The most important area of management is the ability to prepare and control the organization's budget. An organization's budget will reflect it's mission and how it will implement it's goals and objectives through the allocation of resources.
ROLE OF FISCAL MANAGEMENT
Traditional Approaches: "...The purpose of fiscal management is to handle and be responsible for all money matters (financial records, accounting, collections, protection, controls, investments, expenditures, conformance to laws and administrative directives, property inventories, debt services, and other items of value)" (Hjelte and Shivers, 1973).
Creative Approaches: In the new entrepreneurial park and recreation organizations, managers responsibilities have gone beyond the traditional ones and now include the responsibility of aggressively seeking out resources for the agency and exploiting them for the benefit of the agency, staff, and consumers.
BUDGET OPERATIONS: PRINCIPLES AND METHODS
Controlling costs through "fiscal management" allow both to continue meeting their purposes. The importance of efficient resource utilization cannot be over emphasized. The old adage that a "penny saved is a penny earned" continues to ring true. A background in business which includes budget and fiscal management is imperative for today's parks and recreation managers.
Budget: "...financial plan often including detailed income,
work and resource allocation plans for carrying out a program of activities in a
specific time period" (O'Sullivan, 1991).
Defining a Budget
A "budget" is a dynamic management tool. It should have flexibility to allow for new unforeseen needs or opportunities. A budget will:
Reflect the financial needs, resources (revenue & expense) and allocations for specific programs or departments.
Document how funds are spent and where revenues are realized.
Follow a standardized format for ease of comprehension by employees, managers and investors.
Provide a means for evaluating program and service goals and objectives.
Preparing A Budget
The parks and recreation professional who is developing a budget should follow the suggested steps listed below:
1) If your agency is using a Line Item or Object Classification budget get a copy of their budget line item/object classification definition sheet. This will allow the budgeter to define which category the needed expenditures fall in.
2) Obtain from your agency the standard budget sheet which has the line item or code numbers for each of the budget categories. This will allow the budgeter to place in the proper code system the monies that are to be allocated for that category. The example presented earlier should look very similar to the coded budget sheet.
3) Using a Budget Worksheet, determine how much money will be needed for each category. For example: you determine that you will need to develop six thousand brochures for your summer softball leagues. You have contacted the local printer and they have told you that the brochures will cost $800.00. Therefore, you find category 2000 which represents contractual services (the commercial printer). Then you find category 2300 which identifies printing, binding and advertising (the development of the brochures). You then find category 2310 which represents printing (that is what you are paying for). Then you add the fourth digit for the particular program 2311 (softball program). On the budget sheet it might look like this:
2311 Softball League Brochure(s) $800.00
2312 Basketball Tournament Brochure(s) $785.00
4) If you are having difficulty determining how much each category will cost, follow the suggestions below:
Use last year's budget if one exists so that a budget data base is available for comparison.
Contact other managers within your agency who might be able to assist (personnel manager should be able to help you determine accurate personnel costs).
Contact outside groups that might be able to provide you with specific cost estimates (i.e. telephone company, power and light company, etc.).
Contact as many specific groups as possible that your agency will be doing business with to get estimates for costs (i.e. printer for brochures, etc.)
Types of Budgets, Formats and Processes
The two primary types of budget are operating and capital.
Operating & Maintenance (O & M): a type of budget used to help the manager operate the parks and recreation program. All budgets other than Capital Budgets are operating
budgets. It contains detailed statements of all
administrative costs (personnel salaries, office rentals, maintenance,
equipment, or insurance etc.) required to operate the department usually
for one year. Budgets are based on a fiscal or a calendar year. A fiscal
year is normally July 1 to June 30. In some cities, budgets may be set up
for a two-year period.
Capital: is utilized for long-range, high-cost, and long-term budget items such as new buildings, vehicles, major facility renovations etc. It is a separate document that includes plans and proposed expenditures for carrying out major purchases and construction projects of a substantial and long-term nature. These would include the purchase of heavy equipment, vehicles, land purchases and/or the purchase or construction of new facilities (golf courses, intergenerational centers etc). They might include major retrofit/renovation projects but not routine maintenance expenses.
