District receives highest award for 2016-2017 budget

Mary-Lou Pickles, director of the district’s Office of Financial Services, displays the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award with members of her team.

Mary-Lou Pickles, director of the district’s Office of Financial Services, displays the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award with members of her team.

PALATKA, Fla., Aug. 15, 2017 — The St. Johns River Water Management District has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its fiscal year 2016-2017 budget from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. Mary-Lou Pickles, director of the district’s Office of Financial Services and the district’s former budget director, also was recognized.

“The award is a significant achievement by the district’s governing board and our staff,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “It reflects the ongoing commitment of the Governing Board and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. I’m grateful for this national recognition of their hard work.”

The award marks the 11th consecutive year the district has received the GFOA award and the second time this month that the district’s financial processes have been recognized.

According to GFOA, to receive the award, the district had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation, which assess how well the agency’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device. A budget must be rated “proficient” in all four categories and 14 mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award.

Formerly the district’s budget director, Pickles received a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation. The certificate is presented to the individual or department primarily responsible for the agency having achieved the award.

The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting. Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., GFOA is a major professional organization serving the needs of approximately 18,700 appointed and elected local, state and provincial level government officials and other finance practitioners.