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Howard County budget receives Special Performance Measures Recognition award by national organization 

January 5, 2018

Media Contacts: 
Deidre McCabe, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, 410-313-4023
Dr. Holly Sun, Budget Administrator, 410-313-2077

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced that Howard County has received the Special Performance Measures Recognition as well as the Distinguish Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. 

Fewer than two percent of the 1,600 jurisdictions participating in the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Award program receive a special recognition on performance measures each year nationwide, according to John Fishbein, senior program manager for GFOA. A budget has to receive “outstanding” ratings on performance measures from all reviewers in order to receive this recognition for excellence in providing objective measures of progress toward accomplishing mission, goals and objectives in specific agencies and organization wide.  

“This award confirms that the steps we took to improve transparency and accountability are working well,” said Kittleman. “With TRACKHoward in place, we now have a comprehensive strategic plan and meaningful performance data that helps us communicate our vision, goals, services and outcomes better to our community. Ultimately, this process will make us more effective and efficient as a county government.”

TRACKHoward is a Howard County initiative started by Kittleman in 2015 to help further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of County services. This performance management system develops strategic plans and informs decision makers with the vital information needed to assist in solving problems and delivering results for the County’s residents, businesses and communities.

“We are pleased to receive this rare Special Recognition from the GFOA for the first time, especially considering that performance measures did not exist in the County’s budget book until two years ago,” said Budget Administrator Dr. Holly Sun. “Our goal has always been to make the budget a strategic policy, financial and operation guide but also a quality communication tool. This award shows that we have made significant progress.”

In addition, Kittleman said he is pleased to know that the county also received the “Distinguished Budget Presentation” award from GFOA for the 25th consecutive year. These awards represent the highest forms of recognition for government budgeting. To receive the award, the GFOA uses 27 criteria to assess how effectively a budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device each year.

The GFOA is a major professional association servicing nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state and provincial-level government officials and finance practitioners. It provides training programs, services, publications and other products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management. The association is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with offices in Washington, D.C.  

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