Housing Authority Receives National Award for Distinguished Budget

Photo 1: [L to R] Vice Chairman Francisco Ortega, Commissioner Eileen Karlsruher, Interim CFO Hanna Sarah, Sr. Finance Manager Galaxie Rodriguez, Chairman Burt Blacksher, Commissioners Yadira Beltran and Anna Perez (respectively) and HACEP CEO Gerald W. Cichon.
The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, TX (HACEP) received national recognition for its 2017 fiscal year budget. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) officially announced that HACEP received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

“The intricacies of managing any housing authority’s budget is a very arduous and complicate process,” shares HACEP Chief Executive Officer Gerald W. Cichon. “And when you take into consideration the portfolio-wide conversion and revitalization effort we are taking on, this national award exemplifies how hard our financial team is working to ensure our fiscal responsibility to the tax payer is held to highest standard possible.”

This marks the fourth year the agency has received this national honor, which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental budgeting.

This significant accomplishment was made possible by the HACEP Financial Management Team, who was also presented with a GFOA Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation.

To receive the award, HACEP had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for an effective budget presentation. The agency rated “proficient,” the highest rating, in all four areas that a budget should function as for any entity: a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

There are 14 criteria in each category used to measure the effectiveness and competency of the budget.

“We began competing for this award four years ago with our 2014 budget and so far we are undefeated,” states interim CFO Hanna Sarah. “Every year we become better at what we do – providing better housing, becoming more efficient, and ensuring our financial accountability to the tax payers.”

HACEP’s Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Burt Blacksher presented the national award to interim CFO Hanna Sarah and Senior Finance Manager Galaxie Rodriguez, who helped lead the team on producing the award-winning budget presentation.

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