HERMISTON — Hermiston School District recently received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 12th year in a row.

The certificate was issued for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018.

Public entities can elect to submit their financial information to the GFOA to seek review and become eligible for the certificate, which is the highest recognition for government accounting and reporting, according to a press release from the Hermiston School District.

“While this is an award that looks at just one financial document, it’s really a culmination of the entire school and fiscal year,” said Director of Business Services Katie Saul. “Not just the business office, but the entire district. Everybody within the district takes financial responsibility very seriously.”

The CAFR Program, established in 1945, assesses transparency and disclosure, rather than financial health. Last year’s results named over 4,000 different public entities nationwide that won the certificate.

The district’s financial reports, debt management practices, per-student funding, and reimbursed spending were some of the metrics used to examine how money was used and recorded for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Saul said that the metrics make it easier for HSD to compare its expenditures to that of other school districts in the area. Saul has been working at HSD since 2009, and has been the director of business services since 2016.

“Saul and her team are responsive and make sure everyone is engaged, which fosters a culture of accountability,” Superintendent Tricia Mooney said in a recent press release.

The district first submitted to the GFOA after the 2004-05 school year, and has won the award 13 times total.

The GFOA, a national organization, was founded in 1906 and aims to “advance excellence” in public finance. The organization provides best practices guidance and consulting for public finance officials in the United States and Canada.

“It just really goes to show the consistency of the district being mindful of the taxpayers’ funds,” Saul said.

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