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The Village of Park Forest has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 28th consecutive year.
The award was presented in front of the Village Board to Mark Pries, the Village's finance director, at Monday night's meeting.
The award represents a significant achievement for Park Forest. It reflects the commitment of Village elected officials and staff members to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting.
“The Distinguished Budget Award is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Village Manager Tom Mick. "The review panel for the award represents governmental accounting peers following rigorous standards."
Mick said the panel took a critical look at Park Forest’s budget. He said it was a team effort to receive this award. He added this award shows the Village's hard work and dedication.
"I commend Finance Director Mark Pries and Assistant Finance Director Sharon Floyd, along with the entire team in the Finance Department," said Mick. "Together they work closely with leadership teams in all departments to assemble millions of dollars in revenues and expenses in addition to the narrative that results in a budget which serves as a clear communications device for Park Forest residents."
Pries echoed Mick and said the Village received the award 29 times. He said every year there's a lot of hard work and effort put into receiving this award.
"This isn't just the finance department," Pries said. "This is the entire effort of the board to the department heads and all the staff. This is not something to be taken lightly. There are a lot of municipalities across the state of Illinois and very few received this award on both the budget and the audit."
Park Forest has now landed the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award 29 times, including 28 years straight, since the award was created 40 years ago. Park Forest is in a special category as less than 20 municipalities in Illinois have won the award more times than the Village.
To receive the budget award, Park Forest needed to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an organization’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device.
Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and in the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.
When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted to an organization, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual(s) or department designated as being primarily responsible for having achieved the award.
There are over 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program nationwide. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources, and practical research for more than 20,500 members and the communities they serve.