The Government Finance Officers Association of the Untied States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the City of Agoura Hills Department of Finance the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. It is the second year in a row that the city has received the national recognition for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The award is the highest form of achievement in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, according to GFOA.
The Agoura Hills Department of Finance received the award for its report providing full disclosure and a financial analysis that clearly communicates the city's financial status and trends. The report demonstrates "a spirit of full disclosure and motivates user groups to read it," stated Stephen Gauthier, spokesperson for GFOA.
"Achieving the highest level of financial reporting is a top priority for City Council and staff–there isn’t anything more important in what we do to demonstrate good civic stewardship," said Agoura Hills City Manager Greg Ramirez. "The city’s approach to operations has always been very conservative, and this award is particularly noteworthy because it was achieved through a small team of dedicated professionals. Congratulations to our Finance Department and all our staff."
The City of Agoura Hills Finance Department is supervised by Christy Pinuelas, finance director. "I feel it's my responsibility that residents know exactly what the city is doing with their money," said Pinuelas. The department of three staff members compiled and prepared the intensive financial report that contended with ones from cities with equivalent populations having much larger departments.
GFOA staff and members of a review committee perform the review of the submitted CAFRs to determine the award recipients. The panel of reviewers cannot be from the state of the submitted report or have auditing involvement with the report. In the light of current economic stability within municipalities, the requirements for the award have grow more stringent each year, demanding more statistician information, illustrations through graphs and charts and turning numbers into a narrative format that public and interested agencies can readily comprehend.
The purpose of the GFOA is to enhance and promote the professional management of governments for the public benefit by identifying and developing financial policies and best practices and promoting their use through education, training, facilitation of member networking, and leadership.
The city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is available for public review on the city's website, http://www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/, at the library, and at City Hall.