County Board Recognizes Finance Division for Awards Received in Financial Excellence – Los Alamos Reporter

The Los Alamos County Board recognizes the County Finance Division at the March 29 council meeting. Photo courtesy of LAC

Nicholle Cordova, Los Alamos County Accounts Payable and P-Card Administrator, and Reese Chavarria-Quam, Accounting Operations Manager, accept the FY2020 Audit and Accountability Award for the State Auditor’s ACFR FY2020 Brian Colon. Photo courtesy of LAC


The Los Alamos County Council recognized the County Finance Division at the March 29 council meeting for receiving several national and state awards for financial excellence over the past year.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) represents more than 20,000 members of government officials in the United States and Canada and encourages public entities to participate in its distinguished budget and financial reporting award programs. The County Finance Division produces the Budget, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (ACFR), and People’s Annual Financial Report (PAFR) internally each year and submits them to the GFOA award programs. On June 11, 2021, Los Alamos County received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the GFOA for its FY2021 budget.

This award represents a significant achievement of the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to the highest principles of government budgeting. To receive the budget award, the entity must meet nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. This is the 29th year that Los Alamos County has received this award.

Los Alamos County was awarded the Triple Crown Honor on August 19, 2021 by the GFOA for winning awards in all three reporting categories for Budget, ACFR, and PAFR. This is the second year the county has received the designation.

On September 1, 2021, the GFOA announced that Los Alamos County had received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the field of government accounting and financial reporting, and earning it represents a significant achievement by a government and its management. This award is the 30th year that Los Alamos County has received this honor.

On November 22, 2021, the GFOA announced that the County LCP had received the GFOA Certificate of Achievement. The Los Alamos County finance team has largely met the PAFR program requirements. These requirements are based on an evaluation of the information presented, reader appeal, understandability, distribution and other elements. During the four years of filing the PAFR, the Finance Department received this distinction for each year.

Finally, on January 23, 2022, at the annual New Mexico Counties Legislative Conference, New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón presented Los Alamos County with the FY2020 Audit and Accountability Award. for ACFR FY2020 in recognition of continued audit success and excellence in financial management. This award is given to counties in the state with zero or minimal audit results. The county’s accounts payable and P-card administrator, Nicholle Cordova, and accounting operations manager, Reese Chavarria-Quam, represented the county in accepting this award. This is the sixth time the county has received this recognition.

Helen Perraglio, Chief Financial Officer and Acting Director of Administrative Services, recognized members of the Finance Division team for their efforts to “put the county on the national map.” Perraglio said, “I really have to recognize this team and their amazing efforts, because most people here work 60+ and sometimes 70+ hours a week just to get these things done.” Perraglio acknowledged the individual team members and what they oversee and noted that she hasn’t seen this type of talent in any organization outside of Los Alamos County.

Individual advisors thanked Perraglio and his team. Councilor David Izraelevitz paid tribute to the Perraglio team and said these recognitions are driving real savings and value for the county through increased bond ratings and reduced interest charges. County Executive Steven Lynne personally thanked Perraglio and noted, “She’s the leader there, and we really couldn’t have anyone better.” Lynne also thanked the Board for its “tone at the top”, which often goes unrecognized, but which matters a lot in terms of the internal control system and obtaining these types of awards.

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