January 25, 2013
Re: “User Friendly Budget” Update
As reported in our September 7 letter (http://www.njslom.org/letters/2012-0907-budget-reporting.html), on that date the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS)
published a Local Finance Notice (http://nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/2012-20.pdf) announcing its intent to require “user friendly budget” reporting this year. DLGS had been mandated to develop this tool by Chap. 63, P.L. 2007.
As you recall, we included, in that letter, a link to the draft spreadsheet. We also encouraged you and your finance team to review this new tool and to direct questions and suggestions for improvements to DLGS. We, further, asked that you copy us on any correspondence with DLGS on this.
On September 28, after reviewing the draft with local officials, municipal managers and members of the Governmental Finance Officers Association, we submitted comments to DLGS, wherein we raised technical concerns and questioned the volume of information required for completion of the form. We had previously expressed concerns about the cost and time involved in completing this report.
We informed you of these actions in our October 19 letter, which you can access at http://www.njslom.org/letters/2012-1019-budget-reporting.html.
The rule proposal on this topic was published by the Local Finance Board (LFB) in the December 17 edition of the New Jersey Register. (You can access the proposal at http://www.state.nj.us/dca/division/dlgs/resources/rules_docs/PRN_2012-182.pdf )
Comments on the proposal must be submitted to the LFB by February 15. At the conclusion of the comment period, the Local Finance Board can make amendments to the proposal or adopt it, as is. It will become effective when the notice of adoption is published in the next edition of the New Jersey Register.
We invite you to join the Working Group, which we have assembled to prepare comments and to recommend changes to the proposed rules. If you are interested in participating in this, or if you have any questions, please contact Senior Legislative Analyst Lori Buckelew at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481, ext. 112.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.