POPULAR ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT GIVES USER-FRIENDLY VIEW OF CITY’S FINANCES
Today, the City of New Bern debuted its first-ever Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), designed to give the public an overview of the City’s finances. The report was presented by City Manager Foster Hughes at the Tuesday, January 24th, Board of Aldermen meeting.
The report is 24 pages long and gives an overview of the city’s finances for the fiscal year 2021-2022, as well as some of the goals, objectives, and accomplishments of the various departments. It begins with a message from the city manager and a list of the contents of the report, including an organizational chart, governmental and business activities, property taxes, debts, grant funded initiatives, and more. A map of the city’s six wards and photos of the mayor and aldermen lead the reader into a history of New Bern, demographic information, and the City’s national accreditation achievements.
“The Citizens Annual Financial Report is not an audited document, which gave staff some freedom in presenting financial terms and concepts in an way that is easy to understand,” said Mr. Hughes. “We hope this helps break down detailed financial data and provide transparency into how the City uses taxpayer and federal funding.”
The Government Activities section begins with an outline of assets and liabilities. From there, the report features a more detailed look at the General Fund, revenues, and expenditures, and dives in to the structure and budgets of some of the largest city departments. Throughout the report, look for the bear “Paws of Interest” for QR codes to additional content, definitions of financial terms, and tidbits of info about city programs and services. Finance staff also created visual charts throughout the document, illustrating how money was spent and where funding came from.
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) established the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Awards Program (PAFR Program) in 1991. The purpose of the PAFR Program is to encourage and assist state and local governments to extract information from their annual comprehensive financial report to produce high quality financial reports specifically designed to be accessible and easily understandable to the public and other interested parties who may not have a background in public finance, and then to recognize individual governments that are successful in achieving that goal.
New Bern’s PAFR is featured on the City website within the Finance department. Click this link to read or download it.