Gov. Doug Burgum today welcomed a report from the nonpartisan watchdog organization Truth in Accounting that gives North Dakota top marks for financial transparency.
The organization’s annual 50-state survey measures each state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) against long-standing and widely accepted best practices. North Dakota scored an 88 out of 100, tying Idaho and Nevada for highest score. Truth in Accounting’s full Financial Transparency Score Report is available here.
“We’re committed to preparing an annual report that provides a clear and accurate picture into the state’s finances so that all citizens can be assured their tax dollars are being used efficiently and effectively,” Burgum said. “Transparency is a priority for our administration, and this ranking complements the Office of Management and Budget’s efforts to improve citizens’ access to financial information, including its revamped transparency website and enhancements to the state’s revenue forecasting system. We’re grateful to the OMB team members who prepare the CAFR and the State Auditor’s Office employees who audit the report, and to Truth in Accounting for recognizing their exceptional work.”
“While I’ve always believed North Dakota was the best state, there will always be room for improvement,” State Auditor Josh Gallion said. “Our office will continue to be that window into state government so citizens can understand how their tax dollars are being spent.”
The CAFR contains a compilation of the state’s financial statements for the fiscal year. Its financial section presents the state’s basic financial statement as well as statement notes, and the statistical section presents additional financial and statistical data to inform citizens about the state’s activities. The CAFR is available to the public and policymakers, and it is extensively utilized by bond rating agencies who rely on it as a source of objective information regarding the state’s financial condition.
“We have a dedicated team at OMB that works in conjunction with fiscal leaders in all state agencies, institutions of higher education, and boards and commissions, from July to December of each year to prepare the CAFR. During that time frame, they also work collaboratively with a team of auditors from the Office of the State Auditor to ensure the CAFR is audited and independently verified when released to policymakers and the public,” OMB Director Joe Morrissette said. “It is exciting to have the North Dakota CAFR recognized by Truth in Accounting. The CAFR is an important document, and this recognition confirms it is accurate, accessible to citizens and promotes government transparency.”