Auditor Edwin Young Wins National Government Financial Management Award

2 03 2016
Edwin and AGA President Homan Distinguished Local Government Leader Award 2016 2

Auditor Young and AGA President Homan

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Edwin Young, MBA, CGFM, CIA, CFE, CRMA, City Auditor for the City and County of Honolulu, was presented with AGA’s Distinguished Local Government Leadership Award at AGA’s National Leadership Training in Washington. The award honors local government financial management professionals who promote excellence in the profession and have demonstrated outstanding leadership in enhancing sound financial management legislation, regulations, practices, policies and systems.

Young, who marks 40 years of experience in government financial management this year, is a member of AGA’s Hawaii chapter. Young’s career has taken him across the country and across the levels of government, from his first job at what is now the federal Government Accountability Office’s Denver branch, to audit manager for the United States Air Force and United States Navy in Washington, regional inspector general for the Small Business Administration in Los Angeles, and, finally, his position in Honolulu.

Young lists several accomplishments to highlight his career, from which he’s gained “exceptional” life lessons: auditing social welfare programs taught him the complexities of the old food stamp and supplemental security income programs; analyzing the effectiveness of expatriate programs and foreign trade initiatives showed him how interconnected the U.S. is with the rest of the world; and auditing refugee programs, a “heart-wrenching” experience, he said, made him realize how important immigrants are and how fortunate people are to live in America. He considers helping his offices become more technologically savvy as a major accomplishment along with, he jokes, not getting lost in the Pentagon.

A peer who nominated Young for the award cited his passion for opening lines of communication between the city’s financial staff and its city council; introducing Citizen-Centric Reporting to simplify city finances for citizens; creating an internship program to introduce students to government; establishing training programs for staff; and saving the city’s taxpayers millions of dollars after conducting audits.

Young said he was surprised to be nominated for the award and even more so to be selected. “I always considered myself just another auditor and never thought of myself as a leader,” Young said. “The recognition of my contributions, I think, is the highlight of my career and a great compliment from AGA and my professional peers. I hope I can continue to live up to what this award represents.”

AGA CEO Ann M. Ebberts said honoring professionals like Young with awards is crucial to furthering the ideals of improving government performance and promoting transparency. “People like Edwin exemplify all the qualities we seek in government financial management professionals — commitment to government accountability by enhancing communication; advocacy for the taxpayer by implementing programs like Citizen-Centric Reporting; dedication to self-improvement through continuing professional education; and genuine, demonstrated passion for the job.”

About AGA: AGA is the member organization for financial professionals in government. We lead and encourage change that benefits our field and all citizens. Our networking events, professional certification, publications and ongoing education help members build their skills and advance their careers.

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