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Chair's Column
By Robert Kravchuk

I am thankful for the opportunity this year to be of service as Chair of ABFM. This organization means a great deal to me personally and professionally, especially its members, their friendship and their shared dedication to advancing our field.
Much of the credit for our success as an organization this year goes to our incoming Chair Carolyn Bourdeaux, Treasurer Deborah Carroll, Secretariat Meagan Jordan, the Executive Committee and the countless individuals who contribute their time in service to our organization by organizing our annual conference, evaluating nominations for annual awards and serving on the Editorial Board and as reviewers for Public Budgeting & Finance.
I'm continually impressed with the quality and diversity of studies undertaken by students, faculty, researchers and practitioners, evaluating all levels of government and nonprofit organization from critical fiscal perspectives. As our combined body of research grows, we increase the ability for our work to meaningfully and constructively influence the business of governing, improving the service and ensuring the freedoms of our fellow citizens.
I look forward to accomplishments Carolyn, Dan Smith, Bryan Sullivan, Deborah, Meagan and the rest of our Executive Committee put into motion for the coming year. I am excited about our annual conference next year heading west to Seattle, and I look forward to learning and discovering the endeavors of fellow members, including those I will meet and become acquainted with for the first time.
Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!
Message from Our Incoming Chair
By Carolyn Bourdeaux

Friends... Happy end of semester (for many of you) and happy holidays to all. We’re looking forward to a great year for ABFM in 2016. In the new year, we will kick off intensive planning for the conference in Seattle. As you have ideas for panels or plenaries, please send them to Dan Smith, who will be our 2016 conference chair.

I’m also pleased to report that Bryan Sullivan, our 2017 conference chair, has wrapped up the first steps in planning the ABFM Conference in DC for 2017. Yes, we will be back at the Georgetown Marriott. Just a quick bit of history for the record: we have done several searches around the DC area in the recent past and have consistently found that the Marriott offers the most competitive rates in DC-proper for a small conference of our type.  Additionally, I think most people were pleased with our experience this year. The Marriott is expecting to complete another multimillion dollar overhaul by the time we come back – this time of the conference rooms and guest rooms – so it should be even nicer in 2017.

Beyond conference planning, the ABFM executive committee is going to be taking another hard look at membership. Mark Robbins is heading up the membership committee and recently sent out a survey to query members about their conference experience.  Please take a minute to respond. Click here to participate if you haven’t already filled it out (it can be done on a cell phone… so while you are bored in some holiday line, it’s a great opportunity to give us some good feedback!). The final deadline for this survey is next Monday, December 21st.

Last, I just want to give a shout out to Deborah Carroll, Ken Hunter, and Meagan Jordan who do the behind the scenes work to keep ABFM functioning.

So with this: Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year! 

Executive Committee Transitions

ABFM's 2016 Executive Committee will see many changes with the arrival of new members, a mid-term elevation and the departure of past representatives.

This summer, membership elected Dr. Benjamin Clark, Dr. Sharon Kioko and M. Peter Van Der Hoek to three-year terms on the Executive Committee, starting January 1st. This is Sharon's first term in ABFM leadership. Ben has served on the Executive Committee since 2013, while Peter served multiple terms, the last ending in 2012.

Bryan Sullivan's election to Vice-Chair opened up another Executive Committee for 2016 and 2017. Dr. Mark Robbins was selected during October's Annual Conference to fill the unexpired term. Mark is Professor and Head of the Department of Public Policy and the University of Connecticut.

Stepping down from elected positions at the end of this year are Dr. John Gilmour and Kenneth Hunter. John has served on the Executive Committee since 2013, and Kenneth has served since 2010. Kenneth will also remain Editor of Line Item and the organization's webmaster.

Special thanks are extended to all of our Executive Committee members and officers for their service to our great organization.
Pattison Selected to Head
National Governors Association

2013 ABFM Chair, Former NASBO Executive Director, Takes Lead of NGA

(PRESS RELEASE) The National Governors Association (NGA) Executive Committee has named Scott Pattison as the new NGA executive director and chief executive officer.

Pattison most recently served as executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), a position he held since 2001. Prior to that, Pattison served as the state budget director and head of the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget and also served in the office of the Virginia Attorney General as counsel. He also served in several roles at the Federal Trade Commission. Identified as an important “player” in public policy by The Washington Post, Pattison is frequently interviewed by national news organizations including National Public Radio.

“I am pleased to welcome Scott Pattison as our new executive director,” said NGA Chair Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. â€œScott’s experience and broad knowledge of the various fiscal conditions affecting states will be a great benefit to governors and our staff.”

“Scott’s commitment to, and experience in, public service and his demonstrated ability to work in a bipartisan fashion will be a valuable asset to the NGA,” said NGA Vice Chair Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

“I am honored to be selected to serve the nation’s governors,” said Pattison. “Innovative solutions to today’s most pressing public policy challenges are happening at the state level. I'm excited to join this critical organization to work with governors and the NGA staff to ensure states and the federal government are working together to reach positive results.”

Pattison is the outgoing chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Richmond and recently served on the board of Old Dominion University. He is a fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration, serves on the board of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.

Pattison received a juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the George Washington University. He began his new position on Dec. 1, 2015.

Pattison’s selection was the culmination of a five-month nationwide search conducted for NGA by the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

Click Here for an Interview with Pattison on His New Role with the National Governors Association (RouteFifty)

GASB Issues New Pension Guidance
for Select Governments

NEWS RELEASE) The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today issued guidance designed to assist governments that participate in certain private or federally sponsored multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans (such as Taft-Hartley plans and plans with similar characteristics). 

During the implementation of GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, stakeholders raised concerns regarding the inability of a small group of governments whose employees are provided pensions through such multiple-employer pension plans to obtain measurements and other relevant data points needed to comply with the requirements of that Statement.

GASB Chairman David A. Vaudt said, “This new guidance removes an impediment to complying with the GASB’s financial reporting requirements for governments participating in certain multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans. It also promotes enhanced consistency among those applying the standards.”

The new guidance in GASB Statement No. 78, Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans, assists these governments by focusing employer accounting and financial reporting requirements for those pension plans on obtainable information. In lieu of the existing requirements under Statement 68, the new guidance establishes separate requirements for employers that participate in these pension plans. Statement 78 establishes the criteria for identifying the applicable pension plans and addresses measurement and recognition of pension liabilities, expense, and expenditures; note disclosures of descriptive information about the plan, benefit terms, and contribution terms; and required supplementary information presenting required contribution amounts for the past 10 fiscal years.

The full text of GASB Statement 78 is available at

Click Here for More Announcements

Please email additional faculty and professional announcements to

Articles of Interest From
How Public Sector Employment Fared in 2015

Summing It All Up

Has Social Security's Trust Fund Been Robbed?

Click Here for Article Submission Guidelines
For an update on current and forecasted economic conditions, check out this recent discussion of Wells Fargo Securities' 2016 Annual Economic Outlook
ABFM is a research section of the American Society for Public Administration

About ABFM
We aim to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors. Embracing both theorectical and operational concerns, ABFM addresses issues in budgeting processes and practice in financial management.

Click Here for Membership Information
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ABFM's website is made possible by a grant from Public Financial Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation & publisher of Public Budgeting & Finance
Copyright © 2015 ABFM Secretariat, All rights reserved.

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