For the 25th time, Lane Transit District (LTD) has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, the most prestigious award given to government agencies from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).
“Congratulations to LTD’s Finance Director Christina Shew and her dedicated team for their outstanding work,” said Caitlin Vargas, the President of LTD’s Board of Directors. “The GFOA’s recognition is a reflection of the high standards LTD sets in everything the District does to serve the community.”
The Certificate of Achievement recognizes LTD’s financial reporting for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. According to the GFOA, the District’s accounting and financial reporting was judged by an impartial panel to ensure LTD met the association’s high standards, including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the reports.
“We have an excellent team who are highly skilled and dedicated to provide financial reporting that meets our funders needs and those of the general public,” Shew said. “The Certificate of Achievement motivates our team to keep doing an outstanding job for the District.”
Receiving GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting follows an earlier announcement by The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) that it had found no deficiencies in any of the 21 areas it had examined in a Triennial Review of LTD’s federal compliance in the administration and implementation of the District’s programs funded by FTA.
“Recognition from GFOA and FTA provides external validation for the excellent work that all LTD employees do to make sure passengers can travel to the places that are important to them,” said Mark Johnson, LTD’s Interim General Manager. “I am pleased for the Finance Department that they received this well-deserved recognition for their incredible work on behalf of LTD and the community.”
According to www.gfoa.org, “GFOA relies on governments to showcase successful demonstrations of best practice and innovative concepts to educate peer organizations. Winners and those nominating entities for consideration can be proud that creative and innovative projects will provide examples for other jurisdictions to follow, promoting best practices in government finance.”
Board President Caitlin Vargas further praised the agency, and Finance Director Christina Shew, during the Oct. 6 budget committee.
Caitlin Vargas: I just wanted to kick this QA part off with letting everyone on the committee know that on September 16th I got the email that LTD was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. So this Certificate of Achievement is a highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. And its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. So great job, Christina. Just wanted to make sure everyone knew that.
The independent reviews take on added importance after a shakeup at LTD in July 2021. Two men left the LTD board after an investigative report said the two communicated “a level of distrust of LTD executive staff.” The two asked pointed questions about selected financial transactions, although, the report noted, they often did not read prepared materials or participate during related committee meetings. “Complainants and witnesses raised a concern that these type of questions may lead the public to distrust agency staff and leadership,” the investigator reported.
LTD shared the full report on its website.