efficiency and
effectiveness measures) rather than inputs (e.g., dollars spent)? ___________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
* Debt
* Position
Summary
Schedule
* Department
Descriptions
Performance
Measures
Unit Goals
and
Objectives
6
Document-wide Criteria
#C3: The document should include statistical and supplemental data that describe the organization, its community, and
population. It should also furnish other pertinent background information related to the services provided.
1. Is statistical information that defines the community included in the document (e.g., population, composition
of population, land area, and average household income)? ____________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. Is supplemental information on the local economy included in the document (e.g., major industries, top
taxpayers, employment levels, and comparisons to other local communities)? ________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Is other pertinent information on the community (e.g., local history, location, public safety, education,
culture, recreation, transportation, healthcare, utilities, and governmental structure) included in the
document? _____________________________________________________________________________
#C4: A glossary should be included for any terminology (including abbreviations and acronyms) that is not readily
understandable to a reasonably informed lay reader.
1. Is a glossary that defines technical terms related to finance and accounting, as well as non-financial terms
related to the entity, included in the document? _______________________________________________
2. Are acronyms or abbreviations used in the document defined in the glossary? ________________________
3. Is the glossary written in non-technical language? ______________________________________________
#C5: Charts and graphs should be used, where appropriate, to highlight financial and statistical information. Narrative
interpretation should be provided when the messages conveyed by the graphs are not self-evident.
1. Are charts and graphs used in the document to convey essential information (e.g., key policies, trends,
choices and impacts)? ____________________________________________________________________
2. Do the graphics supplement the information contained in the narratives? ____________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
#C6: The document should be produced and formatted in such a way as to enhance its understanding by the average
reader. It should be attractive, consistent, and oriented to the reader's needs.
1. Is page formatting consistent? _____________________________________________________________
2. Are the main sections of the document easily identifiable? _______________________________________
3. Is the level of detail appropriate? ___________________________________________________________
4. Are text, tables, and graphs legible? _________________________________________________________
5. Are budget numbers in the document accurate and consistent throughout the document? _______________
Statistical/
Supplemental
Section
Glossary
Charts and
Graphs
Understand-
ability and
Usability
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