The City of Houston has received a 2014 Award for Excellence in eGovernment Finance and Technology from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). Houston’s Encourage Self-Funding Capital Projects through an Internal Loans Program was recognized for its innovation and contributions to the practice of government finance. Since 2008, the City has funded over $190 million in projects with a self-funding component.
“We are extremely proud of our team,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This program is important because it displays a new standard for allocating capital funds. By setting aside money for these types of self-funding capital projects, the City has instilled a culture with the departments that encourages the development of cost-savings and revenue generating projects.”
The self-funding capital projects program has helped with the expansion of the City’s automated curbside recycling program. In 2009 more than 10,000 households were participating. In 2014, the City is servicing 210,000 households with an additional 60,000 planned for this spring.
“It is estimated that over the next five years, the City will average $21.7 million in savings annually,” said Chief Business Officer Kelly Dowe. “Over the life of the program and using projections of future cost savings, this program has an estimated internal rate of return of about five percent.”
For the eGovernment Award, GFOA evaluated several factors including local significance and value, technical significance, transferability, documentation, cost/benefit analysis, efficiency, originality and durability. The GFOA is the major professional organization serving the needs of appointed and elected local and state-level government officials and other finance practitioners.