Building a Financially Resilient Government through Long-Term Financial Planning Based on GFOA White Paper By Shayne Kavanaugh, GFOA Senior Manager of Research Available at www.gfoa.org/building-financiallyresilient-government-through-long-term-financialplanning Maryland Municipal League Annual Convention Ocean City, MD June 29, 2015 Building a Financially Resilient Municipality
through Long Term Financial Planning June 29, 2015 Panel Presentation Moderated by: Daniel J. Mears, Town Manager, Town of La Plata Email: [email protected] Panelists: Alfred E. Martin, CPA, Former Finance Director, City of Hagerstown email: [email protected] Ted Zaleski, Director, Department of Management & Budget, Carroll County email: [email protected] Shelly Herman, Finance Officer, Town of Centreville email: [email protected]
Candy Sandvick, Finance Director, City of Frostburg Email: [email protected] Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Look to the future by learning from the past. You cant predict the future, but you can hear its footsteps approaching. Change is Inevitable. Preparing for, rather than Reacting to Change. The Concept of Sustainability.
Building a Financially Resilient Municipality The concept of Financial Sustainability includes building a sustainable and diversified base of revenues to support operating costs. Also steering one time revenues away from use for recurring costs and taking into account long term maintenance and operating costs when planning capital projects. The recent economic recession has taught us
that sustainability while important, is not enough. Building a Financially Resilient Municipality A Sustainable system is balanced, but an external shock can unbalance it and perhaps even cause it to collapse. Serious Challenges to Plan for: Economic Adjustments & Downturns
Natural Disasters Policy Changes by Other Levels of Government Changing Community Demographics Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Beyond Financial Sustainability to Resiliency Organizations should seek to go beyond being sustainable to
one that is Adaptable and RegenerativeIn a word: Resilient Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Beyond Financial Sustainability to Resiliency: A sustainable system is balanced, but potentially brittle. A resilient system not only survives shock, it
thrives even under conditions of adversity. Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Eight Characteristics of a Resilient Organization: Diversity Redundancy Decentralization Transparency Collaboration Failing Gracefully
Flexibility Foresight Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Diversity: Avoiding a single point of failure or reliance on a single solution. Keep a multi-faceted perspective on financial health Maintain a diversity of funds to reduce reliance on the General Fund
Enlarge the base of supportive constituents Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Redundancy: Avoid having only one path of escape or rescue. Maintain a reserve policy to prevent use for recurring expenditures and specify the purpose of reserves Institutionalize financial planning through governance practices like financial policies and citizen engagement
Pursue multiple strategies for long-term financial health Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Decentralization: Centralized systems look strong, but failure is catastrophic. Make managers manage their cost and revenue structures Engage departments in identifying issues, analyzing them and developing strategies Engage departments in financial modeling and forecasting
Develop an organization-wide strategic framework that departments can innovate within Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Transparency: Make it easier to figure out where a problem may lie. Share plans & listen to when people point out flaws. Promote transparency in key areas like goals and objectives, forecast assumptions and reserve standards Use full cost (direct and indirect) accounting
for programs Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Collaboration: Working together to become stronger. Build elected officials service priorities into the plan Provide elected officials a role in the planning process a role they can thrive in Orient elected officials to the planning process
Use key indicators to help keep elected officials abreast of financial condition Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Fail Gracefully: Failure happens. Make sure failure wont make things worse. Recognize changing conditions to make a soft landing Promote credibility and open dialogue to learn and correct failure
Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Flexibility: Be ready to change when plans arent working. Dont expect stability. Regularly diagnose the strategic environment to know when flexibility may be required Create financial models to show the impact of changes Evolve and adapt the financial planning process itself Building a Financially Resilient Municipality
Foresight: Think and prepare. Develop effective forecasting techniques Build capacity among staff and elected officials for strategic diagnosis Compliment financial planning with other long-term plans Building a Financially Resilient Municipality Group Exercise: At Each Table: Identify one recorder to take notes. Everyone list two characteristics that you think
your municipality could most benefit from implementing. Identify the two receiving most votes at your table. Then at each table develop specific strategies that would help achieve a higher level of financial resiliency Each group should report out one of the strategies they developed
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