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Green Bonds Growing in Popularity

Reflecting the growing demand of investors, municipal bond fund managers are turning their attention to bonds associated with funding sustainable and environmental projects. Known as “green bonds,” the issuance of such bonds within the first six months of 2014 was $20 billion, an amount equivalent to total sales of the last seven years. According to the Bond Buyer, investors are attracted to green funds not just for the return, but to help promote conservation and counter the effects of global warming. Further, the popularity of green bonds has attracted investors that had not recently bought munis. For the complete story. Read More.

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Poll Discusses Americans’ Local Government Satisfaction Level

In a recent poll by the Atlantic Media/Siemens “State of the City”, Americans are generally happy with their local government and the services they receive. On average, per a Citylab report that covered the poll’s results, “Whether men or women, whether white, black, or Hispanic, in every region and locality, of any age or income group, respondents said that the government services they received were a decent value for the local taxes they paid.” Despite the results, however, most respondents were in favor of tax cuts and lesser spending. Additionally, the poll discovered major racial and demographic differences in spending. Read More.

2014 Green Book Announced by the GAO

Replacing the edition issued in November 1999, an update to the Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government ( 2014 Green Book ) has been issued by the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”). With more in-depth information than before, the 2014 Green Book retains the five components of internal control from previous versions and offers 17 new principles that detail management’s responsibilities to implement and manage an effective internal control system. The 2014 Green Book goes into effect starting fiscal year 2016 and will pertain to the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act reports from that year. Federal management can choose early adoption of. Read More.

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Performance-Based Budgeting Gaining Interest among States

Eleven states have begun adopting the performance-based budgeting method to distribute budget funds contingent on the measured success of some programs. Known as the “Results First Initiative,” the process calculates a program’s past performance to determine whether a specific budget item is worth the expense. While advocates believe the approach adds accountability and cost-outcome analysis to all state government levels, results so far have been mixed. Since accountability is weighed heavily in the process, success is also measured on compliance by state leaders and agencies when implementing the approach, as well as the projected economic conditions. According to a National. Read More.

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GASB Meeting Set for Monday

Planning to continue talks on lease accounting and Preliminary Views, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) will meet Monday afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. EST. Stated in its Notice of Meetings, the GASB will focus its lease accounting discussion on sale and leaseback accounting and financial reporting matters. In addition, board members will evaluate chapters of the pre-ballot draft of Preliminary Views, which is expected to be issued in November. To view the Notice of Meetings , visit the GASB website. Also take a moment to check out the Cherry Bekaert Government services industry page.


State Government Alliance Issues Report on Improving Operations

Hoping to enhance the proficiency of state governments, the Alliance to Transform State Government Operations (“the Alliance”) has released a report focusing on areas of potential transformation for such entities. Initially announced during a March summit, four areas the Alliance identified were human capital/workforce of the future; consolidation/optimization/rationalization; enterprise management; and business/data analytics and predictive analysis. After reviewing each focus area, and discussing both barriers and opportunities that can be addressed for operational changes, a framework of actions was created to carry out the transformation process. For the full report and press release , visit the National Association of State Chief Information. Read More.

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