Report highlights Treasury’s strengths, achievements, & goals
“In our post-recession climate, the Delaware State Treasury (Treasury) has made significant progress over the past year in our service to Delawareans. However, new challenges in today’s global financial markets will require the Treasury to continue creating and implementing innovative ideas and solutions to fulfill our mission as the cornerstone of the state’s financial system,” Flowers said in releasing the report prior to the Treasury’s General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee hearing today at 2:30pm. The report is available online at the Delaware State Treasury website http://treasury.delaware.gov/
In his report, Flowers noted a significant number of achievements of the Treasury during 2011, including:
• Implementing a new financial system that was instrumental in assisting the Treasury perform critical services during a challenging economic climate.
• Signing an agreement that allows corporations and businesses the option of using American Express® cards to make payments to selected state agencies.
• Signing the Delaware Money in Delaware Banks directive, which will increase the portion of the state’s investment portfolio that is deposited in U.S. Government insured interest-bearing accounts in local banks.
• Creating the Delaware Economic Index, a bimonthly summary and analysis of economic data that impacts Delaware businesses and families, and the Delaware Early Warning System, an easy-to-understand evaluation of the state’s economic climate.
• Creating an Office of Economic Policy and an Office of Finance and Treasury Services within the Treasury at no cost to taxpayers by consolidating existing Treasury assets.
• Establishing cooperative relationships with the White House, the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks and other key federal agencies.
• Modernizing the office through the use of new hardware and software, and expanding the online presence of the Treasury.
Flowers listed five significant challenges facing the Treasury in the report. They are:
• Improving the transparency of policies of the state’s Cash Management Policy Board.
• Increasing and diversifying the number of investment managers approved to service the state’s investment accounts.
• Overhauling the structure of the state’s investment portfolio to improve diversification, liquidity and yield with the assistance of an independent financial advisor.
• Modernizing technology to secure the Treasury’s critical financial data in line with best practices.
• Seeking the best benefits with the lowest possible fees for the state’s deferred compensation plans.
In addition to addressing these challenges, the key initiatives of the Treasury for the upcoming year include:
• Engaging an independent investment advisor with expertise in government and public finance to assist the Cash Management Policy Board and the Treasury in improving the state’s investment portfolio.
• Expanding the Delaware Money in Delaware Banks initiative to include deposits in local credit unions.
• Using prepaid debit cards to continue the annual reduction in the number of checks issued by the state.
• Expanding financial education and outreach programs.
• Working with other state officials to include the purchase of warrants from recipients of state economic development grants, thus increasing the state’s return on its investments.
“Although the past year has been filled with significant achievements, we must continue to work hard and propose creative solutions to emerging challenges in our service to the people of Delaware in this competitive 21st century global economy. It is the goal of our team for the Delaware State Treasury to serve as the ‘financial idea center’ for our state government,” Flowers said.