The Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is continuing its efforts to recognize counties for their financial transparency efforts through its Leadership Award program, which started in 2011. The office will be giving 2013 Leadership Awards throughout the year; counties must submit a Leadership Circle Award Application via the texastransparency.org/local/counties website or email necessary information to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered.
To earn a Leadership Award, counties must earn points based on four major qualifying criteria categories and 12 minor qualifying criteria categories. Twenty points is considered a perfect score.
Counties that have already earned a 2013 Gold Leadership Award are Bee, Cochran, Fayette, Fort Bend, Gillespie, Hays, Somervell and Williamson.
Last year, 50 counties earned Leadership Awards. Potter County received special recognition from the Comptroller’s office for its understandable Budget and Annual Financial Report.
“This combined budget is illustrated using colorful pie charts that explain revenues and expenditures in several formats – source, function or department, and fund. These charts can help taxpayers who might understandably be stunned by spreadsheets, more easily get an overview of where the county’s money is coming from, where it is going, and the overall state of the county’s funds,” stated the Comptroller’s office in a press release.
“Potter County’s illustrated approach to budget presentation is a good example for other local governments – including many who already embrace financial transparency – for making information not just available, but easy-to-understand, too. Potter’s all funds budget shows the big picture of county finances, often a difficult concept for taxpayers trying to reconcile the separate funds that are usually documented in different sections of budgets and financial reports.”