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City of Surrey Praised for Budget Reporting

April 26, 2012

Surrey – The C.D. Howe Institute has given the City of Surrey an ‘A’ in budget reporting, according to a study titled: Holding Canada’s Cities to Account: An Assessment of Municipal Fiscal Management. Mayor Dianne Watts spoke about the report and the importance of being open and accountable at this week’s Council meeting.

The report analyzes budget clarity in major cities across Canada and suggests that cities should create clearer, more consistent budgets in order to improve financial management. According to the report, “the picture is not uniformly bleak, however. Surrey, British Columbia, and Markham and London in Ontario, for example, currently present budgets and financial results so that elected representatives and taxpayers can easily understand the full costs of municipal spending promises.”

“We are committed to being open and accountable. It’s important that our budgets are organized and presented in an easy to understand manner so that residents, businesses and other organizations have a full understanding of our financial picture,” says Mayor Dianne Watts.

In the report scorecard, the City of Surrey received an ‘A’ grade for good budgeting practices and researchers found that Surrey was unique in having taken measures to report budgets on the same accounting basis as their year-end financial statements.

“We are pleased to once again be recognized for our commitment and effort to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to provide full disclosure in our financial statements,” says Councillor Tom Gill, Chair of the Finance Committee.

The City of Surrey has also won the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting 15 years in a row for excellence in governmental accounting and financial reporting. The award is presented by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) to organizations who demonstrate full disclosure in their annual financial report.

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor