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Port Arthur finance department lauded for “proficient” city budget

The city of Port Arthur has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the third year in a row.

The award is for “satisfying nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation,” according to a news release from the GFOA.

Port Arthur’s finance department submitted the city budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, and it rated “proficient” in the categories of policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.

The budget also had to rank “proficient” in 14 mandatory criteria within the categories.

“The award is based on the very competent and very knowledgeable staff,” City Manager Ron Burton said. “We’ve got to give them credit. They put in the man-hours to make sure the product reflects the needs and the aspirations of our citizens. We’re very thankful that we have capable, knowledgeable and competent staff who put the document together into a product we can work with for the citizens of Port Arthur.”

Interim finance director Kandy Daniel said the award goes to any entity that meets the criteria, instead of the award program being a competition. More than 1,600 participating entities receive recognition.

“We have applied for it for the last three years, and we’ve only won it three times,” said Daniel, who was hired as assistant finance director almost four years ago. “Usually, we send it a little earlier, but there was a little lag due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Daniel said the budget, also known as the City Manager’s Budget, contains easy-to-read information that is relevant. Each year, her department receives suggestions on ways to improve from GFOA staff members.

“Every year, we do a little improvement,” Daniel said. “We strive to do a little better every year.”

Burton and Daniel say the recent hire of Scott Moore as assistant city manager for finance will be instrumental in the budgeting process for future fiscal years. Each new fiscal year in Port Arthur begins Oct. 1.

“Scott Moore’s knowledge continues to complement what we already have in place,” Burton said. “It takes a team approach to deliver the quality document that Port Arthur produces.”

 

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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