City of Vancouver recognized for budget best practices

THE City of Vancouver has received an award in recognition of the presentation of the City’s 2018 Budget Book.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), an association for public sector finance professionals, named Vancouver as a recipient of the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. The award recognizes organizations whose budget documents explain complex information in a clear and engaging way.

When creating the 2018 Budget Book, the City’s Finance team placed a particular emphasis on explaining the rationale behind budgetary decisions, creating infographics that summarized the data and using language that could be better understood by the general public.

This includes a separate Budget Highlights document, intended to give readers a short and digestible summary of the City’s priorities for spending for the coming year. Visit to view the full 2018 Budget and Five-year Financial Plan.

“We have worked hard over the past few years to improve our financial planning, budgeting and reporting processes, and to enhance the presentation of our budget documents to make them more accessible for citizens,” said Patrice Impey, General Manager of Finance, Risk, and Supply Chain Management for the City of Vancouver. “It’s gratifying to receive external recognition for all of the work the finance team has done.”

The City’s strong financial management practices have also been acknowledged by credit rating agencies, including Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, with the highest rating of AAA/Aaa. Vancouver also received one of the top rankings among Canadian municipalities in the CD Howe institute’s 2017 municipal fiscal accountability report card.

In order to receive the GFOA award, budget documents must be rated proficient and meet 14 mandatory criteria and serve as an effective policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications vehicle.

The GFOA program encourages and assists local governments in Canada and the United States in preparing high-quality budget documents that reflect guidelines established by the GFOA’s best practices. The award recognizes individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal of making budgeting information accessible to residents and businesses.