For the first time the winners of the Outstanding CPA in Government Award came from all three levels of government: federal, state and local. AICPA Board Chair Leslie Murphy gave out the 2006 awards at the AICPA’s 23rd annual National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in August in Washington, D.C. The citation recognizes CPAs who have significantly contributed to the efficiency and effectiveness of government and to the growth and enhancement of the accounting profession.
Jeffrey Steinhoff, managing director for financial management and assurance, the GAO’s largest audit team, won the federal award. During his tenure, he was integral to the enactment of most major financial management legislative initiatives, most notably the landmark Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990. In the past five years the initiatives he put into place resulted in more than $36 billion in financial benefits to American taxpayers.
Craig Watanabe, the state-level winner, is captive insurance administrator for the state of Hawaii. Watanabe was instrumental in passing the Captive Insurance Law of 1986, which resulted in Hawaii’s being recognized as one of the top 10 domiciles in the world for captive insurance.
Carla Sledge, winner at the local level, is chief financial officer of the Charter County of Wayne, Mich. In 2003 the county faced a $54 million dollar deficit as it struggled to recover from the national recession. In response Sledge developed a deficit plan to bring the budget into balance and strategies to strengthen and stabilize the county’s financial situation without increasing property taxes or reducing services to county residents.