Types of Operating Budgets
There are several different types of operating budget formats used. The following are the most common in park and recreation agencies.
Line Item: a budget format
Object Classification: a budget format
Program: a budget format.
Zero Based: a budget process, one that requires each line item to be evaluated each year.
Line Item Budget
The most common budget type is the Line Item Budget. The Line Item Budget is similar to the Object Classification Budget in nature. The only difference is that the Object Classification Budget uses a coding system to identify each line item.
The Line Item Budget uses two terms which, like the Object Classification Budget need to be defined:
Item: This represents the specific item or object for which monies will need to be allocated, such as postage or equipment purchases.
Line: This represents the process of placing the items or objects in a line so that all items appear on the budget sheet.
The major difference between the Line Item Budget and the Object Classification System is:
1 . The Line Item Budget does not use any numerical coding system, and
2. The Line Item Budget does not have specific and set categories that all items or objects are classified into.
The Line Item Budget is very easy to prepare.
Sample: Line Item Budget
Object Classification Budget
The Object Classification Budget is easy to develop and simple to understand. It is a Line Item Budget with coding to identify each line item.
The Object Classification budget terms:
1. Object: This represents the item that the administrator has a financial cost for, such as telephone bills or salaries for the staff members.
2. Classifications: This represents a uniform method of classifying or grouping the objects into certain categories, such as services, contractual, or repairs.
3. Sub-classes: Sub-classes provide detail for the main classifications.
Sample: Object Classification Budget
The budget formats described above are all classified as operating budgets, that is, they are used to help the administrator operate the parks and recreation programs. A different type of budget is the Capital Budget which is utilized for long range and long term budget items. These items go beyond the current year's expenditures required to operate the program and include such things as land acquisition, construction of major public works such as buildings, streets, bridges, sewer systems, off-street parking, and utilities.
The three main distinguishing elements that exist between a Capital Budget and an Operating Budget are:
1. Long Term Basis: The Capital Budget is not concerned with purchases that are needed just, for the current situation but over a long period of time.
2. Non-Annual Analyzation: The Capital Budget is usually approved once and will last a range of six to ten years with payments occurring during that period.
3. Adoption: The Capital Budget is usually adopted and executed separately and differently than an Operating Budget.
The purposes of a Capital Budget are:
1. To purchase large items that may require several years to purchase.
2. To prevent artificial inflation of an operational budget by including a one time large payment for a capital item.
3 . To allow long range decisions to be made separate from the day to day decisions.
4. To protect the fiscal authority from loosing track of large sums of money in a day to day operating budget style..
To perform or execute a Capital Budget the following steps should be followed:
1. Determine from the parks and recreation agency what is considered a capital budget item. Each agency will define a capital budget item based on cost. Some agencies consider any one time purchase of over $500.00 a capital item with all purchases under that figure to be non-capital while other agencies define capital budget items as high as $10,000.00.
2 . Prepare a cost estimate of the capital budget item by receiving at least three estimates for the cost of the item (equipment, land, etc.'.
3. Prepare a narrative justification for the need for the capital item explaining purpose, needs, long range savings, alternatives and cost estimates. Remember, capital expenditure items will be required of most parks and recreation programs. The need for these items may occur with no warning as when the filtration system in the swimming pool becomes non-functional, or it may be planned for as in the acquisition and development of a new park area. Generally, capital items are purchases which are expensive, usually one time purchase items, are purchased for future intent and are not required for the day-to-day operation of the program.
