CS achieves top level for financial transparency

transparencyBy Cheryl Wright, Accounting and Treasury Operations Manager

The City of College Station’s Fiscal Services Department recently earned the distinction of becoming a platinum member of the Texas Comptroller’s Leadership Circle.

We’ve been honored in recent years with a pair of Gold Awards, but only nine of 46 cities with populations of at least 75,000 are platinum members. Before you start thinking this is boring accounting stuff and wondering why you should care, let me explain.

This distinction means the City of College Station has achieved the highest level of online financial transparency when it comes to spending your hard-earned tax dollars.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs launched the Leadership Circle program in 2009. The program recognizes local governments that focus on giving taxpayers a transparent look at local expenditures by opening their books, providing clear pictures of spending, and sharing information in user-friendly formats.

ApprovedAnnualBudget_13-14[1] 1Why College Station was recognized

In recent years, a financial transparency page has been developed on the city website where you can find a check register, stimulus grant funding, budget documents and financial reports. Online offerings include 13 years of city budgets, 14 years of Certified Annual Financial Reports, 10 years of capital improvement budgets and a summary of our outstanding debt.

The check register includes payments to vendors for goods and services, payments to agencies with contractual terms and conditions, travel reimbursements to employees, and refunds for deposits on utilities, facilities rentals, etc.

The register doesn’t include payroll checks and excludes checks that might provide protected privacy information, such as child support and deferred compensation.

“Your efforts to provide citizens with clear, consistent pictures of spending and share information in a user-friendly format have paved the way for achieving great financial transparency.” Combs wrote on the membership certificate.

Check out our financial transparency page and let us know what you think.

About the Author
Accounting and Treasury Operations Manager Cheryl Wright is in her eighth year with the city.