City Finance Department honored with trio of professional awards

Just 21 local governments in Florida earned all three awards the city received

John Lege III. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota
John Lege III. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota’s Finance Department was honored recently by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada with three prestigious professional awards, the city has announced.

“Known as ‘The Trifecta,’ earning all three awards is the hallmark of excellence in the government finance realm,” a city news release says.

“Of the 400-plus municipalities, 67 counties and 67 [school districts] in the state of Florida, just 21 local governments earned all three awards and the City of Sarasota is one,” said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. “A small group of dedicated professionals comprise the Finance Department,” he added in the release. “Earning The Trifecta is a remarkable achievement and highlights the fact that the City’s finances are in capable, professional hands.”

The three awards are as follows:

  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting: preparation of comprehensive finance reports that exceed the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles. This is the 34th year the City of Sarasota has earned this award, the release points out.
  • Distinguished Budget Presentation Award: presenting complex government budgets in a high-quality manner that reflects best practices on budgeting; considers the budget as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device. This is the 25th year the City of Sarasota has earned this award, the release notes.
  • Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award: extracting information from the comprehensive annual financial report and presenting it in an easy-to-understand manner for the public, particularly for individuals who do not have a background in government finance. The City of Sarasota produced its first Popular Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2013, the release says; it has been honored with this award for two consecutive years.

“We appreciate the support we receive from all the departments throughout the city,” said Finance Director John Lege in the release. “The team is very excited about earning The Trifecta.”

A video celebrating the Finance Department’s achievement may be found at