The Island Government Finance Officers Association (IGFOA) recently concluded its summer meeting held from May 20 to May 25, 2023, in Portland, Oregon.
The IGFOA brought together government finance leaders and staff from the U.S.-affiliated island jurisdictions, including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia—including the FSM national government, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Yap—Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the U.S. Virgin Islands. The event served as a productive platform for fostering growth and collaboration.
The pre-meeting commenced with a warm welcome from Ms. Tracy Norita, Secretary of Finance from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and a discussion of challenges and delays issuing single audits. IGFOA participants then joined over 6,000 attendees at the GFOA Conference, which was held at the Portland Convention Center from May 21 to May 24, 2023. The GFOA Conference featured an extensive program comprising more than 83 sessions covering various topics, including Finance Office Management and Process Improvement, Leadership, ERP Systems and Technology, Accounting and Financial Reporting, and Fiscal Management. Attendees actively participated in interactive sessions, presentations, and networking opportunities to promote collaboration and to exchange ideas.
The IGFOA summer meeting continued on May 25, 2023, with insular government representatives sharing key takeaways from the GFOA session and updating participants on the current status of their finance office performance measures. Each insular government developed an action plan to address financial challenges unique to island jurisdictions.
Three subject matter experts in the field of government accounting and finance served as valued contributors to the IGFOA meeting. Ms. Debbie Milks, CPA, facilitated discussions on insular governments’ single audit status, IGFOA finance office performance measures, and debriefed GFOA sessions during the IGFOA meeting. Mr. Frank Crawford, CPA, provided an update on emerging GASB standards, including leases and subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITAs). Ms. Emily Brock, Director of the GFOA Liaison Center, updated attendees on the status of US federal programs as a Washington, DC-based advocate.
The IGFOA summer meeting concluded with closing remarks by Edward Birn, Director of the Department of Administration, Government of Guam. Director Birn encouraged the Island Government Finance Officers Association (IGFOA) to remain steadfast in its commitment to facilitating knowledge sharing and promoting excellence in financial practices as island governments. He stated, "Our dedication to serving the public drives us to overcome every obstacle, no matter how daunting. The lack of resources may pose challenges, but our determination will lead us to find creative solutions to create a brighter future for our community. By the time we meet again, let us strive to find an island solution to the worldwide problem of attracting and retaining the best talent in government. Together, we can shape a brighter future through our determination and collaborative efforts."
"By the time we meet again, let us strive to find an island solution to the worldwide problem of attracting and retaining the best talent in government."
The 2024 IGFOA Winter Meeting will be held in Hawaii and will provide a platform for governments to present their progress in implementing action plans and to share updates on performance measures. For additional information about IGFOA and upcoming events, please visit the PITI-VITI website at https://pitiviti.org/igfoa
The Island Government Finance Officers’ Association (IGFOA) is supported by the Graduate School USA's Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives (PITI-VITI) with funding assistance from the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs (www.doi.gov/oia).