GFOA gives NYC Comptroller awards for financial reporting on CAFR, PAFR
The Government Finance Officers Association presented awards for excellence in financial reporting to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Wednesday.
The awards were presented at the comptroller’s annual closing and accounting seminar at Police Plaza in Manhattan by Dawn Donovan, Town of Eastchester Comptroller and GFOA board member.
The GFOA’s certificate of excellence in financial reporting award and award of financial reporting achievement went to Stringer for the city’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for fiscal year ended 2018. The city also received a certificate of excellence award for outstanding achievement in popular annual financial reporting (PAFR).
It was the city’s 39th GFOA award for its CAFR and its fourth PAFR award.
“The comptroller is being recognized for his dedicated commitment to clear and transparent financial information from the stakeholders of the city of New York,” Donovan said. “The Bureau of Accountancy under the leadership of Comptroller Stringer, [has put together] New York City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report in a nationally recognized format and it is the premier indicator of the highest level of governmental accounting.”
The CAFR program was established in 1946 to encourage and assist governments to prepare annual financial reports of the highest quality.
The city's Bureau of Accountancy is responsible for all aspects of the city’s financial accounting and reporting. It prepares the comptroller’s CAFR, which contains city charter-mandated audited financial statements and its plain language companion called the PAFR. The bureau is primarily responsible for the design and management of the city’s centralized accounting, internal control and budgeting system and the financial management system.
The bureau is also responsible for ensuring accuracy in city agency accounting, reconciliation of more than 100 city bank accounts, investment accounting for the city’s five main pension plans and 11 variable supplement funds, servicing the city’s general obligation debt, and approving vendor information in the financial management system.
New York City is one of the largest issuers of municipal debt in the United States. As of March 31, the city had about $37.68 billion of general obligation (Aa1/A/A) debt outstanding. That's not counting the various authorities that issue debt.
The NYC Transitional Finance Authority has $37.02 billion of debt outstanding while the NYC Municipal Water Finance Authority has $29.81 billion of debt outstanding. The TFA’s debt consists of future tax secured senior bonds (Aaa/AAA/AAA), future tax secured subordinate bonds (Aa1/AAA/AAA) and building aid revenue bonds (Aa2/AA/AA). The MWFA’s debt consists of general resolution bonds (A1/AAA/AA+) and second general resolution bonds (Aa1/AA+/AA+).
Stringer said he was honored to receive the award — a recognition of 39 years of effort — and said New York was the envy of cities around the country.
“They are recognizing our efforts in New York City on transparency, accessibility and fiscal responsibility — for 39 years,” Stringer said.
He cited the help his office received in putting together all the information into one place.
“My name as comptroller appears on the certificate,” Stinger said. “But this report is really a testament to the strength of a joint collaboration between the Comptroller’s Office and everyone in this room to protect the city’s finances.”
He cited the Bureau of Accountancy, the Office of Management and Budget, the Bureau of Information Systems and Technology, the Bureau of Administration, the Mayor’s Office of Contracts, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Financial Services Agency among others in city government.
He added that he looked forward to getting number 40 next year.