Sample: Capital Budget
Classification by Fund
Revenues or expenditures may be classified according to the type of fund which is designated within the organization's overall fiscal structure. Examples of these types:
Special revenue fund. This type of fund accounts for the proceeds of specific designated revenue sources (other than special assignments) or to finance specified activities as required by law or administrative regulation;
Debt service. This type of fund accounts for the payment of interest and principal on long-term debt other than special assessment and revenue bonds;
Capital project. These funds account for the receipt and disbursement of monies used for the purchase of capital facilities other than those financed by special assessment and by enterprise fund;
Enterprise. These funds account for the financing of services to the general public where all or most of the costs involved are paid in the form of fees and charges by the users of such services (examples are shooting ranges, golf courses or skating rinks);
Intragovernmental service. These funds account for the financing of special activities and services performed by the designated organization unit within a governmental jurisdiction for other organization units within the same governmental jurisdiction.
The Object Classification Budget and the Line Item Budget are strong from a standardization and organizational viewpoint. The major drawback of these two budget formats is that they don't show or explain what the financed program looks like, its value, purpose, and meaningfulness to the participants. It is very difficult to look at a long list of categories consisting of numbers and be able to determine the intent of the program. The Program Budget allows the manger to review the costs associated with individual activities, programs, or events.
The Program Budget identifies individual activities, programs, or events, isolates that work and presents and describes that work in a clear narrative fashion so that the budgeting authority who makes allocation decisions will have a fuller understanding of the dimensions of the program. The Program Budget is distinct from other budgets by the following characteristics:
1 . The Program Budget describes the agency's goals and objectives in very specific terms.
2. The Program Budget identifies what programs will reach the agency's goals and also provides a: description of alternatives to the program.
3. The Program Budget identifies unique characteristics about the programs that will meet the agency's objectives and goals.
4. The Program Budget details possible outcomes or values that flow from the suggested program.
5. The Program Budget develops the costs for providing the suggested program.
Sample: Program Budget
THE BUDGET PROCESS
The three stages of a budget process are:
presentation and authorization
Once a budget is prepared it is reviewed for accuracy and how well it reflects the mission of the agency and how well it matches with projected revenues. Budgets may be reviewed using one of the following approaches.
This is a budgeting method that consists of adding or subtracting a given percentage of the current budget in making up the new budget proposal, usually based on an administrative decision, or on projected growth or de- cline in agency operations for the period ahead. Each element in the budget is then subjected more or less uniformly to this percentage-based addition or reduction in funding, although there can be a measure of flexibility in its application.
Zero Based Budget
The Zero-Based Budgeting process varies from the traditional budget preparation methods in a fundamental way. The traditional methods of budgeting provide little opportunity to systematically analyze the priorities and results of the funded program. The Zero-Based Budget method aims to overcome this by subjecting all proposed activities and expenditures to an intensive review which is usually only required of new programs. In essence, as the new fiscal year arrives, the agency or department has no money and the manager must justify all expenditures for the current year. The purpose of this budget style is to bring rapidly increasing budgets under control. The manager who is required to utilize this budget method will need to review the agency's programs relative to their desirability and need for the service, the beneficiaries of the service, the reasonableness of the proposed costs, potential future implications and the availability of funds.
The Zero-Based Budgeting System is a sophisticated management tool which provides a systematic method of reviewing and evaluating all operations of the organization, current or proposed, allows for budget- reductions and expansions in a planned, rational manner, and encourages the reallocation of resources from low to high priority. This system consists of following four steps which are described in detail in this section.
The Zero-Based Budgeting System:
1. Requires all programs to justify their existence before monies are allocated.
2 . Prevents a continuous increase in dollars to programs even if the program has fulfilled its purpose.
3. Provides for a systematic method of reducing budgets
This is a somewhat similar approach that seeks to determine the value of different agency programs or services and the priority that should be assigned to them by balancing their fiscal costs against their benefits (outcomes). Cost-benefit analysis can be used to:
make comparisons between facilities and program units;
assign priorities to specific programs and services;
create goals and guidelines for management decision making and resource allocation;
promote continual evaluation of agency objectives and procedures;
provide data for justifying budget requests;
identify high- and low-cost programs and services as related to maintenance, administration, and direct leadership costs per participant-hour of service rendered; and
provide data for policy formulation and
SOURCES OF LEISURE-SERVICE FUNDS
Taxes: Local taxes represent the most common funding mechanism for public park and recreation departments. There are four major categories of taxes.
