Winston-Salem is one of just six winners nationwide of a 2009 Award for Excellence in Government Finance from the Government Finance Officers Association.
The city Finance Management Services Department was honored for an innovative arrangement that diversifies the investments for the various pension, benefit and investment funds the city maintains while allowing for centralized management and accounting of the funds.
The Master Trust and Investment Pool the city established essentially acts as an internal mutual fund, allowing the city to consolidate its reporting for multiple benefit plans while cutting the cost of custody and trust services.
The Awards for Excellence in Government Finance recognize contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management. The awards stress practical, documented work that offers leadership to the profession and promotes improved public finance.
Eight criteria are examined when considering an application for the award: local significance and value, technical significance, transferability, documentation, the cost/benefit analysis, efficiency, originality, and durability.
In its award citation, the association praised the city for providing easy-to-follow documentation for its Master Trust and Custody arrangement. The concept allows the fiduciary trusts to be set up for multiple benefit programs (pension, separation, post-employment benefits), while still allowing for centralized investment management, cash flow management, and accounting for the benefit programs.
The awards were announced during the associations annual conference in Seattle, Wash. The mission of the Government Finance Officers Association is to enhance and promote the professional management of governments for the public benefit by identifying and developing financial policies and practices and promoting them through education, training and leadership.
Government Finance Officers Association web site