RICHMOND, June 12, 2017 — For the 35th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for VRS' Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This year's award recognizes excellence in governmental accounting and financial reporting in a CAFR for the 2016 fiscal year. In addition, VRS has received the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) Award from GFOA for its first-ever PAFR, a summary of VRS financial, investment and statistical information derived from the more comprehensive CAFR.
GFOA is a professional association serving nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. According to GFOA, the CAFR Certificate of Achievement "is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment." GFOA commended VRS' "constructive 'spirit of full disclosure'" in the CAFR.
"We are honored to once more receive this award for our CAFR and now also for our PAFR," said Patricia S. "Trish" Bishop, director of VRS. "The reports reflect our agency's commitment to excellence in reporting, ensure transparency that goes beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and provide our members, beneficiaries, retirees and participating employers throughout the state with meaningful data. It's a responsibility that we strive to uphold at the highest level every day."
To be awarded the CAFR certificate, a government unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements. An impartial panel judged the VRS CAFR as meeting GFOA's high standards for the award. The PAFR was evaluated for the information presented, reader appeal, understandability, distribution and other elements.