City of Nixa Earns Awards for Financial Reporting and Procurement Practices

City of Nixa Earns Awards for Financial Reporting and Procurement Practices

March 30, 2023

March 2023 Finance Team

The City of Nixa has recently earned three different awards related to financial reporting and professional procurement practices.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) announced in a press release dated 3/10/2023 that it has awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Nixa for its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the [awards] program which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate [the city’s] financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The City of Nixa has earned this award each year beginning with the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, making this the city’s 7th consecutive award.

In a separate but related award from the GFOA, announced in a press release dated 3/20/2023, the City of Nixa also earned the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR Award) for the city’s Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. This award also represents a significant achievement by the city. In order to be eligible for the PAFR Award, a government must first earn the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the same fiscal year. The PAFR is a brief overview of the city’s ACFR and is evaluated based on the following categories: reader appeal, understandability, distribution methods, creativity and other elements. The City of Nixa first earned this award for its PAFR for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, making this the city’s 2nd consecutive award. The City’s finance department had not earned this award before the current Director of Finance, Jennifer Evans, had joined the city and prioritized the creation of a PAFR document annually to be a companion to the city’s ACFR. The City’s 5-year Strategic Plan adopted in 2020 included a specific action plan related to creating a PAFR to help the city achieve greater financial transparency.

The PAFR must convey the same data as is available in the ACFR, but it serves as an introduction to municipal finance by presenting fewer data categories in a more digestible and easier-to-understand manner so the average user can gain a basic understanding of the city’s financial position. Printed copies of the PAFR are available to the public at Nixa City Hall and have been distributed at public events.

Separately, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Missouri (ACEC Missouri), has honored the City of Nixa with its Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) Award for Professional Procurement Practices. The QBS Award recognizes governments which effectively use Qualifications Based Selections methods to select the professional services of consulting engineers at the state and local level. In order to achieve this, the City’s Purchasing Department forms an Evaluation Committee during the competitive bidding process for engineering contracts with the City. The Evaluation Committee assesses statements of qualifications based on the Evaluation Criteria stated within the bid process. Each committee member ranks firms individually. The top firm is contacted and negotiations commence on price and contract terms until an agreement is reached. If an agreement is not reached with the top firm then the second highest ranked firm shall be contacted and so on through the list until an agreement is reached and a firm is awarded the contract. Once negotiations have been terminated with a firm and new negotiations begun with the next, the City does not go back to any prior firm to restart negotiations. The city’s policies and procedures are recognized for this award, as is the city’s Purchasing Manager, Stephanie Ewing, who ensures this process is properly followed each time a contract needs to be established for engineering services.

“Fair purchasing policies and financial reporting are two very important aspects of Nixa’s goals for government transparency and fiscal responsibility,” says City Administrator Jimmy Liles. “The City continues to prioritize these values through its Strategic Plan and takes great pride in earning each of these three awards. We are committed to being responsible with and accountable for each taxpayer dollar. I am very proud of our Finance Department and the dedication they exhibit in accounting practices, producing financial reports, and ensuring our purchasing and other financial policies represent the best practices and highest standards.”