County Council Recognizes Finance Division For Awards Received In Financial Excellence

The Los Alamos County Council recognizes the County’s Finance Division at the March 29 Council meeting. Photo Courtesy LAC

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


The Los Alamos County Council recognized the County’s Finance Division at the March 29 Council meeting for receiving multiple national and state awards achieved in financial excellence this past year.   

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) represents over 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, Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), and Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) in-house each year and submits to the GFOA award programs. On June 11, 2021, Los Alamos County received the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its FY2021 Budget.  

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

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

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

On November 22, 2021, the GFOA announced the County’s PAFR was awarded the Certificate of Achievement from GFOA. The Los Alamos County financial team substantially met the requirements of the PAFR program. These requirements are based on an evaluation of information presented, reader appeal, understandability, distribution, and other elements. In the four years the PAFR has been submitted, the Finance Division has received this distinction for each year. 

Lastly, 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 & Accountability Award for the FY2020 ACFR in recognition of continued audit achievement and financial management excellence. This award is given to counties across the state with zero or minimal audit findings.The County’s Accounts Payable and P-Card Administrator, Nicholle Cordova and Accounting Operations Manager, Reese Chavarria-Quam represented the County in receiving this award. This is the sixth time the County has received this recognition. 

Chief Financial Officer and Acting Administrative Services Director Helen Perraglio, recognized members of the Finance Division team for their efforts in “putting the County on the national map.” Perraglio stated, “I truly need to recognize this team and their incredible efforts because most of the staff here work upwards of 60 and sometimes 70 hours a week just to pull these things off.” Perraglio recognized individual team members and what they oversee and noted she has not seen this type of talent in any organization outside of Los Alamos County. 

Individual Councilors thanked Perraglio and her team. Councilor David Izraelevitz recognized Perraglio’s team and commented that these recognitions lead to true savings and value for the County in heightened bond ratings and reduced interest costs. County Manager Steven Lynne personally thanked Perraglio and emphasized, “She’s the leader of the pack there, and we really couldn’t have someone better.” Lynne also thanked Council for their “tone at the top,” which often doesn’t get recognition, but matters a great deal in terms of an internal control system and obtaining these types of awards.