General taxes: These are local real estate or property taxes.
Special taxes: These are usually taxes on liquor, amusement admissions, or lodging.
Millage taxes: A form of property tax, but the revenue is dedicated to a specific fund or purpose.
Special Assessment tax: A tax on individuals or businesses that may gain form some community improvement, such as new roads, utilities or park and recreation development.
Federal Funding Sources
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): Funds for capital improvements. The CDBG Program represents a fairly reliable source of funding for select park and recreation capital improvement projects.
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LAWCF): Funds for park land and development. A 50/50 matching fund. Congress has not adequately funded this program for the past decade.
SAFETEA: The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was enacted August 10, 2005, as Public Law 109-59. TEA-21 authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 5-year period 2005-2009. The reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which expired on September 30, 2003. TEA-21 was enacted on June 9, 1998, P.L. 105-178, and authorizes the Federal surface transportation program for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 6-year period from 1998-2003.
State Funding Sources
Arizona Heritage Fund
This is a 50/50 matching fund. As a guideline for funding, the Arizona Heritage Fund Historic Preservation five-year Plan was drafted to assist the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee in making awards from the historic preservation component of the fund. This document is outlined in the 1994 SCORP (Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan). The program funds projects based on their inherent historic preservation needs and merits. In addition, the fund looks at the following factors:
1) Will the project further the preservation movement by its high visibility?
2) Will the project foster pride in the community?
3) Will the project beautify the community?
4) Will the project eliminate hazardous conditions?
5) Will the project create permanent jobs? The Arizona Heritage Fund should be a reliable source of preservation funding as long as the State maintains the availability of funds.
State Lake Improvement Fund
During the past twenty years, the State Lake Improvement Fund (SLIF) Program has evolved under the auspices of the initial SLIF plan completed in 1973. In 1990, the AORCC directed staff to review the SLIF program, its past performance and its impact to date. The resulting report was the 1992 State Lake Improvement Fund Futures Assessment. The assessment studied those issues related to boating in Arizona. In general, priority projects are those which satisfy the needs of statewide significance. The Triennial Watercraft Survey is used to determine what are priority facilities. Participants are encouraged to
develop project applications that are based on coordinated long-range planning efforts that address local needs, conditions and priorities. A complete description of the funding considerations are available in the 1994 SCORP (Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan). The SLIF should be a reliable source of funding for water based recreation.
Local Funding Sources
Bed, Board and Booze Tax
The BBB Tax dollar spending has historically been split between Economic Development, Beautification, Tourism, and the General Tax Fund. Commencing with 1996 the fund was reallocated by the City Council to provide 33 percent of annual revenues for Parks and Recreation. Since 1989 the BBB tax dollars have produced over three million dollars in funding for community improvements, art and science projects, special events, urban trails and park and recreation projects. With the projected growth in tourism, the funds should continue to be a viable source of revenue for various park and recreation improvements. It is estimated that approximately $1.5 million per year will be available, with a total of $21 million over the
proposed 15 year life of the tax.
Major park and recreation infrastructure improvements may be funded either on a long-term pay out or a pay-as-you-go basis. Under the first option, major capital improvements to the park and recreation system are financed with either general obligation bonds, revenue bonds or limited tax notes. General Obligation Bonds are those types of cash-raising instruments in which the payment on interest and principal is drawn from the general tax revenues of the municipality. There are several types of bonds that vary according to the method established by state law which determines the method of debt retirement.
Term Bonds. With a term bond the City would agree to pay off the entire principal at the end of a specified period of time. This is done through the use of a sinking fund. A sinking fund requires an annual amount of money to be set aside until the amount of the bond retirement payment is reached.
Callable Bonds. Callable bonds are a special type of bond issuance in which the government entity has the option to call in the bond for payment at a specified time before the end of its term, or at any time the City chooses. Because of fluctuations in the municipal bond interest rates, issuers of callable bonds may call higher interest rate bonds in and reissue the bonds at lower interest rates according to the present state of the market.
