Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Since 2010, the level of financial activity has increased significantly due to increased funding through grants, bonds, and loans used for disaster recovery and new capital expenditures. Although the parish has been successful at managing the additional documentation requirements, a new nformation technology system with a uniform system for financial and program accountability was recommended by parish auditors. Additionally, a new system was recommended to help manage the parish's fuel consumption across departments.
In response to the recommendations, the Council approved an agreement with New Era Technologies for $39,000 to help assess the current financial/accounting procedures and prepare specifications for a software system to meet the parish’s needs. New Era Technologies will review the current financial operations, business processes, and systems with all departments that integrate with the existing financial system, prior to finalizing the specifications and Request for Proposals to advertise for the system. The Finance Department expects to implement the system and receive training within six months of execution of this contract.
The Council also authorized an agreement with Leblanc and Theriot Equipment Company, Inc. of Metairie in the amount of $41,978, as the low bidder for the fuel management system. The system will be used to manage, track, and control fuel consumption and costs for parish vehicles and equipment.
During the regular council meeting, The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Immediate Past President, Beverly Hodges, presented the Finance Department with the 2015 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the second consecutive year. The award represents a significant achievement by the parish and reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, St. John the Baptist Parish satisfied nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation which include a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device. All four categories and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories were rated “proficient”. “I accept this award on behalf of the Finance Department,” said Chief Financial Officer, Vince Lucia. “I appreciate the work of my staff as well as all departments that have worked diligently to put together this document,” he added.