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The Bank of North Dakota – the country's only state-owned bank – is the institution that sets North Dakota banking apart, North Dakota Bankers Association President and CEO Rick Clayburgh says. The bank moved into its current headquarters (pictured here) in 2008. IMAGE: BND

North Dakota gets top marks in financial transparency

BISMARCK — North Dakota state government has gotten top marks for financial reporting transparency from the nonpartisan watchdog organization Truth in Accounting, and the state-owned Bank of North Dakota has once again received a strong credit rating from the Standard & Poor’s financial services company.

The organization each year measures each state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report against a “best practices” framework. The reports are produced by local or state governments to comply with reporting rules set by the Government Accounting Standards Board. They must be audited by an independent auditor.

North Dakota this year scored an 88 out of 100 in the Truth in Accounting survey, tying Idaho and Nevada for highest score.

“We’re committed to preparing an annual report that provides a clear and accurate picture into the state’s finances so that all citizens can be assured their tax dollars are being used efficiently and effectively,” Gov. Doug Burgum said.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports are available to the public and used by bond-rating agencies as a source of objective information regarding a state’s financial condition. State Auditor’s Office employees audit North Dakota's report.

“While there is always room for improvement, the direction our agency has taken over the past three years has provided citizens with more timely and available information for them to better understand how their government is spending their tax dollars,” State Auditor Josh Gallion said. “We will continue to look for opportunities to share relevant audit information in a way that everyone can understand.”

Truth in Accounting’s full Financial Transparency Score Report is available here.

In a separate report, Standard & Poor’s affirmed the state-owned Bank of North Dakota’s credit rating as A+ for long-term credit and A-1 for short-term credit. The ratings are consistent with those from a year ago.

The bank, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, "plays an important role empowering local and community banks, supporting our businesses and individuals by ensuring the availability of capital across the state,” Burgum said.

The full report can be viewed at www.bnd.nd.gov.

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