Serial Bonds. With serial bonds the City pays the bond purchaser a specified portion of the principal plus interest each year that the bond is in effect. Under this method the face value of the bond is reduced by a certain percentage each year. This is done in equal payments similar to making a car payment or house payment.
Revenue or Assessment Bonds. Revenue or Assessment Bonds are those bonds where the funds are derived from special assessments or fees levied on those who use the facility. Park and recreation facilities typically financed with revenue bonds are golf courses, marinas, stadiums, sports complexes and cultural centers.
With these types of bonds, the city must secure a municipal bond rating. Bond packages using these methods of financing must be approved by voters before the city can sell the bonds. Voter's are usually concerned about the nature of the bond repayment schedule and how much their property taxes could increase during the repayment period of the bonds.
Calling a bond election entails certain political considerations. These must be looked at in the context of recent bond elections, scheduled bond elections, and possible future bond elections. A proposed bond issue should clearly respond to priorities as outlined in the cost projection. A city should update this information by conducting a separate, detailed public opinion survey on a recreation bond.
Limited Tax Notes. This is a method of selling general revenue bonds by the city that does not require a vote of the people. Certificates of obligation are used in those instances where the city determines that the urgency of the infrastructure need cannot be placed at risk by the potential capricious or fickle nature of the electorate. Typically Certificates of Obligation would be used to make major emergency improvements in park and recreation areas such as the replacement of defective playground equipment, ADA compliance issues, and removal of hazardous trees or buildings.
The Arizona State Statues provides authority for the establishment of a park and recreation district. Historically, the provision has been viewed as a governmental function of incorporated towns, villages and cities. Some argue that park and recreation districts are advantageous to certain cities for accomplishing the following: 1) Shaping the boundaries of the park and recreation district to embrace all of the fringe open lands, 2) Enlarging the tax base, 3) Permitting greater operational flexibility, thereby permitting the park and recreation district to enter into agreements with other special purpose districts such as independent school districts, water supply districts, drainage districts and conservation districts, and 4) Setting, within the limits set by law, the tax rate for the district, which may include commercial and industrial property currently not within the city limits.
Joint Service Authorities
Joint service authorities combine aspects of special improvement districts and intergovernmental agreements. Unlike special improvement districts, legislation to establish jurisdictional and taxing authority may not be required. Agreements establishing areas of responsibility and levels of funding are sufficient to establish joint service authorities.
One of the most frequently used approaches to generate funding for community parks and recreation is the area of partnerships and sponsorships. Partnerships are a method whereby the City joins in a partnership with a private company, another public agency, a not-for-profit organization or simply a group of citizens, for the purpose of providing the resources necessary to deliver a needed park and recreation service. Partnerships permit something to happen, which if left to the individual resources would not be possible because neither of the partners could have done it alone.
Sponsorships are situations where an outside entity, such as a large company, that agrees to assume the annual maintenance costs of a particular community park or to sponsor summer concerts in the parks. Another possibility would be to sponsor softball teams for those children whose parents cannot afford to pay the assessments required for uniforms, umpires, and insurance.
Historically, grant writers were employed full-time by many City governments. Their job was to identify sources of grant funding for park development, improvements, or special recreation programs. At this time, most federal grants that provided federal tax funds back to the states for parks are gone. This also includes programs such as Land and Water Conservation Fund and UPAR, Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program. The financial burden has been shifted back to the states and cities.
Private companies, trusts and foundations usually distribute their money to a community, based on their review of grant applications. This will require the identification of pressing park and recreation needs, as well as justification of the public benefits to be accrued to the community as a result of receiving the grant moneys requested. Typically, it is the responsibility of City staff, Parks and Recreation, and City Council to steer the grant writing and lobby for approval.
The partnerships are strongly encouraged. The City should identify specific parks and facilities that can be either enhanced or initiated only with private sector sponsorship. It then should begin the process of approaching each local and/or national company in Flagstaff with a case statement in support of the particular grant. The needs and deficiencies identified in this plan should help establish the magnitude of the positive impact that these companies can have on improving the quality of life within Flagstaff.
