TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – For the fourth consecutive year the City of Twin Falls has been recognized by a national group of finance officers for its budgeting practices.

The Government Finance Officers Association has awarded the city the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for fiscal year 2016. The first time the city received the award was in 2013.

“It’s basically a report card that tells how efficient the city’s fiscal budget really is,” said the city’s Chief Financial Officer Lorie Race.

Budget documents have to be rated "proficient" in four categories and 14 mandatory criteria in those categories to be considered for the award. The categories include how well the budget serves as a policy document; if it provides a sound financial plan for the fiscal period covered; how well it serves as an operations guide also for the selected period; and if it serves as a viable communications tool within the organization. Budgets submitted to the GFOA are reviewed by the group as well as a body of peers.

“It can be pretty extensive,” Race said, noting that the city learned a valuable lesson the first time it submitted its budget to the GFOA in 2012. It didn’t win any award then, but the city learned that it was important to have all of the budget documents in one place. The following year was different.

“We said we’re going to win this,” she said.

The city did – and it’s been recognized with an award every year since then.

Besides the city receiving the award, its budget team received a Certification of Recognition for “Budget Presentation.”

“It just means we’re taking our budget the extra mile,” Race said. “We want to make sure we’re using GFOA best practices. It really is an honor to take it to this level.”