School district business office wins award

Hermiston School Board Chairman Phil Hamm, left, applauds while vice chairwoman Maria Duron congratulates employees of the district's business office for receiving an award for the district's comphrehensive report.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Hermiston School District business office has been recognized for excellence.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, or GFOA, recently awarded Hermiston with the Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting for the district’s 2009-10 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

This is the fifth time Hermiston’s business office has been recognized for its CAFR. In addition to receiving it the last four years — 2009-10, 2008-09, 2007-08 and 2006-07 — it also received the award in the 2004-05 school year.

“We have said all along that we have outstanding staff in this district,” School Board Chairman Phil Hamm said Monday. “We often recognize those in the classroom, but there are people outside the classroom, like this group, that are truly outstanding as well.”

Wade Smith, the district’s interim superintendent, called the Certificate of Achievement the highest form of recognition available in municipal finance.

“We want to recognize the really excellent service these people provide every day,” he said. “There’s no greater award any municipal (business department) can receive.”

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving about 17,500 government finance professionals in the U.S. and Canada. The association established the CAFR program in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that showed transparency and full disclosure.

“The continued receipt of this honor evidences the commitment of the Hermiston School Board and our business department to excellence in all aspects of financial accountability and reporting transparency,” Smith said in a press release. “I am extremely proud of the financial stewardship demonstrated by our business department and board.”

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