Annual Financial Reports Part of District Commitment to Transparency
Governments, businesses and the media have scrambled to build trust with constituents and customers who have become increasingly skeptical to the means and motives driving these organizations. Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD/District) has made transparency and community engagement a core business value and key component of its Mission Statement. Building trust requires this honesty and transparency, pulling the curtain back for customers and constituents to understand the processes that govern the District’s financial prudence.
LVMWD produces a series of financial reports every year to give a complete picture of District finances. These documents are more than just the tables and graphs; they are also an effective way to tell the District’s story. This story of the work, done every day in providing the highest quality, affordable and reliable drinking water and sanitation services, gives necessary context and critical transparency to the financial decisions and operational priorities defined by the annual budget.
This financial transparency begins when LVMWD staff produces the Draft Budget. Every two years, District staff begins preparation of the Draft Budget as part of a 6-month budgeting process to establish the next 2 fiscal years’ budgets. This Draft Budget is made available for public viewing and gives ratepayers an opportunity to weigh in during the budgetary process. The LVMWD Board of Directors approves the budget in June to take effect each July 1st.
With the start of the new fiscal year in July, the Budget in Brief is compiled by District Staff and then made available. This document provides a high-level, simple summary of the District's Annual Budget. It is designed to increase transparency by creating easy to-understand financial documents to stakeholders and customers.
The next financial document the District prepares is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This report goes beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare a comprehensive annual financial report that evidences the spirit of transparency and full disclosure. This document is prepared by the outside auditors LVMWD contracts with to assess the financial practices and standing of the District.
Finally, the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) is published. The PAFR extracts information from the District's CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) to produce a report specifically designed to be readily accessible and easily understandable to the general public and other interested parties without a background in public finance.
From a broader perspective though, these financial reports are part of the larger commitment LVMWD has to transparency. “When our ratepayers are informed and engaged we can better serve their needs and address their concerns,” Mike McNutt, Public Affairs and Communications Manager explained. “These financial reports give the communities we serve the knowledge they need to form attitudes and opinions on the direction the District is moving, and proof we are doing so in a financially responsible way.”
LVMWD Financial Reports can be found at LVMWD.com/Financial-Reports