Sample: Grant Application
The City could pursue a formal partnership with other government entities for joint development and use of park and recreation facilities. Such a joint-use agreement would have a priority-use provision, an indemnification of liability provision, and a damage maintenance and operations provision. The latter includes items such as utilities, grounds maintenance, and a pro-rata share of parking lot maintenance, as well as facilities such as bleachers, fences, and external restrooms. The city currently partners with
FUSD on operation of pools at Flagstaff High School and Mount Elden Middle School, as well as use and maintenance of school athletic fields. In addition to the joint use of athletic facilities and campus grounds, it may be possible to work out individual agreements for the use of various facilities for community recreation programs. Similar agreements might be considered for afternoon and evening use of school gymnasiums.
Components of a Grant Proposal
Grants: Many organizations rely heavily on grants from private foundations or companies. The grants vary widely in the types of programs funded. Major components of a Grand Proposal.
Sample: Grant Application
Other Funding Sources
special purpose foundations: focus is on a special charitable purpose.
company-sponsored foundation: focus on a wide range of societal issues and interests.
community foundations: focus is on a specific community or regional area.
family foundations: broad range of interests and financial support.
Fees and Charges
Most recreation agencies are increasingly relying on generating revenue through fees and charges to supplement their budget, unless they are a commercial agency which has to generate its entire budget from this type of income source.
Types of Fees and Charges
Entrance Fees: to enter large parks, zoos or water parks.
Admission Fee: to enter buildings offering exhibits or performances.
Rental Fee: use of property such as boats, skates, etc.
User Fee: charges for participating in a recreation program such as youth soccer.
License and Permit Fee: fees paid for camping, hunting or fishing.
Special Service Fee: charges for workshops or clinics.
Concessions: granting authority to private individuals or businesses to sell merchandise or services in parks, stadiums or other publicly owned facilities (boat rentals
Gifts and Bequests: donations by individuals or businesses.
Gifts Catalog: Agency develops a catalog of items needed and distributes this catalog to potential donors. Items should vary in cost from inexpensive (trash can) to expensive (new lawn tractor).
Adopt-a-Park: Used to reduce staff maintenance hours. have a local individual or community group take over routine maintenance tasks.
Friends Association: Helping to organize (municipal, state or federal) agency supporters to create a non-profit corporation (501 (c) (3) to collect tax deductible donations or resources which they give to the agency. This allows these governmental agencies to benefit from private foundation funding that is not directly available to them. If you operate a state park, a "Friends" association can apply for grant monies to provided needed equipment for your park.
Pricing Strategies vary with the product or service and the
pricing philosophy. Below are some of the more common pricing strategies.
Markup Pricing: simplest and most popular. A fixed dollar or percentage amount is added to the cost of the product/service. Cost is $10 with a 200 percent markup = $30.00
Price Skimming: Set a high initial price for a new product or service than gradually reduce it as the market becomes more competitive.
Price Penetration: Sets a price below cost in order to capture customers away from competitors then raise the price at a later time.
Going-Rate Pricing: simply matches the price of your competitors and competes on non-price variables.
Price Fencing; logical rules and restrictions which allow customers to segment themselves based upon their need and willingness to pay (airlines).
BUDGET EXECUTION: ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING
Once a budget has been established it is critical that the manager ensure that line item expenses stay within the budgeted amounts. This is usually accomplished through:
Petty cash (item costing less than $100 may be purchased without using approved suppliers or going out to bid) Approved Suppliers are used for item that cost between $100 and $1,000 (dollar amounts vary by agencies).
Going out to Bid: Usually items costing more than $1,000 have to go out to bid, with a minimum of three bids obtained. The lowest bidder is usually awarded the contract, unless a specific reason can be offered for using a higher bid.
Purchase orders are used as a cost control procedure. A purchase order is filled out by the employee wishing to order supplies or materials, the PO must have an account number (line item) to which the cost of the purchase will be charged.
Sample: Purchase Order Form
Cost Accounting: Cost accounting is the process of
recording financial expenditures so that they are keyed to work performed or
services rendered. It is a way of following up on program or performance
budgets. It involves keeping separate accounts for each function within a
department, such as administration, facilities, or special services. Cost
accounting is useful in the following ways:
1. It facilitates and promotes evaluation of departmental efficiency.
2. It is used to evaluate personnel performance.
3. It helps determining the feasibility of constructing facilities through the agency's own labor force or on an outside contractual basis.
4. It is helps determine the proper balance among different phases of departmental operation.
Accrual Accounting: This accounting system where all encumbrances, or charges, against specified accounts are shown on reports of expenditures. Computerized systems provide weekly or monthly reports showing total amounts authorized in each section of a budget, the amounts spent to date, and the balance remaining.
Balance Sheets: These are reports showing assets and
liabilities in a given fund or budget. They illustrate the financial status of a
department and its ability to finance future expenditures, particularly with
respect to capital development or major rehabilitation or refurbishment
Auditing: Is an important related accounting process, which is concerned with verifying and confirming the validity of fiscal transactions and determining whether they were appropriately carried out and accurately recorded. There are two kinds of audits:
(1) internal, or concurrent, which involve daily checking by staff members before ,payments are made; and (2) external, or post audits, which are generally made by an outside inspector (a separate agency of government or accounting firm) at regular intervals.
A majority of all public, private, and non-profit agencies publish an annual report. The annual report can be a comprehensive compilation of the year's programs or a more general public relations communication tool. All annual reports follow a similar content:
agency name, address and board of directors and staff directory
official greeting from the Director or Board Chairperson
table of contents
description of physical resources and facilities, new acquisitions or maintenance projects completed during the year or any new or particularly successful programs or activities.
attendance figures for program participation.
Sample Annual Reports:
Coeur d'Alene Parks and Recreation Department Annual Report
National Association for Down Syndrome 1998 Annual Report (requires Adobe Reader)
Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department Annual Report
CONTRACTING RECREATION SERVICES
Most Common Contract Categories
purchase of equipment
purchase of service
Budget Savings: savings most likely for a service previously offered in house (i.e. garbage collection, golf course operation, bookkeeping)
Factors Affecting Contract Costs
size of service area
pop density and contiguity
availability of alternative suppliers
level of service demanded by community
prevailing wage rates
Private Contractor Advantages
lower personnel costs (lower wages fewer benefits)
fewer regulations (other revenue options beer sales)
greater flexibility (does not have underutilized workforce)
economies of scale (spread capital costs over several jobs)
Productivity - personnel costs are up to 75% of park staff
40% of personnel time is lost (20% mgmt fault)
absentee rates lower for private contractor
contracting encourages fraud in government
reduce potential with open competitive bidding
require a certified payroll
require prevailing wages be paid
require workman's compensation
Developing the Contract and Specifications
Agency must develop a realistic and reasonable contract agreement, accompanied by clear and enforceable specifications.
Elements of a Valid Contract
an offer and acceptance: a promise to pay; offer may be withdrawn at any time; or rejected; terminated by lapse of time or special condition. An act of assenting by word or conduct is acceptance; interest or promise or silence is not acceptance.
consideration (payment): not always money but an exchange of values.
capacity -to contract: ability to enter into a binding agreement. insanity, diminished capacity, convicted felon while in prison and minors do not have the capacity to contract.
purpose must be legal: a party to an illegal act cannot ask the law to enforce the terms. acts contrary to common law; acts opposed to the welfare and security of the public (stolen goods).
valid: meets all legal requirements
void: not enforceable from the beginning (selling property that is not yours)
voidable: contract contains contestable features but is otherwise legal. Contracts with fraud or minors.
Content of a Contract
terms of the agreement
identification of the subject matter
statement of consideration promised
names & identification of persons obligated
signatures of the participants to the contract
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